Let me tell you something about myself: I am the youngest of three children.
It’s important you know this because if you’re the youngest child like me, you’ll know exactly just how overprotective parents can be. So overprotective that sometimes it really does put a damper on things, and even causes standoffs between you and your parents.
I’m someone who is very opinionated, but unfortunately, being the youngest in the family means that my family doesn’t always see my perspective or my point of view without a confrontation or an argument about it.
It will come as no surprise, then, that when the time came for me to pick a university, my parents, especially my father, were extremely cautious. I was only 18 (oh to be young again!), and fresh out of high school. I’d never lived anywhere but home since I was born. It is safe to say that at that point in time, I was just a kid who hadn’t ever experienced life outside of the safe little bubble that was home and family.
I always knew what I wanted to do; I dreamed about being a writer. So, when I looked up universities, I kept this simple fact in mind. This is where the trouble first started. All my closest friends were studying in Dubai, so I automatically assumed that I would also go to Dubai for university. You know how they say you should never assume things? Yeah, they’re right. I was looking up universities that offered journalism in Dubai, and ecstatically, I made a list of all the institutions that offered it.
Never did I stop to think, even for a second, that maybe, my parents were not quite ready to let me fly far away.
I didn’t think that they might still see me as the youngest child, nor did I stop to think that they still worry about me like a baby. At that time, in my head, I was all grown up and mature, and I thought I could take care of myself (spoiler alert: I couldn’t). To me, finishing high school meant that I was automatically smart and oh so grown up, regardless of the fact that I had zero experience of anything.
When I very happily presented my parents with the list of universities, in true teenaged ignorant fashion, I was not prepared for what ensued. In my perfect little world, they were going to agree with whatever I said, help me decide on a university, and off I would go to pursue my life-long dream. We all know that things are never that simple, and more often than not, things don’t always turn out according to our plan.
My parents sat me down, a right Desi intervention.
I should’ve known then that this wasn’t going to go well. I sat down quite happily, and as my father began to speak, I started to get more and more upset. I couldn’t believe what he was saying, and I couldn’t believe they would crush my dreams like that. I know better now, and I know they only wanted to protect me; but at that time, I refused to even try to make sense of their decision, I was that angry.
I felt crushed.It taught me to never give up, to always keep pushing forward. Click To Tweet
I cried for days, refusing to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to get what I want. They told me they couldn’t let me go that far away from them by myself, and that I must search if Bahrain, the country that borders with Saudi Arabia, had any Journalism programs. If not, my father suggested I try Interior Design; he gave me the freedom to pick the university, which I eventually did.
When I officially started university, enrolled for B.A. in Interior Design, I was cautious but excited, and I looked forward to it. Fast forward two years in, I was terribly miserable; I hated it with every inch of my being, yet I refused to give up. I refused to ever give up because I felt too strong of a sense of responsibility towards my parents, especially my father.
He was spending so much on my education, and the values instilled in me wouldn’t allow me to give up and give in. It was difficult for me, yes, but it was also difficult for my entire family, who constantly worried about me and my health. As I grew up and matured, I understood my family’s worrying and their need to protect me; I understood their perspective, as they grew to understand mine.
A few months before graduation, I applied for The Tempest. When I was accepted, I sat my parents down and told them. I saw the pride in their eyes, and felt proud of myself; I followed my dream, and for the first time, they were right there beside me to support me.
The whole experience taught me to never give up, to always keep pushing forward, and that eventually, the naysayers will see your hard work and say yes.