Do you really love me?

Recently, I’ve been swamped with school, and most dreadfully, college apps (to explain for my lack of blogging recently). As the issue of college  gets nearer and nearer to me, an inevitable conflict has risen up as my parents get involved in the college process. The problem is this: I want to pursue journalism and politics and something of that sort as my major; whereas my parents disagree.

Now, they don’t straight up disagree with me. They did, but now, they just say, “You know, Titus, it’s unfair to force you to do something you don’t want to, especially since you worked so hard. So we’ll support you.” Yet, it’s obvious they reluctantly did so. And reluctant support is not support at all.

I recently found out that if I had wanted to go to any top journalism university, it was very likely that my family would have to pay around 40k to 50k. My parents said that was too much. Yet, I found out to my dismay that had I been pursuing the typical STEM that everybody at my school was chasing, my dad would have willingly hopped onto the board and invest his 50k into my education. The reason? Because journalism doesn’t pay much to be worth the 50k, my dad says.

So I wanted to ask him, is the worth of a career really dependent on the salary or on the content of your job? But it’s his goddam money, so I didn’t do much and dropped back.

I perfectly understand why he’s concerned with the salary part. If I don’t have a good enough salary, I might have to spend most of my time worrying about the next place I’m eating or sleeping at. I might have a harder time trying to make a living. He’s concerned with my future, definitely, and that’s why he wants me to pursue STEM. Many people interpret this concern as love. My parents do. But.. I don’t. So the second question I’ve always wanted to ask my parents: Do you really love me?

In class, I rewatched 500 Days of Summer, a fantastic movie by the way. It narrates in achronological order the experiences of one guy (Tom Hansen) who helplessly falls in love with a beautiful girl named Summer. So much so that he doesn’t see the fact she only sees him as a friend. And when reality hits him, he goes into super depression mode and has a change in perspective on life. My teacher brought up the theme of love and had us think about it. So I did, and I asked myself, did Tom really love Summer? I thought back to all my crushes, and I was like nah, it was just lust. But “lust” didn’t feel like the right answer for Tom– he really put so much thought and emotion into their shared experiences and he really, just really, “loved” her. It didn’t feel right to dismiss his efforts as merely lust. But yet, it wasn’t love.

Actually, now that I think about it, it was love. No, he didn’t love her. He loved himself. Tom had carved for himself the perfect image of Summer and placed it so high on a pedestal that he truly loved that image. But that image was formed by his own thoughts and ideas of what the relationship was like. None of that was from Summer. And I guess all the girls I fell for in the past weren’t those actual girls, but what I thought was the perfect girl and how she was the most cute and charming. Both Tom and I loved our own ideas, not the girl.

And so it’s the same here. I remember overhearing my dad say, from middle school to now he has been doing all the right things, getting good grades, good scores, good extracurricular activities, yada, yada, yada and all that bs. And now, says my dad, he takes the last wrong step and decides to pursue journalism. Now, when in the world did he have the supreme authority to decide what I did was right or wrong? I aimed for good grades and good extracurricular activities for myself, not for what my dad thought was right. I now aim to be a journalist for myself, not for him. And I realize that in the end, I was just an attempt for him to make his own ideas of a perfect son come true. He never loved me; he loved his own ideas of what his perfect son should be.

And I realize I’ m probably not the only parent-child pair in this situation; I can imagine many of my peers at my school being forced to pursue STEM are like this. But I will never buckle down to what my parents think is right for me. If a parent loved his or her child truly, he or she would freely support the child to follow what he wants of himself.

And now I ask myself, do I really love my parents? And to be honest, I don’t know the answer myself.


6 thoughts on “Do you really love me?

  1. So if your parent’s idea of a STEM carrer revolves around the idea of getting a PHD in anything, I’d advise reading this article:

    Though it is generally true that technical fields pay more, your interests plays much into how successful you will be in the future. If you don’t like what you do, imagine how that would reflect in the workplace. It also comes down to how much you care about your parents’ opinion vs. how much you care about your own personal interests. I understand the feeling of your parents’ opinion sometimes being heavier, but I have come to realize that tenacity usually persuades them. For a long time I’ve wanted to be an engineer/CS major. Though I’ve dropped wanting to be an engineer (personal reasons, interest change), CS is still pretty interesting to me and is the reason why I am studying it. My dad has always hinted at me that I should pursue something in the medial field. He takes me to doctors and asks them about medical school, he takes me to pharmacists and asks about how much they make, he calls friends who have kids in medical school and asks about their education. My dad always denies that he is trying to push me towards a particular field which is complete BS, but I am resolute. I know what I like, and I know what I am interested in. This is not saying that you should lock out the possibility of exploring other things; just know what you want to do.

