I checked into the Empire Hotel in Manhattan today, which was the filming location for much of Season 2 of Gossip Girl. Why I bring that up is because I am rewatching Gossip Girl for the 1400th time (I’m obsessed) but in Season 2, Jenny, one of the main characters, rebels against her strict father who doesn’t fully support her dreams. In the show, you watch a young girl go through finding herself and losing herself in a period of time. Eventually, she realizes that rebelling against her family will never leave her content and happy. Many young people know the feeling of their family not supporting their dreams: actress, singer, writer, doctor…you’re one lucky person if everyone in your life supports what you want to do.
When I first started my blog, my parents didn’t support it at all. I have very “normal”, working parents who did what they could to support me when I was younger. I was never given money, a car, or support when I started this journey because for the most part my parents didn’t have the ability to give me any of the above, and they weren’t exactly prepared to give feedback to a daughter who works in the entertainment industry. I love my parents to death! but I do wish that they had been more optimistic when I was younger because it would’ve been easier for me to ask them questions if I felt more comfortable talking to them.
As a parent, it’s hard to imagine your children making mistakes or doing anything out of the ordinary that might not guarantee them an ongoing income for their entire life. Anyone truly under the age of 27 is experimenting, learning about themselves, and making mistakes along the way. If you have plans for your life that are different from the plans your family have for you, the first step is sitting down and talking with your family. You could create a powerpoint presentation with some ideas (I did this to try and convince my parents to believe in me!) with a rough plan of where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. There is no guarentee that your parents will jump on board immediately, but starting the conversation is the most practical first step.
On the topic of college, if you’re convinced you don’t want to go to college OR want to take time off before going to college, I highly suggest against hiding this from your parents. When I realized I didn’t want to go to college to pursue my career, I was very vocal with my parents. They knew that I was making money off of my blog, and they knew that I didn’t do well with traditional schooling. I was really nervous and intimidated to start talking about what I’d do if I decided not to go to college because every young person is expected to graduate high school and go to college. If that’s the right path for you, then that’s great! It might not be, though.When I applied to NYU and got rejected, I told my parents that I thought I could truly pull this career off and that they needed to believe in me. They didn’t at all, and still hesitate sometimes now when I ask them if they’re glad they didn’t force me to go to college, but I believe deeply in myself and the power that teens have. Regardless of your decision, no one should ever put you down or make you feel less than you are. Be yourself, be honest from the minute you start having certain feelings, and realize that your parents just want the best for you. Once you prove yourself a little bit, your parents will be as supportive as they can be, I promise!