ASK HR:I want out of my study course. Will my parents support me?

Thursday August 02 2018

I don’t want to remain stuck in something I am no longer upbeat about, but I also don’t want to hurt my parents. What should I do? PHOTO | FILE


Q. After high school three years ago, my parents sent me to a prestigious college abroad to study Economics. I agreed to study the course because I hadn't made mind up about what I wanted to do in life. Two years into my course, my enthusiasm for economics has petered out, while my interest in performing arts has blossomed. I have even applied for an inter-school transfer, which was recently approved. I am, however, yet to tell my parents about my change of heart fearing that they might disapprove my decision. I don’t want to remain stuck in something I am no longer upbeat about, but I also don’t want to hurt my parents. What should I do?

It is likely that your parents have invested in your schooling with your welfare in mind. If they are convinced that by pursuing performing arts you would verily succeed, they might be prepared to support your ambitions.

Whatever decision you make, be forthright with your parents before changing careers not least because, regardless of the course you take, you will still expect them to fund your education. As you pick the moment to broach the subject with them however, it may be worth pondering over a few questions.

Would it be prudent to abandon your economics course at this late stage? Could you complete your current course and then take up the next?

Are your sentiments informed by your growing boredom with economics or the budding fascination with performing arts? In which ways do you consider that you are best suited for performing arts?

Personal interests change. What if, in a year or so, you wake to find yourself sorely apathetic towards performing arts and desperately besotted with an entirely different career field?


Every profession has its share of both profit and pain, neither of which should be the sole basis of making a career choice. Consider not only what but, more importantly, why you are studying a subject.

Beyond school, what is your career objective? Which career would best help you make the mark that you desire to leave in the world? Consider your interest, ability and the extent to which you are prepared to sacrifice in order to succeed. In addition, speak to a professional in the field of your career interest in order to obtain insights from practical experiences.

Career aspirations form with time and take shape in part through self-awareness, exposure to possibilities and availability of guidance.

Have you considered the services of a career coach? Focus on identifying the right career, aware that your parents’ primary concern may not be economics but your success.

Once you are certain that your interest in performing arts is the beckoning of your destiny and not a fleeting distraction, speak to your parents.