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Tyriqmill12's avatar

My parents are forcing me to go to college. How can I make them understand that I don't want to go?

Asked by Tyriqmill12 (13points) 2 months ago

Actually at first before I graduated high school I wanted to go to college. I applied and I got accepted to a good university. The problem is that my parents told me that they weren’t going to help me pay for college. They said that they think that I’m sheltered and spoiled. They said that I’m an adult now and I should work my way through college like other students. Even when I tell them that I don’t want to go to college they get mad and yell at me trying to force me to go. The problem is that while I was at the local library I started getting clients for my graphic designing freelance service. The library has free computers with all types of software and a recording studio. I’m cool with a lot of local music artist in my area. They pay me to make graphics for them and to make beats and record their music. One of my friends even let me borrow his camera so that I can charge artist money to record their music videos. I’m making pretty good money. Why are my parents still forcing me to go into debt by going to an expensive college? How can I tell them I don’t want to go? I don’t think it is worth the debt when I’m making good money now.

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24 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

You can start by letting them read this question and then let the conversation flow naturally.

janbb's avatar

If they’re making you pay for it on your own, they shouldn’t be forcing you to go. It is a real hardship to pay for a good school without incurring a lot of debt that could hamper you for years. if you don’t have a particular goal in mind, you may be right that college is not for you at this time. One possible compromise could be for you to suggest taking some courses at a community college for now while continuing with your graphics work. You might get a two year associates degree and then decide if you want to transfer to a 4 year school. This would be much cheaper than a good college. They might even have a graphics art program that would enhance your skills.

In any case, once you are 18, you are an adult and can make up your own mind. I assume you don’t want to upset them which is natural. Perhaps you could ask the college and your parents to let you defer your admission for a year and then decide.

However, unless your parents are very poor, I don’t think it’s reasonable with the great expense of college these days, to expect a student to carry the cost on their own.

RayaHope's avatar

I am a senior in high school and I can’t wait to go to college next year. But maybe if I was a graphic design freelance artsy type making good money maybe I’d have a different perspective. I can understand not wanting to go into debt but since you are an adult you can make up your own mind as to what you want to do. Your parents might not be to happy about that though but if they are not willing to help you out, they really have no say.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They can’t force you to pay for college.

Just don’t sign for payments . . . !

YARNLADY's avatar

“You are an adult now” you don’t have to convince them. First, find an apartment or room to share, and move out.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Your first adult task should be explaining to your parents the basic arithmetic of what working through college means in 2022. They clearly don’t get this if they think you can “work through it” I did 25 years ago and it was hard then. It’s impossible now unless you’re already making a salary that people go to college to obtain. If they are not helping and you can’t afford it then you don’t have to go. If you’re an adult they cannot force you. I don’t know what state you’re in but in many community college is free. There are some good media and graphic design programs. Learn a trade, get paid. Outside of a few key majors a four year college is just not economical anymore.

Zaku's avatar

First, I’d say you’re probably quite right that it is not worth going into debt to attend an expensive college. Especially if you don’t want to!

Tell them that as an intelligent young adult who was accepted to [fancy U name], you assess that it is absolutely not worth it to you to pay for that excessive tuition. And that, since you understand how devastating and unfair compound interest is, that you will in no circumstances go into debt to do so.

Tell them that if THEY want you to go to that school, then THEY would need to cover your tuition, because you will not choose to do so.

You could maybe also consider if there are other much less expensive educational plans you might want to undertake, perhaps part-time while earning money with your new business.

snowberry's avatar

There are also companies that will pay for your college tuition if you start working for them. If you think creatively you might be able to move out, go to school for free or low cost, and do your freelance stuff, but you would be very busy.

Kropotkin's avatar

Since you’re an adult (an admission your parents make), you don’t have to listen to them.

You do what’s best for you. You’re doing what you like and enjoy, and making money from it. That seems to me like you’re in a pretty good place.

The experience and expertise from doing what you enjoy and are motivated to do, is going to be vastly more beneficial than going to a college you don’t want to pay for or even attend.

