Me, the Parents, and College

Otherwise known as: “Me, the Parents, and College: The Conflict

“What college do you want to go to?” It’s a simple question. Most people about to graduate high school have an idea of how to answer this question, and others have no idea. It could be anywhere. It could be New York University. It could be UCLA (University of California in Los Angeles). It could be a University in Washington. It could even be the local community college. Yes, we have an answer for this question, be it a legitimate university or simply, “I don’t know.”

When people ask me, “What college do you want to go to?”

“UT* in Austin,” I’ll reply.

Yes, it’s my number one choice. But. Is it truly my first choice? I cannot answer honestly for myself. It’s where my parents want me to go as a first choice. My parents will provide the funds for my college tuition along with the help of FAFSA and scholarships I earn, but does this make me endeared to follow where they want me to go? Do I have to go where they want me to? My parents’ reasonings for me to go to this university seem logical.

We wouldn’t have to spend as much money if I moved into a dorm.
We wouldn’t have to spend as much money as if I went out of state.
Our insurance only covers me if I’m a full-time student.
I wouldn’t have to deal with bills and whatnot as long as I stay living with my parents.

Indeed, these are true. If you noticed the trend, it seems that all that it boils down to is money. Money for living expenses. Money for tuition. Money for books and materials. Money money money. My parents believe that money is the lifeblood of… well, life. It makes sense. They’re immigrants. They grew up Chinese in Vietnam and taught me to take value of my money. Their penny-pinching has rubbed off a bit on me. If it’s one thing that we feel, it’s that being in debt is bad- thus, we don’t want a loan. Yes, UT in Austin would be the best choice for me.

Actually, I would like to go to Vancouver Film School. Yes, the Vancouver in Canada. The Vancouver in the Pacific Time Zone. The top three places to shoot media stuff are New York City, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. Have you watched District 9? Guess whose graduates worked on it? One year intensive programs studying specific mediums. Programs where I wouldn’t have to waste time on mathematics, critical reading, and whatnot. My reasonings:

I wouldn’t have to depend on my parents so much.
I would be forced to be more independent.
Canadian dollars aren’t worth as much as American dollars.
Vancouver has a large Chinese population. I can practice both Cantonese and Mandarin.
I would focus mostly on my career, making use of the talents I’ve been developing.
The quality of materials about media is more up to date then the universities here (so says a cousin of mine who’s working on a Radio-Television-Film degree at UT Austin)

Sometimes, I wish my parents would be more supportive and optimistic in this way, rather then worrying about back up plans and if I’m going to get a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, they’ve been around much longer then I have. Here’s the conflict. Should I have to listen to my parents or do I listen to myself?

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