It’s my choice, not my parents’

Ally Monaghan

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Senior year. The year dubbed easiest, most relaxing, and laid-back. For some, this is also taking into account one of the biggest stories of their life, and for others, not so much.

As the graduation date creeps closer, seniors grow increasingly antsy to pack up their things and go to the college of their choice; however, is the college they chose really their choice?

I hear the whispers of students in class as they chat about what their parents make them do. Constantly complaining, these seniors are not talking about their worries most of the time. Typically, it’s their parents.

“My mom wants me to go to this college,” a girl says. “I don’t really want to go there, but my parents are kind of pushing it on me.”

This is a sentence that should never be uttered by students. I, personally, have not run into the problem of my parents telling me where they want me to go; I will continue to be grateful for this. Making a college decision is important in an adolescents life, and the fact that parents are pushing their views onto their children is not okay.

Students should make a college choice that makes them happy.

Now, parents, I am not saying your students don’t appreciate your input because I know they do. But, it does get a little out of control when you start to say, “you need to go to Aquinas,” or “I don’t think you’re picking the right college for you if you choose Albion,” because that’s not fair.

For example, if you are alumni of Michigan State and you want your child to go there, but your child would rather attend Michigan, why would you push your school colors onto them? All that they are trying to do is make a choice that feels right for them. Parents, you had your time to shine, and now it is your child’s turn.

Parents, think about this– your parents pressuring you to go to a certain college to fit the standards they have in their brain. Would you have liked that? Didn’t think so.

Is the college they chose really their choice?”

Campus visits are very important when making a college decision. I came home from my first college tour, and I knew that I was going to go there. For others, their journey to a choice may not be as easy. But parents, if your child comes home from a college visit with a smile on their face and eyes filled with hope, you absolutely should respect that. If your child comes home grinning from ear to ear, saying “I definitely want to go there,” then LET THEM! When it comes down to it, it really impacts the student’s life the most. If they won’t be alumni of your previous school, does it hurt you?

Parents, as a senior, I know your student could not thank you more for helping to make important decisions throughout their life; however, now that we are all on the verge of being adults, I think it is time to let us make the choice that we have been waiting to make. We look up to you, parents- we really do- but this time is our time.

However, I do have to see the other side of this situation. I do have to agree that if parents are helping pay for your college education, that they should have a little bit of an input. Moving across the country, for instance, is something some kids want, but their parents aren’t comfortable with. If your parents pay for some of your education, then parents, I am on your side. But I do disagree with parents making a college choice for their child in its full entirety.

So, students, please don’t feel pressured to cave into your parents’ “this is perfect for my child” college. Make the choice you feel is right. Make the choice that you feel is meant to be. Make the choice you are happy with. College is your experience, not your parents.