Kids attempt to live up to high expectations of parents

Jami Bechard | Staff Writer

From elementary school to senior year, the same principles are enforced: academics come first, college is a must and finding a solid career is the ultimate goal, according to senior Sri Rajamouli. Rajamouli said that fulfilling her parents’ wishes means altering her chosen career paths.
“Ever since I was little, I was brainwashed into thinking I had to [be a doctor],” Rajamouli said. “My parents have always wanted to be doctors. My mom got into medical school, but then she didn’t have the money to pay for it. So, it’s been her lifelong dream to be a doctor. She wants me to fulfill her dream.”

Rajamouli’s dad is a research professor at the University of Cincinnati, and her mom is an engineer. Rajamouli said she has a lot to live up to, since her family expects her to become a doctor.

“At this point, I don’t really have a choice, so I might as well just go with it,” Rajamouli said. “I’ve accepted the fact that I’m going to have to [become a doctor]. I don’t see myself doing anything else [because I’ve been raised knowing I’m going to be a doctor].”

Rajamouli said that since she has had her career laid out for her since her childhood, academics have always been a top priority. Rajamouli said she has been encouraged to work hard now in order to lock in a solid career in the future.

“Ever since I was little, academics have been the [priority],” Rajamouli said. “[My parents have taught me], if you work hard now, then you’re only going to reap the benefits from then on. Hard work has definitely been emphasized since I was little.”

According to Rajamouli, the pressure from her parents has motivated her to work harder in school and in her other activities. She said she has learned to challenge herself and reach her goals from motivation and extra pressure from her parents.

“I push myself because [my parents] push me,” Rajamouli said. “[My parents] didn’t want me to take AP English because I wouldn’t need it. But, I like English, so I challenged myself to it. I feel like I push myself more because of them.”

But Rajamouli said her interests lie elsewhere then just in medicine; she also has an interest in the culinary arts as well as in theatre and dance. Rajamouli said she hopes to participate in the next school play and enjoy her last year of high school.

“It sounds kind of funny, but if I didn’t have to be a doctor, I’d go to culinary school,” Rajamouli said. “If I wasn’t pushed to do this, I’d probably consider it. I’d also do something along the lines [of theatre and dance], if I didn’t have to do medicine.”

Junior Amari Agee said she wants to take a different path than her parents as well. She said she hopes to be a teacher or major in Forensics Physiology. Agee’s dad is a research engineer at Procter and Gamble and her mom used to also be an engineer for Procter and Gamble, but now is a full-time homemaker.

“I’m trying to go for what my interests are,” Agee said. “[My parents] are letting me decide, but I know what they want me to do. They don’t say anything, but I know they’d be happy if I did what they did.”

But, Agee said her parents have always been pressuring her to do more and succeed. She said she tries her best, but her parents see more in her.

“As I’ve grown up [my parents] have held me to such high expectations that I feel like I’m not smart enough sometimes,” Agee said. “I’m taking AP Chemistry and all of these hard classes because they want me to. They think I’m a lot smarter than I really am and think that I can do a lot better all the time, then I know that I’m doing my best.”

According to Agee, the “subtle pressure” she gets from her parents can have positive and negative ramifications. Agee said she understands when she has reached her highest potential, yet her parents feel that she can do more.

“In a way, it’s good that they’re pushing me because I know what my best is,” Agee said. “But on the other hand, I know when I’m doing my best so, [they should] stop pushing me.”

Although academics are a big part of high school, extracurricular activities are also important to keep well balanced, according to Rajamouli. She said that her parents have pressured her academically to the point that she decided to quit tennis before her freshman year.

“My parents said, ‘Academics are definitely more important than sports,’” Rajamouli said. “‘[Colleges] aren’t going to care if you’re on varsity. If you don’t have a good GPA, [colleges] aren’t going to accept you.’ I stopped tennis because of academics. I definitely missed out on a lot of things [throughout high school].”

Agee is participating in National Honors Society, Student Government, lacrosse and recreational basketball. Agee said her parents are supportive.

“[My parents are] supportive of my athletics and my activities and, of  course, NHS and Student Government,” Agee said. “They think recreational basketball is a waste of time, but I want to do it just to have fun. They’re pretty much behind me with everything I do.”

Senior Amit Samba said he wants to become a physician and follow in the footsteps of his dad. He said that his ultimate goal is to be successful, and one of the most successful professions is a doctor. Samba said he realizes how important parent support is to a student. His parents have supported his decisions in his career path, and Samba said it has helped him succeed.

“Parent support is important because they’re the ones that actually bring you up from a child,” Samba said. “When you’re a child, you don’t listen to what your friends say, so it’s mostly your parents who have the biggest say in your life. So, if you have that from childhood, they’re going to bring that up to your teen years.”

Rajamouli said she realizes that her parents are only trying to help her and that in the long run, she will appreciate their dedication to her career choice.

“When I’m older, I’ll appreciate what they’re doing for me,” Rajamouli said. “A doctor is one of the top professions. They make so much money. They’re set for life, and there is prestige that comes with it. [In the future,] I’ll be so happy that they did this.”

Junior Sharmane Guo said she isn’t sure where she wants to go with her career, but her parents are supporting her along the way. Her dad is a professor at the University of Cincinnati, and her mom is a homemaker. Guo said her parents realize she should enjoy her career.

“[My parents tell me], ‘As long as you find something you have a joy in, as long as you can follow through and do it, then that’s what really matters,’” Guo said.

Agee said she realizes that not everyone has unlimited opportunities: it depends on your dedication and intelligence as to who will succeed.

“[You want to say], ‘You can do everything you want to do,’ but some people can and some people can’t,” Agee said. “Not everyone has the ability to do anything they want to do. Only if you have the determination and the patience to do well in academics, and take the time to study and get good grades, [then you can succeed].”

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