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Parental Guidance

As we’re growing older and approaching the famed age of 18, there’s an immense amount of parental and societal pressure us to be self sufficient — suddenly we’re thrust into this awkward transition phase of young adults living in the real world. After being treated as children for so long, restricted by parents, we begin to question when should we should stop following our parent’s guidance. Ultimately, it is up to us to determine when we are ready to begin forging our own paths rather than following our parent’s desires.

In an attempt to assure their an optimal future for their children, parents oftentimes project their own goals onto their children rather than accepting their children’s ideas. Understandably, parents believe themselves to be more experienced and know what is best for their children, but too much guidance turns into pushing in one direction. For many, preparation for school and college is the main focus, but students are often left scrambling to find their true passions in high school. These are the years that students begin deviating from parents wishes and begin wanting more independence for the future. Whether it is science, music or volunteer work, there comes a time when we have to independently say, “I want to do this as my future”.

Whether we find our career path in elementary school, high school or college, we should make decisions based when we feel ready and informed. We should only stop following our parents guidance when we decide their choices stop reflecting our true desires. It is up to the parents to care for the child, while still being  dependable educators for them. By being well versed in decision making, a child can be well set up for the adult world even without experiencing it.

Although it would be optimal for everyone to be on the “right” path, to be able to mature while being guided by a supportive family, it is not realistic or easily achieved. Everyone leads unique lives and are associated with a variety of people. But the key is to be able to find and choose your own path rather than struggling to adopt one that is ill-fitting. A parent’s guidance should not be overlooked; rather, it should help us find ourselves with how we feel about our respective future careers.

By Jamie Chen, Photographer 
Editorial cartoon by Amy Lo


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