I am going into my junior year of high school, and this past year I auditioned for and was accepted at the local performing-arts school. This has been a long-term goal of mine and I feel so great that all my work has paid off.
However, my parents have decided against my going. It is a boarding school and definitely not a traditional high school, as the students take fine-arts classes in the evenings after their regular courses in the mornings. My parents want me in the house for two more years before I go to college and want me to have regular schooling.
I am so frustrated with them! We fight all the time now and I am losing the desire to do the things I used to -- just because I feel so depressed about losing this opportunity.
Should my parents have final say about this fine-arts school? They didn't put in the practice hours or make the audition, I did!
You didn't feed, clothe and shelter yourself, or rock yourself back to sleep at 2 a.m., or teach yourself right and wrong, or, despite your obvious talent, give birth to yourself, read to yourself or change your own diapers. Your parents did all that. Which means they should indeed have final say on secondary schooling.
Whether that guarantees they'll "get" you, or put your needs before their own, or make the best decision, or ultimately earn your trust in their judgment, is slightly more problematic. But even exploring these four points till my tendinitis flares up will bring us nowhere, except to the beginning: This is your parents' decision to make.
However, it's when we're powerless that we get our greatest chance to show strength. No matter how little say you have in your schooling -- or romances or finances or anything else life chucks out on a whim -- you always have complete say in how you handle the news.
You can't go to that school. Okay. Now deal with it. By:
* Knowing when to concede defeat. They made their choice, issue closed. Stop reopening it.
* Considering they might have a point. Moping around and picking fights is not the behavior of someone mature, and someone who's not mature isn't the best candidate for a high-intensity boarding school. Accept that it's hard to know what's best; there's a reason for guardians.
* Getting help if you feel hopeless.
* Planning your next move. If this school was the only way you could envision a life in the arts, then your vision needed broadening anyway, whether you attended or not.
To include, say, college. In two years, you can sing/dance/play yourself goofy. But to do that, you'll need to have started work on a pile of highly specialized applications to a select pile of schools (and for financial aid, just in case) -- in less than one year. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start researching those schools.
And not that this should be your primary or even subordinate motivation, but replacing your sulky defiance with some poise and determination right now might impress your parents as well.
In the meantime, use these two years to improve your candidacy (and channel rage) by finding other ways to get really, really good at what you love to do.
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