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How do I deal with people who criticize my college and career choices, when it's not constructive at all? And in fact, it makes me question myself even though I know my decision is firm.

#collegestudent #noise # #career-choice #college #nuclearmedicinetechnology #comparisons #medical #university

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Suddhasattwa’s Answer

Hi Kaela,
Very important question, and I hope it will help many others as you to battle this situation.
Infact I have been there where my dad wants me to study engineering but i always wanted to see the world and hence wanted to study ONLY Hotel Management degree and take a job on cruise lines and travel the world, see the unknown. In this battle I lost 2 years after my high school as he didnt fund my dream education - Hotel Management. But that's where few things helped to achieve my dream:


- Start viewing criticism as misguided caring. People grow up with the notion that if you care about someone, you worry about them. they can criticize their children's choices and it will force them to change. They don't have enough reasons behind it though. the only thing hurts is that they could could force their dream to their child! So stop mis-understanding them and do a reverse thing like explain more about your educational course, subjects, why you love to study it, what were your points behind taking that decision, refer some of the seniors who have graduated already and their bright career in that field, how much is the pay structure of that job and whats the future of the industry and how safe you are there in future. Write a script, revise it and do a storytelling - it will work 100%. Because you have to repeat the same when you apply for job, interviewers will also judge you or some may criticize you but you still have to STAND-UP and have your PLAN to convince them. So as charity begins at home, so why not sell your plan to your family first and take them in your confidence to have a smooth college life.

Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Suddho
Thank you comment icon Love the advice about misguided caring! It has a positive intent but may not be very helpful. Sarah Gentile (she/her/hers)
Thank you comment icon That's correct @Sarah Gentile.. misguided caring are old school practice and these days its doesn't work. TQ Suddhasattwa Das
Thank you comment icon Misguided caring is such a great way to put it. I actually had taken on that idea several years ago as a way to soothe others going through the same challenge. I am stealing that phrase. Well said. Gloria Ortiz
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Seema’s Answer

Once you have made a decision, go for it. Give people around you time. Time will provide them the answers to their questions or concerns. Also, who are these people anyways. Are they your real close family members? If so, they will soon accept it as they know that this is what makes you happy. If they are not close, you shouldn't even care, they never mattered and never will.
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Britni’s Answer

Hi there! Ultimately, it is your life and you should make your decisions by putting you first. Do what makes you happy and follow what you believe in. I agree with Seema above, that if the people closest to you are criticizing your choices, it may take time for them to realize that and hopefully they will side with you. Best of luck.
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Yunna’s Answer

The first thing is do is to ask "Why?" . Listen to those answers carefully, it might contain some very useful information or insights that you did not think about. Talk to a lot of people, gather as many opinions as you can. Then sit down and process this information as dispassionately as you can, carefully weighing the source of that information. For example, I would not put a lot of weight on an advice from a biologist about a carrier in business (professions are randomly picked for illustration purposes only). But I would listen to a CEO of a company.
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M. Cristina’s Answer

My assumption, based on your tags, is that you are interested in studying medicine with the long-term goal of being a nuclear medical technologist. Ergo, my answer will be based on this assumption and not, say, a theoretic decision you've made to join the circus or to start an illegal business. Obviously, that would have changed my answer quite a bit, but let's continue! Ultimately, you owe it to yourself to do whatever is best for you. In my experience, people generally don't need much of a reason to start criticizing another person's choices; human beings are largely resistant to change. There are a lot of reasons why someone may react negatively or critically to whatever your decisions may be. To name just a few examples:

1. They wouldn't make that choice, themselves, and can't see how anyone else could make a different decision than they would.
2. They are afraid for you. Often, your decisions mean going in a new direction or taking some sort of risk, which causes well-meaning loved ones to say whatever it takes to keep us "safe".
3. They have made the same/similar choices in the past, and it didn't work out for them.
4. They wanted you to take a specific career path, and they are having a difficult time accepting that what you want for yourself does not conform to what they want for you.

The list goes on, of course, but you get the idea. Most of the time, the criticism stems from either fear or a lack of understanding of your point of view (or a little of both). You mentioned that the feedback you are receiving is not constructive. Are your loved ones simply trying to talk you out of nuclear medicine, or are they presenting facts? My guess is the former. In that case, try to see where they are coming from; what is the real reason they keep telling you to give up? For instance, is the university you have your eye on in another part of the country, or in another country altogether? If so, their criticisms may be because they will miss you, they worry that you will grow apart from them, they know nothing about the area you'll be living in so they assume it's riddled with crime, etc. Whatever the root cause of their nagging, try to uncover it with them, and come up with a solution that will reduce their anxiety.

