Should She Push Herself...?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by JsR, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. JsR, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011

    JsR macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2010
    My sister is 15 and is looking at options for the future as they have career events at school. She says eventually she just wants to be a house wife and marry someone rich which I think is ridiculous.

    At the dinner table last night, myself and my Mum got into a heated discussion as I said that my parents should be encouraging her to go to University and purse a career as she can not expect to just marry someone rich. Although my family are really close - they never pushed me to go to University, it was more sort of "We will support to with what you decide" but I tried to explain to my sister that jobs are not as easy to gain anymore because of the current economic climate and the competition is getting harder and that she should try and stand out from the crowd. I myself went to University, finished my Degree and I am now doing my Master's in Finance as well as working for HSBC and I'm a day trader in the stock markets, and I am the first out of the 4 children to go to University. My dream is to go into Investment Banking/Stockbroking when I graduate next January.

    What annoys me is that they are paying just short of £20,000 a year to send her to private school where it is expected you go to University...and they are not pushing her at all. I don't mean as in saying she must do Medicine or Law or something, but just generally. I tried to explain that if she didn't know what to do and did a degree in something she enjoyed, then she would have something to fall back on and she would have options. She seems to think I have to easy as I am clever and she doesn't think she will be able to cope.

    Am I wrong in thinking she should want more for her life, or am I just being selfish? My Mum always brings out the card that "Not everyone wants a £500k a year job like you do" but I tried to explain that it wasn't to do with money, it was about your own potential. I was told at 16 that I wasn't clever enough to do A-Levels and I just worked harder than ever, but I think she should want to make a name for herself or to at least have ambitions and dreams to work towards.

    It's weird as well because my Mum is a doctor and my Dad is a director of a national chemical company so they have pretty good jobs by todays standard. Is there anything I can do to make her realise she shouldn't just waste everything, or do I need to let her realise on her own? I know University isn't for everyone and I know people have been very successful who have not been to University.

    *Sorry for the rant by the way, I'm just really annoyed!*
  2. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Ah, someone from Newcastle. I just finished my application to Northumbria! :D

    Anyways, it seems like you are setting the bar of what YOU consider successful onto her. Not everybody wants to, or needs to, go to University and become a professional or anything of that nature. Most people, I would say, aren't cut out for that kind of life.

    However, I agree that your parents SHOULD be pushing her to go to university. Not on the expectation that,"We are paying $$$ for your current education!", but because they want her to be successful. To be successful, you need a backup plan. Having a degree is something you can fall back on in case something doesn't work out the way you thought. If you don't have a college degree and something doesn't work out the way you thought, you are much more screwed over than someone that does.

    Push her to go, talk to your parents alone and have them push her to go, but don't force her to go. She is going to want to go, not feel like shes being forced to go,"Because we are paying out the ass for you to go to your private school."
  3. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Yeah, at 15 the OPs parents don't need to make her mad at them by pushing her to o to University. That is still several years off, and she will probably change her mind before then.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It's no use for her to go into university if she has no motivation. Pushing her doesn't motivate her, it's more like the vice versa. Instead of pushing her to go into university, have you asked are there any jobs that she would like? Remember that not everyone wants a job where you just sit in front of the computer. Maybe she likes to use her hands instead.
  6. snberk103, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011

    snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Support her in whatever she decides. You are her older brother/sister, not an authority figure, and she needs you to be there for her if/when things don't work out. She has enough people pushing her (maybe not your parents, but school counsellors and teachers, friends, etc). If you push too hard, then she may decide to cut you out of her life.

    Give your parents some credit, they may know her better than you think. This could just be a rebellious phase, eh?
  7. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    OP, you should be commended for caring about your sister this much. :)

    If you want to help her, I'd suggest helping her find her joie de vivre/raison d'etre. Of course at this age it could be 1) surfing the web, 2) texting, or 3) tv, but I think you could be surprised. If you find help her find her passion, she will most likely work towards it, and you can encourage this rather than alarm.

    Your parents may be giving her a great education, but that doesn't mean she must go to a university. I realize that this is often felt to be the "correct" path in life, and as someone who's been in school for a while himself, I can say affirmatively that this isn't always the case. The time, expense, and income sacrifice of going to school isn't really worthwhile if you don't like school or if the thing you'd like to do doesn't really require a professional education. That time can be better spent advancing in that field.

