Dear Stavroula: My Grandson Leaves for New York to Become a Dancer

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Dear Stavroula,

My grandson is a law student and is very good in his studies. However, he suddenly decided to quit and leave for New York to become a dancer. My grandson is an American citizen, like me, and we have relatives in New York. We left when our children were in junior high school, but my brother and his family still live there. I do not think this is right, to quit his studies now and go off to study dance. I do not like it as a profession because it is difficult to find a job, while with the law my grandson could have financial security. And I do not think it suits a man. His parents are upset, but did not prevent him from leaving. If I were them I would not have given him the money to go to New York, but no one listens to me.

P.

Dear P.,

You would have been right to worry if your grandson had frivolously decided to definitely abandon his studies. That would indeed be a decision that he might later regret. However, I have the feeling that a young man who has worked hard to earn acceptance to law school could not have accomplished that if he were deficient in logic.

And I say this because if he is studying in Greece, as I believe is the case based on what you wrote, then he has the right to pause his studies without losing his position at the University. He can thus try to realize his dream, and if at some point he regrets it, he can return to Greece and continue in law.

Under this premise, his decision to pursue his dream in New York would not be so disastrous. And the fact that he is an American citizen and that he will be in a city where he does have relatives makes this decision even less hazardous.

If you want my point of view, no one has the right to stop a young person from dreaming about his future and trying to realize that dream.

First of all, because his life is his own; he is already an adult and only he is responsible for his own choices, whether they lead him to success or failure.

Even if someone in the same position had doubts and was not determined, as your grandson seems to be, it would not be right for people to try to influence him positively or negatively about what he wants. The decision about how each person dreams about his life is entirely his own affair.

Also, if he is forced to enter the legal profession, who can guarantee that it will be an easy path? In Greece, professional conditions are constantly changing, and the legal profession requires further difficult study if one decides to pursue it outside of his or her own country. Therefore, if someone does not really love his profession, and he only sees it as a means of livelihood, he is likely to be disappointed, to give up, or to compromise and choose something that does not suit him and then makes him unhappy.

But if he really loves his job, he is not afraid to face the difficulties, the obstacles, or the hard work. He can face even these with a positive attitude, as opportunities for growth, as lessons that will lead him closer to achieving his goals.

Personally, I admire your grandson, for this young man who is about to head out, to move away from everything that he knows, and to make a fresh start away from his base of support, his family, his friends, to chase his dream. He even sacrifices the effort he went through to go to university, which is not at all easy in Greece. This means that he really wants to become a dancer, and if he wants it enough and luck and talent are on his side, he will do it and he will succeed.

As to whether or not it’s suitable for a man, I disagree with you. Everyone is a match for what makes him happy, fills his soul, and makes him dream struggle to achieve.