i want to study music or art in college, but my parents aren’t supportive

dear heather,

I recently had a fight with my parents about my future career. I’ll be graduating soon and I’m still debating what I want to do.My parents are not too supportive about what I’m doing in high school–music and art. I’m thinking about going into those fields, but they were implying a “no” about the situation.

I love my parents to death, but I wish they’d think a little more about it. How can I convince them to support me?

I’m sorry your parents aren’t being more supportive. If you end up like most college students, who rely on their parents to take out financial aid or to pay for all or part of their educational expenses, I’m sure you are aware of the perceived “veto power” that parents have in these situations.But many times parents’ barks are worse than their bites when it comes to education. Over time–perhaps with your situation–your parents may come to see that it’s essential to your happiness for you to study a subject in which you’re truly interested than for you to study something they feel is a more suitable or lucrative option. And I’m sure they would rather you go to college than not to at all!

Remind them that college is about exploration. College freshmen are introduced to so many new subjects that they sometimes do change majors. But even if you stick with art and music, there are role models to follow. Many an artist or musician has prioritized personal fulfillment over big bucks and taken other jobs to support their creative endeavors, but these goals are not mutually exclusive. Many have been able to make a living at what they love doing and do quite well financially.

You could also try asking your guidance counselor at school about the aptitude and skills you have shown while in high school. Sometimes speaking to a person in authority helps.

Just know that your parents may never really be CRAZY about the idea of your being a musician or artist, but they will probably get used to the idea, once they see that you are serious about it, cannot be swayed, and even more important–it makes you happy!

take care,

Posted in: Family, Help Me Heather