What to do if your parents disagree with your study choice

career choice university career advice

Being in disagreement with your family can be stressful, especially if it’s concerning your future. Sometimes parents don’t agree with what you’d like to major in at university and this can be frustrating. So if you find yourself in this predicament, here are a few steps we suggest you take.

They want what’s best for you

You may feel like they’re being unreasonable but your parents really want the best for you. They want you to be able to get employment in future and to live a comfortable life. Often, their disapproval of a certain course or major is based on their own fear, so it’s important to understand where they’re coming from and always be respectful and patient with them.


Communicate as clearly as you can about your reasons for wanting to study the specific course as well as how it’s going to benefit you. You want to make them understand that you know that they care about you and that you value their support even though they may not fully agree with what you’d like to do.

Show them the research

Parents want to see that you’re as invested in your own future as they are, so it’s good to take the initiative to do some research on the course as well as all the careers in that field. Also show them how well you’ve performed in high school subjects related to it, if possible, so that they can see that you’re aware of your strengths and capabilities. Another good idea is to start doing research on available bursaries and scholarships in the field well in advance so that you’re aware of your options.

Find a compromise

Whether we like it or not, our parents are also involved in our tertiary studies since they have to support us financially and emotionally. So it’s important to work towards reaching an understanding with them, which could mean negotiating a gap year to prove that you’re serious about the career path. Whatever happens, it’s important to remember that this is your future and while your family does play an important role, you can’t wake up to go to a job you hate just to keep them happy.

Reaching an agreement with your parents when it comes to your study choice can be a bit of a challenge, but if you’re certain of what you want to do and approach them with the right attitude, it can be done.

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