    In college you can do a compromise: take journalism classes and STEM classes at the same time for freshman and sophomore year. Maybe you can even find interests in both and combine the fields. Eventually you will know which major to drop or which to pursue instead. A lot of college students change their majors. Interests change, people change. I doubt you will be an exception.

    • Of course I will change, My interest has changed– from STEM to writing. And I have a good feeling I’ll be doing much more than writing into other forms of art or humanities. I have a very strong interest in rapping, technical theater, politics, entertainment, etc. Science, I doubt I will change back to that, but yes, there is that possibility. However, just because of this possibility doesn’t mean I should be indecisive and follow what my parent wants me to do.The point of the article was never about me going against STEM. The point was that I want to decide for myself what I want to do, and I know for a fact, that as for now, it’s journalism. Whether that becomes a poor desicion or not, I will own up to it. That’s how you learn. I don’t want to purely follow the image my parents have of me just to keep them happy. I don’t live for them. Your idea of compromise by having both science and writing is good. But sorry Alex, I’m not that type of guy. I don’t compromise what I love and what I know I don’t love. It took my whole childhood of false belief that I loved science and a horrible depression to realize science is not my thing, that I had been living under a lie this whole time. I don’t hate science, and yes I will keep on learning science in college (it’s required anyway). But I don’t want to continue lying to myself or appease my parent’s dreams by putting science as my major, double major, or even as a possible job right now. Go ahead, call me stubborn. I just want to be true to myself.

  2. That’s an interesting topic. Many parents want their children to go into STEM for financial reasons, and when the child wants to pursue something else, it is often because “he doesn’t know any better.” Parents may not understand that a different subject can be important for a nonfinancial reason, yet students may not fully understand the importance of money in life.

  3. Hey Titus. I read your article as well as your responses to the comments, and I completely support you. I find my situation somewhat (but not completely) similar to yours. When I was younger, I used to love art, particularly drawing cars, so I aspired to be a car-designer. Not to be boastful, but I was often an exceptional, talented artist, especially when compared to my male peers. And as you can probably guess, I love cars too as well as art. Today, I still love art, but society and my parents have hinted at me that art-related majors/careers/jobs are hard to find and obtain/impractical, not feasible and etc., and that art school (Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, anyone?) would cost a fortune, and I agree (now that I’m older, wiser). Recently, I have re-evaluated my career-goals, and I have realized that from my current standpoint, I would be considered an utter amateur in the art world. (I took graphic design last year–I loved designing things, and I was pretty decent at it, but to make it a career would be difficult because, at least for me, coming up with good ideas with a time constraint can be very abstract and unpredictable/unreliable). However, through hard work, a lot of time and effort, and a lot of determination, I think I could be successful with an art-related major, but I weighed the pros and cons and decided that it wouldn’t be worth it. Thus, I decided to change my career goals: I tried out engineering through a Johns Hopkins Engineering summer program this past summer at PCC: I hated the fast-paced work and the teamwork involved, but I still love solving problems and whatnot, so an engineering career could still be a possibility). Currently I am hoping to pursue business/entrepreneurship in the field of fitness (online personal training) because I also love working out. I even made my own website ( if you wanna check it out) for it, and I’m hoping to train some of my peers to get a feel of what it’s like to be a personal trainer. The reason for my business/entrepreneurship is because I like money (who doesn’t? haha), so if I become rich doing what I love (training people), then I’ll be able to afford and appreciate nice car(s) (because I love cars), which would be a total win-win situation (tying back to my original desire to be a car-designer). In addition, I’d be able to afford a nice house too (because I appreciate modern architecture, which reminds me–if I were to study art, I would possibly study interior design). If any of that sounded shallow, I do apologize–life’s definitely not all about money. Anyways, just wanted to share this with you. Now that I think of it, I actually really like writing too (I’ve considered aspiring to be a journalist / editor for the magazine Motor Trend, but haven’t followed up with the idea). Anyways, good luck with all your life goals, and I encourage you to follow your passion for journalism. I’ve read a lot of your articles, and I have full faith that you will be a great success (self-fulfillment and money-wise) if you pursue writing (or politics)!

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