How do parents get the idea that their children were put in this world to fulfill the dreams of their parents? I believe that part of this comes from the fact that, shocking as it seems at times, parents actually want what's best for their children. Our parents, for the most part, do want us to be happy. I think, however, that this is problematic, because when our parents think of what's best for us, and how to make us happy, they base their assumptions on what makes them happy.

I think that my parents are materialistic. In fact, I think that most of my family members, though they might beg to differ, believe that the more a person owns or the more money they have, the better the person is. I think also, that my parents, because both are in debt, want desperately for me to be able to buy a big house, and a nice car, and have a high paying job so that I can go on vacations. They call it financial security, which I would like to have, but I believe what they really want is a status symbol. I think that for them, at least to an extent, they want to be able to say that they're child went to a good college, and "got somewhere in life."

Parents, like all people, have made mistakes. They seem to believe, for whatever reason, that children will learn from the mistakes of their parents. While it's not necessarily bad to think this way, parents need to keep in mind that for anyone to gain experience, they need to make THEIR OWN MISTAKES. I know for a fact that I have put myself in dangerous situations, and that I have to live with the consequences of my actions. I do not, however, think that if I tell my children about mistakes that I have made, that they won't make ones that are quite similar. Why? People need to learn what's best for them, not what was best for their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings.

In what way is it fair for a parent to insist that his or her teenager is immature for not being positive that college is the best choice? I think, that rather than being immature, the teen who is able to see that college isn't for everyone, and who is looking at other options, is in fact, quite mature. Doesn't maturity involve looking at things from as many angles as possible? I will be considered a senior in high school next year, because I will get the final 2 credits that I need for graduation in summer school, yet to me, the idea of college is daunting.

I've been made to feel as if college is the only way to be successful in life. I know that going to college is a good way to be successful in life, but I do not believe that it is the only way. Not everything requires college. Why should I not become a certified electrician, architect, carpenter, or mechanic through a free high school program if it seems to me that I would enjoy it? So what if I don't make $200,000 per year? I really don't want to own a house or even a really nice car. People who have known me for the past sixteen years should at this point be aware of the fact that for me, just being able to enjoy the work that I'm doing is enough for me. It doesn't have to be fun, or even very challenging. If I like what I do, other people should be satisfied. I will not end up rich, or even high middle class because I won't be a lawyer who works over seventy hours a week, and then has a heart attack at the age of 35.

I don't have any desire to come home from work every day in a bad mood, tired, and screaming at my children and spouse because I have a job that sucks. I don't really see how that's good for anyone. I'm not so desperate for money that I'm willing to sacrifice my mental, and possibly physical health to get it. I am aware that I will have to get a job, because I do not live under the illusion that someone will take care of me. I have every intention of taking care of myself.

In what way would it be fair for me to apply for scholarships, possibly taking them away from people who really need them, so that I can please my parents? I am truly sorry that I can't fulfill the dreams of my parents. I, however, see no way that I could possibly justify taking a place at a college or financial aid from someone who really needs it, when it wasn't anything that I really wanted in the first place. As a "typical" teenager, I am probably selfish, but what would be bad for me in my mind, would be to go to college, and do poorly, and possibly fail because I never wanted it at all. Am I really so bad for pursuing other options?