Dealing with Parental Pressure in College

How to Handle Parental Pressure in College

Expectations that many parents put upon their children can take a toll on student’s performance in school, and even their mental state. If you are dealing with pressure from your parents and feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone, and there are things you can do to get your mind back on track (and keep your parents happy!).

Why Are They Like This!?

Sometimes parents are hard on us because they want to make sure they’ve raised us right. For them, that may mean guiding us through life until we’re 60 years old! Parents need assurance. They need to know that they’ve raised us well enough to make good decisions and that we have the tools needed to live a successful life. Remember that the majority of the time they only want the best for you!


What Can You Do?

As students we like to rely on our parents, because most of the time, they do know that’s best for us. While we are figuring it all out, we like assurances too, and that may mean getting confirmation from our parents before we make decisions. There is nothing wrong with that, but at some point, you have to trust yourself enough to know you don’t need to lean on them for everything. Are your parents good parents? Did they raise you to make good decisions? If the answer is yes, and if you trust them enough to ask for their opinions, you should know you can trust yourself. Don’t second guess or doubt yourself. Only you know what’s truly in your heart and what will be best for your future. Do What YOU Love Parents can have a strong influence on children, their self-worth, and ability to adjust to college. We all want to make our parents proud. That’s normal. Sometimes it’s hard to ignore what we think because we want to see our parents happy. But the thing is, our parents will be proud if they see that we are happy and doing what we love.

How to Talk to Your Parents

Before you angrily address your parents, remember that they have good intentions. Communication is key when it comes to dealing with something like this, so you have to understand their point of view, and communicate your experience as well. If your parents are hard on you for things like your GPA and grades, review the details. Is your GPA lower than it should be? Could you have studied harder for that test? If so, make a plan to be better and tell your parents about it.

If this is not the case and you are doing your best, then your best is all you can do. Talking with your parents about how you’re feeling will let them see how their actions are affecting you and hopefully they will want to help.

Whether it’s about grades, deciding what college you’re going to, or any other topic, be open and ready to listen to what your parents have to say and show that you are considering their perspectives. They might have some insights that you haven’t thought of before. But also explain why you have the preferences that you do.

If you and your parents work together, you can walk away with a better relationship and a clearer mind moving forward.

How to Minimize Pressure

One way to minimize pressure from your parents is to stay on top of all your college responsibilities, like filling out applications, researching schools and programs, studying, and doing the best you can overall. Show them that you are organized, self-motivated, and eager. When they see this, they will be less obligated to keep looking over your shoulder.

It is your college experience, so don’t let your parents dictate how you spend those next four years. This doesn’t mean never ask for help. Your parents are there as resources and you should go to them when you feel overwhelmed or not sure about something. Most of all, remember that the decisions being made are going to affect you and only you.

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