Danielle wants to a be a neo-natal nurse, and she wants to go to Baylor, which is an expensive private school. Mom & Dad don’t approve…but not for the reasons you might expect.
I’m a Senior in high school in Oklahoma City. I’ve known all of my life that I’ve wanted to go into a medical field. My parents were thrilled when I decided to pursue being a doctor.
Sure, who wouldn’t be?
So I went to a medical forum and came back realizing that being a doctor wasn’t for me. Instead, I wanted to be a nurse (that didn’t exactly go over well).
I’m sorry to hear that. Sigh… I can tell that for the rest of this post, I’m just gonna get progressively more irritated with your parents. (**trying to keep an open mind**).
However, if you’d like an impartial adult professional’s opinion — nursing is an excellent career choice. Nothing to apologize for at all, and most parents would be completely fine with this choice.
To make them feel better about my choice, I started shadowing at a Neo-natal ICU to make sure I want to be a nurse.
Great! It’s an excellent thing to do for yourself, let alone your parents. Listen up y’all reading at home — any time you can take a practice run at the real thing before committing to it, do so.
And I love it!
I thought the third degree from my parents was over after they finally came to terms with my career choice.
I’m guessing it wasn’t.
Here’s the reason I am coming to you for help: now they aren’t happy with the choice of college I want to attend for nursing school.
I want to attend Baylor University in Waco, TX. My parents are wanting me to attend a college like Yale or UPenn.
(trying to control my anger)
They want me to go because “a degree from a prestigious college will have employers coming to YOU” (my dad’s words).
Sorry, Dad — you’re absolutely wrong.
1) Even when you go to a top college, you still have to find yourself a job. Nurses don’t get wined-and-dined the way can’t-miss professional athletes or tort lawyers do.
2) Baylor is a great school. It’s not Palookaville Institute for the Dumb.
3) Sorry, but I think I can already tell that’s NOT actually why they want you to go to a prestigious school. They want you to go to a prestigious school so that they can tell the other parents and people they know that you’re going to a prestigious school.
Oh, also the fact that since our family’s income was slashed from about $120,000 to $60,000 since he lost his job 22 months ago, I could go to Yale or UPenn for almost nothing. Baylor’s tuition is $40,000 a year and I’d get a lot of financial aid, but not nearly as much as the choices my parents like.
I don’t think you should be so certain of that. You haven’t mentioned what your credentials are (I’m assuming they’re great), but all else being equal, you’re more likely to get better aid from a less-selective school. Baylor’s good, but of course, your parents are correct in that UPenn and Yale and the like are a notch up in terms of prestige.
This means that if you want to get a full ride to an Ivy, you have to present credentials that are even more impressive than Baylor’s going to want for the same award. A free (or close) education at an Ivy is TOUGH to get.
I’m not saying you *can’t* do it, because I don’t tell anybody that. I’m just saying…it’s not a foregone conclusion, that’s all.
Baylor has everything I’m looking for in a nursing school and I feel comfortable and happy there. But my parents are set on me going somewhere else and I don’t want to disappoint them.
There’s a time for pleasing Mom & Dad, and this is not it. You haven’t told me a ton about your parents, and so I’ll give you my standard disclaimer about parents — I don’t know yours, don’t know details about them, etc. BUT:
From what I’ve gathered from your email, they don’t seem to care much about what YOU want and what will make YOU happy. Seems they were pissy when they you decided you wanted to be a nurse — for no discernible reason.
And it seems they were pissy all over again when you chose a school that wasn’t one of the top 10 universities in the entire country. Why? I have no idea. Well, I do have an idea — because they want to brag about it others, and Baylor doesn’t sound as nice as Yale.
I don’t buy the argument from any parent who behaves this way — and they all say this — that they just want what’s best for their kid.
Bullshit. Sending a kid into $200k of medical school debt when she doesn’t want to go to medical school in the first place isn’t looking out for your kid. It’s looking out for your own ego.
Insisting your kid go to an Ivy when he/she is perfectly happy with an alternative — especially when we’re talking about nursing, a profession where jobs are not scarce and an expensive education is not required — is not looking out for your kid. It’s looking out for your ego!
I’ve read your posts about whether you should follow your dreams, but I was hoping you could answer my question directly. Baylor sends out acceptance letters from the first round in December/early January and I want to know my decision is a good one.
I think it’s fine. And I apologize in advance if you think I’m being too harsh on your parents. I mean, I have parents, and I’m a parent myself, and I wouldn’t want somebody banging on my parents too hard, even if I knew they were wrong about something.
But again, it’s my job to go against them here when I think they’re steering you wrong, and here, I think they are.
My guiding principle around here is to do what makes you happy. If you’re happy being a nurse and you’re happy going to Baylor, go to Baylor and be a nurse. What your mom or dad or creepy uncle or next-door neighbor or state senator want you to do — all that is secondary.
I appreciate you taking time to answer my question. I’m completely lost on what to do.
Yeah, that’s my advice. Hopefully your folks will come around. I really would be shocked if you weren’t offered considerably more aid from Baylor than from the Ivies. And if that’s the case, there’s another weapon in your arsenal to explain to your parents why it’s a good idea to go there.
Good luck, Danielle! Let us know how it goes!!
— What do you guys think? Are her parents out of line, or do they have a good point? Let us know in the comments below.