“Why are my parents still forcing me to go into debt by going to an expensive college? ”

Because they’re trying to live vicariously through you. It’s what they would want to do for themselves.

LostInParadise's avatar

If they are not paying for it then they have no right to force you to go to college. If you are enough of an adult to pay for it then you are enough of an adult to choose not to go.

JLeslie's avatar

If your parents do ok financially, and can afford college for you, I think you should talk to them about splitting the cost, maybe you can strike a deal so you will be willing to try college and you can still do your graphic design and music. Seems like you have a perfect way to earn money for school. You haven’t said you hate school or that school is very hard for you.

Live on campus, make friends and connection that will help you the rest of your life. College life is usually a lot of fun for most people, and in the meantime you learn some useful things.

Take business courses, graphic design, history of art, and you can even take an elective class completely unrelated that you’re curious about.

It’s difficult to go to college later. Once you are working and fully responsible for paying rent, maybe married, kids, it’s very hard.

Business courses help you run your own business. The coursework includes Economics for both a personal level and for the country. Finance helps you understand money, interest, stock market, and investing. Statistics, well everyone is always quoting statistics. Accounting, you’ll be better at understanding what affects income and taxes.

If all of that sounds awful to you, then maybe you prefer just doing the art and more creative classes, that’s fine. Maybe a music, or history of music, and computer classes like website design.

JLeslie's avatar

You could start in a community college, with classes that most interested you, but it is very different than living on campus. You can always transfer later. I’d still try to work a compromise with your parents for them to pay tuition. Maybe you pay for books and rent if you are moving out.

Pandora's avatar

So you don’t want to go to college because you have to pay for it. I got it. It’s expensive and hard to make a living and go to school full time and pay for all your expenses.

So let me start that when you are under the age of 21 or maybe 23 now, banks will not give you loans for school without a co-signer. Years ago, I had to co-sign or better yet be the principal person responsible for my kid’s college debts. Both of them. So although my kids’ names were on both loans, I was the one who had to worry about the debt being paid off. So I don’t see how they plan for you to pay for it unless they mean for you to work and slowly pay off a few classes every semester at a local community college.

Or maybe get a grant. I think it’s still wise to get some college courses under your belt. Your parents can take out the loan and you can defer payments till you finish but warning the interest debt will increase more. Save money for the things you don’t want to take a loan for things like books. Community college is really less expensive and you can take some business courses to help navigate running your own business.

You can write a contract with your parents stating that you plan to take over the payments and pay them back for any payments they had to make until you were fully employed.
Let them know this is what you want to do and plan to take some business courses to help with the business.
If you are doing well, like actually making enough money to get an apartment of your own then I can see doing that. If you are making barely enough a month consistently to pay for your own care then it really is a pipe dream. I mean it can become something bigger, but your goal in life should be to be totally financially independent. College may help with that depending on what course of study you take.

raum's avatar

If your parents were helping you financially, they would have more of a say in your plans. But seeing as how they are not helping you financially, they really shouldn’t have a say in these decisions.

That said, you can easily take some courses at a community college for free or for very little. Depending on your location.

You shouldn’t go to college just because your parents are pushing you to. But you also shouldn’t just limit yourself because you think college is expensive. There are definitely resources out there.

Forever_Free's avatar

The can’t force you to do anything. This is your life. This is your future. You own it and the rewards and consequences of your choices.
Make smart choices.

Entropy's avatar

Until you make a formal business out of your little freelancing gig, you should not consider it a career. I would urge you to go to SCORE, a charity organization that offers free advice to help people set up businesses as entrepreneurs. They’ll direct you how to make a business plan, how to start thinking about your prospects, evaluate demand and such. If you start doing that, and show your parents a business plan… they will be impressed as hell.

