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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Parents Are Forcing Me to Study Law

Dear Stavroula,

I am 18 years old and this year I passed the Greek national exams. My dream since I was a child was to study classical philology at the School of Philosophy, which I will definitely get into, because I write exceptionally well. My parents, however, insist that I declare Law as my major, because they believe that as a philologist I will not be able to find a job. But I really want to start my studies in Philology here and later continue at a good university abroad, like Oxford. Every time I talk to my parents about this we argue, they tell me that I will go to a school that is below my potential and they insist that I am making a choice that I will pay for my whole life. I know they may be right, but it is very difficult for me to give up and study something I do not like at all, just because I would make more money. Is it really that hard to find a job as a philologist? I would not at all mind leaving and working abroad.

Kyriaki

Dear Kyriaki,

Sometimes it is difficult for parents – and especially for Greek parents – to realize that their children are growing up and becoming adults. Some even continue to interfere frequently in the lives of their adult children until the day they die. However, even if their intentions are good and the love for their child is a given, it does not mean that their behavior should be accepted.

Therefore, from the moment you become an adult, it should be recognized that you have the right to decide for yourself on the important issues of your life, such as your studies and subsequent professional career. Of course, your parents will also tell you their opinion, if you ask for it, but you will be the one to make the final decision, since it is about your own life. Your parents have made their own choices, when at some point they were in your place.

But in order to be able to make a right decision, it is good to rely not only on emotion, but also on logic.

So you can do careful and systematic research on the job you dream of. To look, for example, for a chance to work as a philologist in Greece, in public and private schools, as a tutor at a learning center, but also as a freelancer. You can also research the chances you have as a philologist working abroad, and learn how easy or difficult it is to develop professionally if you want to do research at a University. Find out the earnings and the working conditions that you will deal with in each of these cases. You can turn to a career counselor for help. There are also many groups of philologists on social media that you could seek out and ask.

Then, after gathering all the information you are interested in, have a calm discussion with your parents and explain to them with fact-based arguments why it is important for you to study philology and how you plan to find a job in the future. Having found answers to everything that concerns you, it will be much easier to convince them that you have the maturity to make the right decision.

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