Wooff asks: I just completed the 12th grade (in my country it’s considered as college) and have to start applying for universities. And truth be told, I’m very lost on what I want to study. But that’s not why I’m writing. I’m writing because I want to go to a university abroad rather than stay in my country, but my parents, or well, my mom, is not supportive. Her reason being is due to financial reasons but the thing is, I said I would go if I got a scholarship. It’s not about money, which they have enough to support me with. It’s just more about the fact that she knows that I plan on settling abroad. I really have nowhere else to go or ask someone without getting a heavily biased opinion. I come from an army family, meaning we aren’t well off but neither are we poor. My dad left the army a few years ago, and works at a place with a decent salary, which would now put us in the upper middle class region. Ever since I’ve been young, I’ve wanted to go abroad. While I owe a lot to my country, I do not want to stay in it. At all. I get stared down by men if I do not wear a certain type of clothing meaning even a normal top (full sleeved) and full length pants. People use their influence/connections to get to higher ranks. You have to be a people pleaser to be successful (which I am not). I have to behave a certain way to please other people (which is very important to do), I cannot walk freely with my boyfriend hand in hand. I live in a third world country. I have no freedom, people only watch out for themselves. And I cannot survive here. I am by nature a very sensitive person. And I constantly feel the need to stop living in this country. I have been abroad and I love how everything feels so free there. I need to stay in traffic for hours on end where, if there wasn’t any traffic, I would be able to finish my journey in 20 minutes. I am not cut out to be one of those individuals who are willing to fight others to be more successful. I would rather have my work speak for itself. My mom keeps blackmailing me and saying “I raised you and now you want to leave me. A lot of people here are surviving. You can go abroad when we’re dead.” I would not have chosen to be born if I knew being in a family is such a give and take situation. I did not chose to be born here. I don’t want to survive anymore, I want to live. I want the basic right to clean air, if that’s not too much to ask for. If she had the best intentions in mind for me (which I doubt now), she would want me to have my best life. I suggested that they could leave with me but her reply is, what about the house we built? I told her she could rent but she said it’s not that easy. The reason I’d be staying is because I was forced. My older sister, who visited the US not long ago, wants to move too. She has to fight daily in this country for her basic rights. She spends 4 hours on the road just to get to her university where without the traffic, it would take under 30 minutes. The only place we are safe and feel well, is in our home. I think it’s my right to want a better life for me and my future family. I lived as a second class citizen my whole life in this country. Reading in my country’s education system rather than international education system. Only because I was told that it was too expensive and they could not afford (my mom told me this). Yet, my dad to this day says he could have afforded it. But my mom says my dad told her to say it was too expensive when it only would have costed them an extra maybe 20 dollars? I felt so small when reading in this curriculum. I regretted reading in this curriculum when I was in it, and also as I’ve graduated. And okay, I’ll take the blame as a 14 year old who was pressured to study in this curriculum by my mom. It was my decision and at the end of the day, I let her keep me here. I should have gone. I could not get a hard earned degree, and rather cheated my way through college in this curriculum. But now that the decision has come to choose my universities, so I don’t want to blame her or myself. I want to go abroad. Yes, I’ll prepare for both here and abroad, but if I could get a decent scholarship, I’d leave. I don’t want to study for admissions in the universities in my country as well, but I would use it as a backup. But I’m not getting any support to try for abroad, aside from my sister. My dad hinted that I could try. Maybe the best course of action would be to try for both, while focusing mainly on abroad. I don’t want to take a gap year but maybe that would be the best? What do you think Shirelle? Am I being selfish? Am I in the wrong? What should I do? Conform again or live my life? I’m sorry if I sound hateful, but I’ve been living with this anger since high school, and even now, it hasn’t gone away completely. Would really appreciate an unbiased opinion.
Dear Wooff – So before I answer you, Handsome said “Tell her to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s song ‘Independence Day.’ That’s exactly where she’s at. At least she won’t feel so alone.” And I never disagree with Handsome… on music. (On what he feeds me, and where he lets me ... read more