Even if they’re not technically paying for your degree, the ones you love might still have a grumble about it. I was the first person on my Grandma’s side of the family to go to uni. She was thrilled to bits at the thought of lording my shiny qualifications over the folks at her swish retirement home.
Oh, she was filled with glee – right up until I told her what I was actually studying. The controversial subject? Creative Design with Marketing, horror of horrors. Admittedly she wasn’t quite so concerned about the ‘with’. And at a ‘university’ that had been nothing more than a poxy ‘university college’ just 12 scant months prior.
I should point out that my Grandmama has always been the ‘posh’ one in our bunch. She has standards that I just can’t be bothered to try and match on a daily basis. I’ve never seen her without her elegantly curled hairstyle and the contents of an entire display case at H Samuel.
At my guilty admission, her eyes narrowed. Her hand flew up to clutch the array of pearls draped across her bosom. The voice that she spoke with next was like a Faberge egg to the heart.
“I’m so disappointed in you.”
In grandmother street parlance, that’s roughly on a level with “You’re dead to me, kiddo, and I’m giving your inheritance to that lazy-ass cousin of yours who does shit all.”
So she was upset. Why couldn’t I study a ‘proper’ degree subject, like accountancy? Why wasn’t I fulfilling her childhood dream of having a respected solicitor for a granddaughter rather than a happy and motivated young woman? Where were my god damn morals?
Every term and every year, she casually enquired as to whether I’d switched courses yet. By the end of my degree she wasn’t quite as miffed, but I think she considered a professionally-shot photo of me in a gown and cap better than nothing.
Now, I don’t spend my working day swishing around in tailored pinstripes. I’m not a talc-dusted barrister carrying a handbag that’s worth more than my flat deposit. But, very importantly to my beloved Grandma, I do live and work in London. She crows about that shit all the time.
You might well be in a position where the people you love do not love what you’ve chosen to do with your life. My advice is to tell them lovingly where to shove it.