Her Story: Breaking the Traditional Career Choices Valued by Our Parents

Announcing to your parents that you would like to be a journalist in a Caribbean household is like asking for a death wish. After graduation, I began to explore different universities to figure out where my next steps would lead. My parents have always rammed it into my skull that they wanted me to be a lawyer, a doctor or a nurse, and anything outside of these choices means that you are a failure and that you don’t have a real career. It takes courage to follow your dreams. The outcome is not guaranteed; you can either fly or fall and not having the support of your family can make the journey to success more than troubling. I decided that I didn’t want to live my life thinking “What if?" as I pursued a dream that would have been my parents' instead of my own.

Transferring to UCF was a leap of faith, I had to fight off discouragement and doubts about whether I was making the right decision concerning my career. It takes courage to leave behind everything and everyone you know to chase a dream that you one day hope to make a reality. I remember seeing a post by someone that I knew where her family threw her a Knights-themed going away party because she was transferring to UCF as well, and I cried that night. For a moment, I began to wonder if it was worth going through all the pain to achieve a goal I wasn’t sure I would be able to reach. Packing my bags on the way to Orlando was pure sadness for me; I was leaving and not sure what the future would hold for my next steps in life. At the time, my ex had recently broken up with me, my parents were not in agreement with my decisions and were constantly harassing me to change my major, and the burden of financial stress was all too real. 

Yet once I got here, it made me realize that I made the best decision. I got an amazing job at UCF as a prospective student specialist, I met a group of individuals that made my fall semester worth experiencing, and even two roommates that I didn’t intend to grow a friendship with. Being here just felt so reassuring that I knew I was headed in the right direction.

The best part of the journey is not knowing where you’ll end up, who you’ll meet, what job you’ll end up with and even who you will end up falling in love with along the way. The curves, bumps and twists in life are what makes the route to success enjoyable. Although I have moments where I still second guess my choices about my major and even wonder if my parents were right about choosing a different career path, I know my life wouldn’t be the way it is today if I hadn't taken a risk and taken a chance on my dreams—and for that I would never change a thing. 

Fall semester is over, and my story is just beginning. Who knows where life may lead me on my educational journey? Come Spring ’20, I believe the leap will have been worth it. 

All images provided by the author.