Social Question

MilkyWay's avatar

How to handle this situation? Is it time?

Asked by MilkyWay (13157 points ) January 2nd, 2012

I’m having family problems. It’s my final year at school and it’s quite stressful enough as it is, without my parents only making it harder for me.
I have to apply to join a college in two weeks, and what I want to do at college is not something my parents will approve of. Quite lately they have been giving me religious lectures and how some stuff is forbidden and so on, and it’s really getting to me. I want to be an actor/filmwriter and want to study media and english literature at college, whilst they think that I should do accounting. Over here, college is free and my parents don’t have to pay anything, so it’s not like they’re paying for my education.
The stuff they say is really demotivating and puts me down.
Last year, my dad said I might as well forget getting good marks in my exams, as I had missed school due to an injury. I sat 3 and I got an A for 3.
They say that girls shouldn’t work, so you have no reason to go to University, and that you should get married early. They say that whatever I study shouldn’t be because I want to become something and that I take an interest in it, but because it will bring in better marriage proposals when the time comes. So, I’m feeling as if, what’s the point?
Shit. I was thinking, is it time that I leave home? I’ve got 6 months of school left but if I send in my college applications for the subjects I want and my parents find out, I know I’ll not be in a good state. Your advice?

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10 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Where is “over here”? If university is free, can you matriculate without declaring your course of study? Or start out with general liberal arts and then, when you are legally of age, switch to soothing that you love.

Can you manage financially and legally if you leave home? You are female, right? It sounds as though you are bucking the culture already by simply wanting more education?

If you emancipated yourself, would there be punitive cultural and family issues? it is hard to put myself inside another culture.

This is not very helpful, I know. Give us some more information. Maybe other flutters from other cultures may have more useful and practical suggestions.

MilkyWay's avatar

Well, I’m from the UK, and my father is of mixed race. My mother is from Pakistan not India and yes, there will be family issues if I left home, but that’s not what I’m worried about. It’s if I should and how. And college comes before University, so I don’t really want to waste 2–3 years of my life studying something I don’t want to :/

harple's avatar

Hi @MilkyWay So you’re currently studying for your GCSE’s? Aged 15/16?

Leaving home is a huge step, and not an easy one to make at that age. HOWEVER, you are living in a country where your desire to enter into further education and to choose a career path for yourself is considered your absolute right. So, there will be organisations (including the government) who would be willing to support you to do this.

Perhaps start with the Citizens Advice Bureau, and of course speak to someone you can trust at school (they presumably have a career’s advisor there?).

You need to be sure that you will be heard, and I know that’s difficult for a teenager in our society, but if you present yourself as eloquently as you do on here, and stick to the facts of the situation (as you state so well in your question above), and keep on repeating them over and over until you are heard.

You are obviously bright, so your school will be very keen for you to carry on in education and should be supportive.

There’s a confidential number for a careers advisor at the bottom of this government page and that may be a good place to start as they may be able to put you in touch with relevant organisations.

If you are not yet 16, however, you may not be able to leave home (without ending up in the care system) so be aware of that element.

Best of luck, feel free to PM me if I can help further.

Coloma's avatar

I can’t really add much to the answers already given, however, I will say this.
The sooner you learn that you should never, and I mean NEVER, compromise YOURSELF for others out of a sense of duty, obligation, tradition or guilt, the better off you will be.

You do have a serious task at hand, figuring out how to go about getting the ball in motion to fulfill your desires, but, regardless of your parents beliefs, it is your life and you MUST be true to yourself!

I wish you the best in achieving your own, independent goals and sometimes this means disappointing others. They will get over it, and if they don’t it is their loss.

I wish you all the best in launching your life your way! :-)

bongo's avatar

If you left home now you would have to either go into care as you are under 16 (might be up to the age of 18 actually) or if you went to the job centre to get benefits for housing and said you had left home they would be legally obliged to call your parents and ask why you were no longer allowed to stay at that address unless you were at risk of injury or death etc if you went home. If you are allowed to stay there, risk free, the government has no obligation to help you with housing unless you have a child under your care. Will you be taking AS/A Levels? have you spoken to teachers about which subjects you would get on with best. Or are you looking to do a different type of qualification? From my mates experiences with media and film, the best way to get jobs is though work experience anyway, I know my sister (journalism) had to work for years for free every spare moment she got while she was doing her GCSEs/A Levels/Degree. Pure Maths or Stats (or something along those lines which will be useful whatever career you go into if you can do it, not much fun but super useful), eng lang, media and AN other AS would surely make you and your parents happy. Maybe speak to them and find a compromise in AS level choice?

Edit: How are your language skills? Being able to speak another language would surely be good in your parents eyes, massively improves your employability in media but is seen as a very respected subject area?

wundayatta's avatar

If you leave home, where will you go?

I think you need to negotiate with your Father. Be clear about how important your course of study is to you and why it is important. Be open to listening to his opinions. In the end, however, it is your life, and while you do respect his opinion, you need to follow your own vision. You may be wrong, but you are prepared to live with that. You wish he would support you, however, when it comes down to it, you will follow this course with or without his support.

Assure him it will be all right. He lives in the UK now. Things are different from where he grew up. Women have their own careers and support themselves and are considered to be solid, upstanding citizens of the nation. You will still be religiously upstanding as well.

These are discussions that have been had between conservative fathers and progressive daughters for centuries. Some go better than others. What I am saying it is worth having the discussion rather than just making the decision unilaterally and suddenly disappearing.

Are there other people your father respects who might be able to speak on your behalf? People from school? Maybe (probably too much to hope) people from your religious institution? (I’m guessing you are of the Muslim faith).

Have the talk. Do it again and again. You will wear him down with your persistence. If he get angry, don’t get angry back. Always be calm and on point—what you want and why it is a good thing to want. Have faith. You will get further this way, and if you end up having to be on your own, he will at least know why. Just don’t do it in anger or for spite. Do it as a last resort. Let him know it is your last resort and that if you leave, it is because he is so inflexible and unable to see you as you are. He is treating you as a piece of property, not a human being. Is that what you are to him? I hope not. But many men from conservative faiths and cultures do seem to treat their daughters like that.

In your faith, when you get married, does your family pay the groom’s family, or do they pay your family?

The big issue there is probably honor. If you don’t do what he thinks you should, he’ll feel dishonored. I know in the subcontinent there are honor killings for women who dishonor their families. Do these things also happen in the UK? If this is a real possibility, I might spend a few more years under his thumb, doing what he says, and then, disappear. Preferably before a marriage arrangement has been made. During this time, I would be looking for organizations that could help me get out from under the ownership of such a conservative person.

MilkyWay's avatar

@bongo I’m not under 16, and yes, I will be taking my A levels. My language skills are good, and I can already speak Urdu other than english. I want to take French as well. Unfortunatley speaking to my parents is out of the question. When I have tried to do so in the past I have either been ignored or beaten. They’re just not open to anything.
@wundayatta My father is British. He was born and brought up here. And yes, they are muslims. I don’t know anything regarding marriage though.

jazmina88's avatar

You need to live your life as you wish, hold the fire until you get your freedom.

Believe in your vision. and stand true.

harple's avatar

This is a helpful site letting you know what you can do at different ages (including leaving home), and they would be great people to talk to to get advice on dealing with your situation…

MilkyWay's avatar

Thank you everyone. I’ll be in touch.

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