I’ve been getting a lot of mail lately. Some of it was solicited (TEXTBOOKS!!#$%!) and others was not (dear playhouse that I purchased musical tickets from you 2 years ago, you’d think because I haven’t bought tickets in 2 years, that would be a hint to stop wasting paper). Unfortunately, I’m still unable to intercept the mail so my dad always sees it first.

Dad: Why are you getting mail from [insert name of local community college]?
Me: I applied there.
D: long pause. What program?
M: Their 4 year nursing program.
D: longer pause, I can practically see the wheels churning inside of his head. Is it the same program as at [insert name of big university/the one that I attend]?
M: Yes.
D: hands over the envelope, finally. Okay.

Because even nearly 5 years after I graduated from high school and even after he even admitted that trades was an “appropriate” career choice, he still has a problem with smaller schools, or not internationally recognized institutions, even if they’re public, government funded & approved schools.

My sister J started school this week. She graduated from said Big University in either 2006 and is just going back to school now for a trades program. Granted, it’s a medical-relate program, so it’s not like she’s becoming a mechanic. But J is the Golden Child™ and can never do anything wrong. So because she applied (and was accepted into) a trades program, suddenly trades is the Best Thing Ever.

And my father had the nerve to ask me:

D: Why didn’t you go into trades as well?

Well, dad, maybe it’s because you spent the first 17 years of my life telling me that I need to go to university and get a degree because it’s what I’m fucking supposed to do. That and I get to live rent-free at home provided I stay in school, so it was kind of no brainer. But I have friends who graduated on time (unlike me) and are woefully unemployed. A friend of my sister’s has been out of university since 2006 and just got a full-time job in her field (she has an education degree and spent 5 years being a substitute teacher, filling in when people were sick or on maternity leave and having very uncertain employment). Having a Bachelors, regardless of what it is in doesn’t mean a whole lot these days. Mostly because a lot of people have a Bachelors degree. Which is really depressing to think about, considering I’ll be graduating with one at the end of May. And it’s going to be fantastic. The word “Science” will be mentioned on that piece of paper 4 times in my degree title. Not because I wanted them to emphasize how much I love science, but because of what my program was. (A lot of science.)

But really. Having my dad tell me when I’m 9 credits away from finishing my BSc that I should have gone into some sort of trades instead? Like a knife through the heart. Maybe he should have been pushing that for the first 17 years of my life instead. Or maybe he should just keep his opinions to himself.

5 Responses

  1. Wow, your dad can really be a jerk sometimes and say some really idiotic and hurtful things.

    I have always admired your dedication and hard work and I think you made an excellent career choice and you really seem to enjoy it. You should be proud of all you have accomplished and never second guess yourself. Don’t let anyone let you ever think otherwise! <3

  2. I don’t fully understand your dad’s criticisms. You’re going into nursing! There’s a serious demand for nursing and it doesn’t pay poorly. It’s just as good as being in a trade. There’s more than one “right” path and it’s not for him to decide what that path is (but I know he thinks it is). Stay strong and finish up. Only three more months!! 🙂

  3. Don’t worry, my dad is the same way! My sister is his golden child even though she’s failing middle school. Anyway, good luck with finishing school and don’t let him get to you too much!

  4. This is what I’m worried about for university – nobody seems to get a job afterwards, well, not one you need the degree for anyway. A lot of the people who I worked at Asda with were ex-uni students who couldn’t find a job in their chosen field. I’m really scared that my degree might be a complete waste of money, it gives me a chance to put off being an adult though haha.

    It’s terrible what your Dad said, but don’t take it to heart. Do whatever you want to do, it’s your life, not theirs. You should be proud of how far you’ve come in Uni, many people would’ve failed long before then, so stick at it and don’t worry. I’m lucky that my parents don’t pressure me into choosing what they want me to do, they’ve always supported what me and my sister want to do fully. And strangely, my sister wants to join the circus and they’re fully supportive haha. Good luck with the rest of your degree, I’m sure you’ll do great.

  5. It is moments like this that make me seriously glad that my Father ran for the hills when he discovered I was a girl…seriously, though, a part of me can understand where he is coming from. He is probably noticing all of these people who have Bachelor’s Degrees in whatever having trouble finding employment and he is still in the I have to take care of my children thing. So, he is encouraging you to get a job in the Trades. 🙂 To make him feel a bit better, do the research on the growth of your chosen field and show it to him. It might make him back off a bit. Best of luck!

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