Don’t tell me what to do

Senior remains firm in career choice

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Photo by Cameron Murry

Story by Cameron Murry, staff writer

“You’re cheating yourself.”

“You’re too smart to just be a nurse.”

“You could do better.”

I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I listen to these words come from acquaintances and past teachers.

They think their words are being helpful, but they’re doing more harm than good. I appreciate their confidence in my abilities and concern for my future, but it’s my life.

My good grades and high testing scores are something I have worked hard and struggled for. I don’t just squeeze by with barely-passing grades and bare-minimum test scores. I push myself past my limits and strive for greatness; I pour my heart and soul into my education.

I have been pressured to decide what I want to do with my life since middle school. Choosing an endorsement and career path in the sixth grade was something that put a lot of pressure on me. I knew I wanted to go into the medical field, but I was twelve. How can you ask a child what they plan on doing when they don’t even know how to drive a car yet?

When I finally decided to tell people that I wanted to be an RN (registered nurse) with a bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing, I didn’t receive the desired outcome. Instead of an overwhelming amount of support and celebration, I was told that I was cheating myself. That I’m too intelligent to settle for nursing. That I should be some kind of specialist and have a PhD.

Kids should be able to be kids, and they should be able to go through their childhood with as little stress as possible.”

— Cameron Murry

I don’t want to be a breadwinner. I don’t want to devote myself to another eight years of school. I want to have a family and get married. I want to be able to make money and be happy at the same time.

The way children are pressured to grow up is appalling. Let them play in the mud; kids shouldn’t have to start thinking about colleges in first grade.

If they do decide on what they want to be when they grow up, they shouldn’t be shot down. Whether they want to be a store clerk or a professor at Harvard shouldn’t matter; let them dream.

I want to help make the world a better place and improve people’s lives on a personal level. If aspiring to be a nurse is what makes me happy, don’t try and push your beliefs on me. Instead, tell me you’re proud of me. Tell me you’re excited for me, that you can’t wait to see my progress and journey.

Accept my aspirations and let me live my life. Don’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t be. If I’ve obviously thought about my career and life goals, then don’t bother with trying to change my mind. Suggestions are welcome, but demands aren’t.