Back again answering your questions! I got an email from a reader addressing and very common issue. I wanted to share it here for those who may be dealing with the same problem. This reader, Morgan, is struggling with a parent who is opposed to her daughter declaring a psychology major. This mom has even gone so far as to say that she won't pay for school if Morgan chooses to major in Psychology and not Math. Unfortunately many parents, and people in general, operate under the misconception that one cannot achieve professional success with a degree in psychology, sociology or any of the social sciences. In my experience as an academic advisor I've helped a few students educate their parents on these matters. Some have been successful in helping their parents come to acknowledge the vast professional potential in studying the social sciences, others have not. In any case, I think that all students dealing with this issue should attempt to make their case to their pareents. I shared a fews tips with this reader via email on how to do this. I wanted to share here on the blog as well, in hopes to assist any other students out there struggling with the same problem. Hopefully it will be useful.
The Original Email
I'm currently a freshman at a community college and I plan on transferring to a university in two years, after I receive my Associate of Arts Degree. Anyway, I've always wanted to be a Psychology major, but my mom won't let me study it. She says there are no jobs in Psychology. She won't pay for my tuition if I am a Psychology major. She wants me to be a Math major, which I am good in. I wanted to minor in math, but she won't allow me. Please advise and give me some ways to convince her mind. Thanks :)
Keep up the great work and keep doing you!
Thanks so much for the email.. and for your question. Unfortunately what you are experiencing is not uncommon.
I don't know whether or not you've seen it, but I addressed this issue in a previous video. Click HERE to check it out. As a former psychology major myself I know first hand that many people erroneously assume that social science majors cannot be profitable especially given the nation's current economic condition. I see your mother's concern but I don't think it's fair for her to give you an ultimatum. I don't know that I'm positioned to tell you how to broach a discussion with your mother but I can give you a few suggestions of how I would handle the situation if it were me.
I would try my best to first be as calm as I could in approaching my mother to talk about this. Parents don't treat us like adults if we don't first act like adults. Try to stifle your instinctual urges to roll your eyes, yell, suck your teeth, pout, fold your arms, etc. I still have the same urges , so I'm not judging you. I'm just saying. :-) Tell your mother you'd like to talk to her about your future and set up a time where you both can get together and talk without interruption. The most important thing that you can do here is to be prepared. People who think that their are no jobs available for those who've studied Psychology are those who are ignorant of the countless opportunities that abound within the field. If you're passionate about Psychology , prepare at least three complete and full reasons why. Feel free to type up these reasons and hand them to your mother. Refer to them as you talk to her. These have got to be good. You've got to dig deeper than, I think Psychology is cool. Consider some possible careers that you'd like to pursue. And talk about why you're interest in them and how your degree in Psychology will help you get there. You could also take this opportunity to show her how your Psychology major and math minor makes sense by showing her existing professions that rely heavily on both skill sets. Examples that come to mind for me include, a secondary school math teacher, research analyst, marketing/advertising executive, etc. The possibilities are really endless.
Feel free to call upon actual people who hold these jobs. If you can get them to vouch for you personally then that is even better. Hopefully, putting in this work will show your mother how serious you are about your desire to study psychology and help her understand that there are many professional opportunities to those who attain social science degrees. Many of us have and are working toward very lucrative careers. I have a Bachelors and Master Degree in Psychology and I 'm doing well. I'm an officer at an Ivy League university and I am responsible for a program funded by a national grant of over 3 million dollars. This is not to toot my own horn. I'm blessed and I work very hard. I'm just trying to help you prove to your mother that many people with degrees in Psychology have wonderful careers. Personally, I'm not quite where I want to be professionally but I have a great passion for what I do and that passion motivates and drives me to work hard toward my goal of achieving the comfortable lifestyle that I'm aspiring toward. I'm well on my way and I know that you will be too.
I hope this helps and please let me know if you are okay with me answering your question in a YouTube video. If so I'd like to record as soon as possible.
As always your questions are welcome. Feel free to leave them below or send me an email at Tykeia@TheGlamNERDs.com. All the best to you.