    I'm just pointing this out so you don't feel that your sister is a failure if she doesn't go to college. There are many types of success and it's up to your sister to figure out which one she wants for herself.
  8. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    You need to think on her level if you want to motivate her. Here is reasoning that may motivate her. The majority of the people with college degrees are of higher socioeconomic status and have a higher income. People rarely marry opposites. If she want's to marry a rich guy, that's great. But if she has just a high school diploma, they may not want to marry her. If she wants to be attractive in the job and dating market, she needs a degree. Furthermore, if she goes to college, she will have the opportunity to meet a rich guy, experience the world, get a whiff of freedom and have some fun. Her friends are ALL going to go to college and what is she going to do? Sit at home all day and watch TV?

    While there are always exceptions, I rarely date people with less than a Master's degree. It has nothing to do with shallowness, SES or income; it is about being able to relate to someone on a similar level; and a huge portion of my life and what I value is academics. Because I am the product of academics and the world of so called "liberal arts", I am an extremely eccentric person and without having gone through the experience of college, people cannot understand where I am coming from and what has shaped my beliefs and caused me to operate in the manner in which I do. Mind you, there are plenty of smart people without college and plenty of idiots with, so I said rarely because it is not always.

    Finally, she is 15 which I assume is a sophomore. She is thinking about kissing boys, going to prom, being in the cool social crowd, a new pink cellphone and whatever else girls of that age do. Long term planning practically does not exist at that age and people are generally most impulsive around then. She still has about 2 years until she applies to colleges and she will likely mature greatly in that time as girls mature earlier and quicker than men.

    If she has no drive whatsoever, it is a waste of money for her to go to college. I wouldn't count her in or out; it is too early to tell. If you give her too much crap though, people of that age will frequently push for the opposite just to spite you. Finally, intelligence has no direct correlation IMO with success in college. Your level of dedication is far more important and you are only going to get out what you put in. In conclusion, don't worry and don't push too hard. Generally speaking, people WANT to go to college and so sooner or later, she should change.
  9. JsR thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks for the replies everyone. TSE - private message me - I'm at Newcastle Business School which is part of Northumbria :)

    I don't want to force her to do something she doesn't like/want, I'm just worried that she will think its acceptable to be able to rely on my parents for the rest of her life and I don't want that. Ideally she wants to live a caviar lifestyle on kit kat wages (and she is also in high hopes that I am going to give her a job or just provide her with money/items when I'm trading full time, she has already told me she wants me to buy her a Range Rover for her 21st, whether that was a joke or not, she seemed deadly serious:eek:)

    I just want her to see what options she has and that she can be what she wants if she works towards it. She is my sister and I love her to the end of the world, and I know (and I can say this as I know she isn't reading this ha) that if she did decide to just live at home and do nothing, I'd financially support her before anything else- but I'd never tell her this so she doesn't see it as an easy life.

    I guess I just wish my parents had pushed me that little harder at school. She lives a life now where she walks around in designer clothes, hangs around with footballers children and gets driven in flash cars and that's how she see's the world. I feel that University would open her eyes and see how people start their life off and how she would have to slum it for awhile. I had that lifestyle at 15 when I went to the same school and frankly, it's horrible. The education is first class but the lifestyle and expectations are horrendous.

    Also I am aware that not everyone goes to University and it isn't an automatic path into a good job, I just don't want her to regret not going, like my brothers did. Thankfully we are very close as we are sisters and can do all the girly things together and bond, but she doesn't take this seriously. And I know she is only 15 - but the school she is at - they all take the exams a year early so start applying and looking for Universities a year early as well.

    Baaah I think I'm stressing myself :(
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    It could be teenage rebellion. Or maybe she'd be happier becoming a plumber or something.
  11. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    She's still very young.
    At 15 I had no idea what I wanted to. Aced college and university (3 years ago) and to date still haven't landed a "real" job. But I'm doing just perfectly self employed.

    Point being you can have all the brain and street smarts in the world and never get a good job. You can meticulously plan everything and have it fall apart. You can be a filthy trillionaire without college or university.