But outside of that, I would say that you should go to college if AND ONLY IF you are planning to pursue a major that is in demand and pays well. The mistake these kids with unpayable college loans made is that they went to college for the sake of going to college. They didn’t have a plan. They went into a major based on it being easy or interesting, not whether it was going to make a good career. Not all majors make for good careers.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you have a PASSION for underwater basket weaving…fine, go be an underwater basket weaver. But it doesn’t sound like that’s you. Many people overvalue the ‘signalling’ effect of a college degree on your earnings. In the past, college degrees, even those unrelated to a particular job, would cause you to get better pay b/c employers saw them as meaning you were smart and motivated and organized. But nowadays, degrees are so common, that isn’t really much of a factor.

But if you want your parents to accept that you’re not going to college (they can’t force you BTW, you’re an adult at 18…though they can kick you out), then you have to show them that you have a VIABLE plan that doesn’t involve college. Show them that you aren’t just coasting.

And I’m sorry, but without details, I’m betting the money you’re making ‘freelancing’ isn’t as good as you think. You’re probably still having most of your needs met by your parents. Food, shelter, medical, utilities….is your freelancing really going to meet these costs? I’m betting not. I’ve seen alot of kids who don’t really understand how expensive the world is until mom and dad cut them off.

Work out a budget for what your monthly expenses would be if you moved out. What’s your car insurance cost? Gas? What about when your car needs maintenance? Clothes? What about stashing away something for savings?

If you want your parents to take your not-college plan seriously, you’d better be able to show them that you’ve got all that figured out. Do you?

JLeslie's avatar

I was going to community college part-time and thank goodness between my dad pushing me and dragging me to colleges to see the campus and the therapist I was seeing at the time helped me realize in 5 years if I didn’t have a degree I’d just be status quo, not going anywhere fast in my life, I finally transferred to a university. If my dad hadn’t pushed (which was upsetting to me at the time) I probably wouldn’t have a degree. I loved the school I attended, I’m really glad I have a college degree, and I have great friends from my time in school.

That’s my story, yours might be that you don’t need a degree to do well, that does happen of course, but university life is something you can’t know unless you experience it, and so I wonder how many people on this thread lived on campus and have degrees.

Huge difference for me, my parents did pay. I worked as a teenager and most of my time in college, so I paid for some of my spending money, but I didn’t have to pay for tuition and books. I agree if your parents don’t pay they can’t force you.

See if there are any scholarships available for you. I would try to steer clear of loans.
Are you a minority? Are you the first in your family to go to college? Maybe there are scholarships for graphic design?

Watch Shark Tank on TV, they always tell young people to go to college, even when the young entrepreneur is making good money.

SCORE is a good organization. That was mentioned by the jelly above. I’ll second the idea.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

The OP has not responded to any responses so like half of the drop ins we see, I doubt there is anyone reading this other than us.

raum's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Perhaps they are too overwhelmed to respond to everything, but are still reading our responses?

snowberry's avatar

@raum No. Last visit was Sept 30.

tyriqmill13's avatar

I got a new account. I lost the password to the old one. Anyway, I was trying to increase my profit by finding new artists to work with. I attempted to do this by finding artist online and sending direct messages to them advertising my services. I wasn’t receiving much of an increase doing this. Luckily, through one of the artists that I work with I found out about this studio in my town. The artists knew the owner and he got me in contact with him. I sent the owner a few messages via email, and he never got back to me. I decided to take the bus and I happened to catch him in person. At first, he didn’t seem too impressed until I showed him a few of the music videos that I recorded and edited. I also showed him songs that I made beats for and mixed and mastered. He decided to give me a part time job. I know that I’m not making the most money with this part time job, but I’m mostly doing it for the experience. I graduated from using that studio in the little library to using a real studio that real professionals use. I am also meeting a whole new circle of artist through the studio.
I took a bus to my local community college, and I found out that I do have some state scholarships. I found out that if I have full time status, I will have to pay around 2,000 dollars per semester if you factor my scholarships. My tuition per semester is at price where I can realistically pay it off.

raum's avatar

Rad! I’m excited for you! Lots of great things on the horizon. :)

janbb's avatar

@tyriqmill13 Sounds great! Lots of things coming together for you and you are taking your life in your own hands.

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