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I chose to study medicine; but the main reason for this choice are my parents, as they don’t believe that I can be successful in other fields.

But even getting into medical school requires me to study so hard for the entrance exam for more than a year, every day for like 10 hours or more including the weekends.

I started studying last year and continued throughout the summer and now I feel so unmotivated, and there is still 7 months left to get ready for the examm, which is taken by 200,000 people.

If I don’t pass the exam? "Well, I should study for the next year and take the exam again" (it is only once a year and makes my future)

My mom puts so much pressure on me to study, and when I get a bad grade she complains about it, instead of looking for the reason and we get into a fight most of the times, and she makes me cry.

I literally start shaking and I'm already stressed enough. I think she shouldn’t control me that much; as a 17 year old I feel this amount of studying is too much for me but I still want to do it and when I'm doing poorly in studying, I know it and I'm sad myself and I don’t need someone else to remind me my bad grades or the low hours of studying and make me even even more depressed.

I want my mom to know this and for it to sound logical to her.

I’ll be so thankful if you can help me

  • All parents want trhe best for their children, but there is a great cultural diversity in what is considered the best and how (academic) success reflects on the parents. Can you tell us something about what cultural background you come from? – Bart van Ingen Schenau Nov 7 at 8:37
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    Let's start at the beginning, are you sure you want to have a medical career? – A.bakker Nov 7 at 9:52
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    What country are you in (cultures vary)? What career would you like to pursue? Are you studying for the entrance exam because you must obey your parents? Do you believe them when they say medicine would be the only career you'd be successful in? What are the consequences of refusing to pursue medicine any further? We need a bit more information. What kind of relationship do you have with your mom? What kind do you want? ave you made attempts to have a serious discussion about your feelings, and if so, what was the outcome? – anongoodnurse Nov 7 at 23:03
  • I don't understand "They don't believe I can be successful in other fields": If I were to doubt my child's abilities, I probably wouldn't advise them to pursue such a knowingly and understandably hard path... also if you have to work that hard only to prepare the entrance exam I wonder why they would think you can be successful afterwards? – Laurent S. Nov 12 at 16:10
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"Being strict" is a pretty vague term.

What your parents can legally do varies quite a bit between countries, but verbally pressuring/nagging you to do something and complaining/arguing when you don't perform the way they want is certainly not illegal anywhere as long as it doesn't escalate to actual physical or severe mental abuse.

But surely the question should not be what your parents are allowed to do!

You and your parents are having two problems:

  1. they have expectations they want you to fulfill, are uncompromising about it, and you find these expectations exceedinly constricting and burdensome.
  2. the way you communicate about this conflict is unhealthy, leading to fighting and crying.

You need to fix the second problem before you can truly address the first. You don't need arguments that "sound logical" to your mom, you first of all need to understand each others feelings and find a way to communicate that takes them into account. I suggest looking into Nonviolent Communication, ideally together with her. The best way to approach that is probably to tell her to say something like "I would like to try to find a way to stop having these ugly arguments, I'm sure you'd also like to avoid all that shouting and crying, can we do that together?"

Once you can talk about each other's concerns without escalating emotions, it's time to address:

  • What is their goal behind wanting you to study medicine? Prestige and monetary support for them in the future? Do they really think it's the best thing for you? Why exactly?
  • What are your goals? What do you really want yourself for your future?
  • Which of those goals are realistically achievable? What are the costs or downsides? What are the alternatives?
  • Where do you agree and where are you in conflict, and how can you resolve those conflicts?

This will probably not be as easy as it sounds, but it should work if your parents really care about you and are sufficiently open-minded.

Of course, if they are authoritarian and/or narcissist and think that your role as a child is to do what they want with no room for discussion, then there are basically two options:

  • Do what they say as much as you can and just learn not to care so much about their complaints.
  • Wait until you're 18 and then as soon as possible move out and find your own way in life.
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