    She'll eventually find out she needs to etch out her own career. You can't force her into anything, just tell her that shizz gets serious once you've flown the nest.
  12. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I think she just hasn't realized the extent fully but she probably will later. She still has time to change her mind. If she doesn't have the will/desire to do something, then there really is no point. Hopefully she'll do whatever makes her happy.
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Tell her she's more likely to meet a rich man at University than if she doesn't go. She can shack up with a nice business student (is there such a thing?) and achieve her goal, and leave with a nice backup plan, too.
  14. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    As others have pointed out, she's only 15 years old. Heck, 20-somethings make some pretty outrageous statements of their intentions and never follow through on them. At present, yes, Mom and Dad should be encouraging her to do her best in school. Why wouldn't a parent do that?
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    You know what? If I were the parents, I'd start taking away all the stuff she's got now and make her work for everything, so she'd have an understanding of how hard it is to make a living. It sounds like she's having everything handed to her, and she lives in a household where both parents make pretty good money. Nothing wrong with the latter, but the whole environment doesn't sound conducive to helping her understand what the real world is like.

    And don't tell me I'm being harsh -- Warren Buffett did the same thing with his kids. He made them work menial jobs for their spending money. Nothing like it to remove the rose-colored glasses from your eyes.
  16. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Well......I know I would love to marry rich and be a house-husband haha

    As my older (in 60's) co-workers once is just as easy to love someone who is rich as someone who is not, so marry rich if you can lol
  17. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    I think she should. You can't depend on anything, you have to be proactive and try to make a life for yourself.

    I think good points have been brought up. She is more likely to meet a guy, especially a successful guy, if she does go to University.

    However, she is only 15. Chances are she may change her mind and make the decision herself within the next few years to go to University.

    The most important thing is that she knows she has your and your family's support in whatever she does decide, but I think it is important to explain to her the pros of pursuing higher education and the cons of..not.

    You seem like a great big sister, she's lucky to have one like you.
  18. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I'm 22 (almost 23). My father is a lawyer, my mom does office management. I went to an expensive private school, didn't bother getting good grades, didn't really care much, my parents never pushed me, etc. It took me some time, but I have my ****** together now, and am doing well in school, possibly going for med school... not quite sure yet.

    my point is, it's not just about pushing one self right now, but also the environment you're raised in. My parents didn't push me, but eventually I learned to push myself. And because I learned to push myself, instead of an external force pushing me, I feel like it's more ... legitimate. I'm happy pushing myself, as opposed to other people who push themselves to stress out over failing because they don't want to disappoint so and so.

    P.S. Having said that, I also have the philosophy that this is America, there's always another chance. I'm aware that the British school system is different, adjust my advice accordingly ;)
  19. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    As has already been stated she's still young and will probably be changing her mind several more times.

    Instead of a 4yr university maybe she will want to just get a 2yr degree from a community college in a technical/medical/other field. When I was in HS we could enroll in a program called Running Start. HS students could take community college classes as a replacement. It counted as HS and college credit. If you have a program similar to that she might be interested when she gets to her senior year.
  20. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    My daughter is much younger than 15, but she already knows what she wants to be...a widow. "Been talking to Mom again, Pumpkin?":p

    Anyhow, she is a bit young, but wanting to be a trophy wife? I hope she has more ambition as she matures.
  21. SlovakApple macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    In the heart of Europe
    That's exactly wha I thought too. It's fine to have a partner who can cover all your life expenses with his/her income alone, but relationships built entirely on money do not work out in the long run.
  22. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I can't stop laughing to this.
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I think her level of schooling wouldn't affect her chances of dating a rich guy, since many guys are happy to date someone they believe is dumber than himself. However, an Arts degree may increase her chances a bit, just so that he can tell his friends that he didn't just marry her for her looks. ;)

    And with regards to uni, she'll likely take a good look at herself, and do a lot of self-assessment when it's time, and her group of friends are all in the same situation. There's no way it's cool to be the one girl who isn't in a position to even consider uni. In fact, it'd be downright embarrassing for some because they think that's where they're supposed to go! Don't worry about her. By next year, she'll be over-concerned about her university choice. ;)

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