Parent’s Expectation: Grad School

My decision to go to graduate school was not as graceful or captivating as most people would think.  I did not have an epiphany or an insatiable desire to revolutionize the world with my ingenious mindset or anything.  I was just sort of forced to go.  Of course, I do not regret going, and I believe that the transition from undergraduate to graduate school is definitely a huge feat in someone’s life.  I just thought that there should have been a better reason to going to graduate school.

I was influenced by many factors.  One of which was the perceived notion that success would be greater if you continue to further your education.  Another was my actual desire to follow my passion, help the community, and preserve the environment for future generations.  But overall, the biggest contributor was that if my older sister went to graduate school, then so should I.  Since I grew up having strict parents with high expectations, this was the norm.  Their mindset was that if one person, one relative, or even one random person on the news can achieve something great, then so should I or everyone else.  This put a lot of pressure on me because I was not even sure if I was good enough to be admitted into any school of my choice, and I had no idea what factors would be weighed in when the graduate school admissions looked at my application.

My parents expected a brand-named school such as Harvard or Yale, but realistically I knew I had to aim lower.  Neither of them knew the difficulties that came with undergraduate college since both did not attend.  It is much easier said than done in their case.  Although I understand that my parents wanted the best for me and my future, it is difficult to explain and persuade them that not all of their expectations can be met.  I cannot get A’s in every class, maintain my health, acquire a high paying job as a student, and call or visit them every weekend without sacrificing the time required to meet another one of their expectations.  I love my parents and am humbled by the amount of sacrifice they gave for me to be able to get to where I am today but even to this day; they still expect a lot from me.  I just hope they understand that I too have limitations.

I am sure many people are in the same boat as me.  Just know that your parents are not pushing you for their own selfish reasons.  They are doing it because they want you, their beloved child(ren), to have what they could never have achieved.

Stay and finish strong.


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