If this is not an option, you may have to be frank with them: This is your choice, you are not going to change your mind, and either they can continue arguing with you and cause strain on the relationship or they can support and trust that nuclear medicine is where your passion lies. If you end up giving up on your dream without even trying, chances are high that you will develop resentment toward them and start wondering about the life you "could have had". Nuclear medicine is a great career, and if that's what will make you happiest, don't let anyone else's opinion pump the brakes.
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Kimberly’s Answer

Hi Kaela,

First of all if your college and career path make you happy, then that is all that matters. If you feel that you are making the right and smart decision for yourself, then you need to trust that and continue to follow that path. If others are making you feel unsure about your decision, you need to ask yourself if those people matter to you in your life. If the answer is yes, then I would suggest sitting down and asking them why they are questioning your decisions. I think it is good to get their input if they are close to you, but it does not mean you have to follow their suggestions, but simply listen and take their thoughts into consideration for your future. If they truly care about you, then they should have your best interest in mind and want you to be happy and successful in life. I always say it is important to listen to your gut and trust your instincts. Keep in mind you can always change careers or jobs later on in life if you are unsure if this will be the forever career choice.
Good luck!
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Nadia’s Answer

Best advice is the one that we've asked for :)
People comment or give advice because of many different reasons. Sometimes they have their own complexes, they're disappointed with themselves or simply they care about you, but they don't know how to show it.
If those people are the ones that are important to you, try to sit and talk with them. Explain how you feel, what you value in your college. You can also allow them to use this time to ask questions - maybe their concerns are related to the lack of knowledge or they didn't have this space to ask you some important questions? If your question is related to your parents, remember that today's world is a bit different that it was when they were in college. For example, some time ago it was unbelievable to work remotely or be an influencer (and actually have an income from it :) ). If this is the issue, show them what you do, what classes you have or recognitions you have received. Boast, but also allow them to understand.
Of course, everything should be done with respect to your personal space and borders.
If it doesn't work, I'd recommend to learn how to finish this kind of conversations in an assertive way, such as "I really appreciate that you care about my future, but I have it under control. Let's speak about something else...". The other technique is more advanced and is based on asking "challenging questions". For example: "Mom, you're a lawyer. How would you feel if someone would force you to be a doctor, even if you really admire the work that doctors do?" "How do you think I feel when you put in question all my hard work?".
Remember: we all have the right to make mistakes and change our mind. At the end of the day, it's your life, your career
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Chris’s Answer

Not to go against my fellow answerers here but I would try your best to truly listen to some of their feedback. Ask questions to better understand what they're saying instead of simply shutting them down. Understand most of the time feedback is not coming from a negative place but rather a place of help.

There has been lots of advice people have offered me through my life I wish I would've been less defensive about and instead listened and then made my decision.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Kaela,

I have had your experience as well. I would tell you to stand firm. I certainly didn't initially. I wanted to be a writer of books and my parents didn't think that was a good job to have. Or to be clear, they told me that. What they really meant was that it was a competitive field and to reach the top, I was probably going to feel a lot of pain along the way. At least that was part of it. Another part of it was that they had never experienced someone in the arts as successful. I shifted my major to journalism and that started a cascade of failure that I did not recover from for a decade. You cannot chase another person's dream for you. It will often lead to heartache.

I don't say always because sometimes the voices of critique are from people who really know you. Those who really know you can support you and still challenge you. They may ask you why and point out how difficult it can be to get out of debt from some college degrees (such as medicine). Others challenge you to see how serious you are about a major or a job. It is often through those discussions that you will really know how strong you feel about your major. I have had friends who wanted to be doctors, but got queasy at the sight of blood. My questioning them about that direction was based on an assumption that I had made - that they wanted to be a general practitioner or a surgeon or some field where blood was involved. I would say that take criticism as an opportunity to educate those who work against you. You have the right to pursue your dreams. And if they still question you, that is their failing, not yours.

I want you to continue to believe in yourself in your dreams. During the darkest times in your life, you are only going to be able to count on yourself. Trust and believe in yourself. Be your own biggest fan.

Take care of yourself. All the best to you.
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Riley’s Answer

This is a problem that people in college have way too often. I'm not really sure what makes people think that they have a right to criticize every choice you make when you are young, but it is so rude! My advice for you would just be to let this negativity just roll off your back! Especially since it looks like you are going into nuclear medicine, if you can really handle this major then go for it and prove them all wrong. No one knows what is best for you more than yourself!
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