It’s around that time of year when seniors are frantically finishing up college apps, finalizing their essays or adding that ‘magical’ last-minute touch to their resumes. This, along with the SATs and ACTs just around the corner, made me really start to think about what I would do with my life after high school. And it’s not just me– many of my junior friends are struggling to decide what they want to pursue once they leave high school and go to college. Here in the Silicon Valley, there are a lot of parents who pressure their kids to go above and beyond in their academics, and often times there is so much pressure to pursue a “respectful”, or in other words “well-paying”, job or career. This may be attributed to the so-called “asian mindset”, which is definitely a real thing. However, pressure from our parents to become either “a doctor, lawyer, or engineer” is not always the wishes of the student themselves. I’ve heard many stories of people getting a job that their parents forced on them just to be unhappy later on, and no one wants to live their lives not enjoying what they do for a living. I know a youtuber who struck out on her own after realizing that accounting, what her parents had wished for her, was not working out at all. She decided to quit her job, started posting videos on youtube, and now she is a full-time youtuber and happier than ever. I’m not saying you have to become a youtuber to become successful, or that becoming a doctor/lawyer/engineer is a bad thing- my point is that you should do what you LOVE, don’t do something because other people forced it on you. If you have a passion for music, have crazy-good acting skills, or are a talented writer, then PURSUE those passions. If people try to tell you otherwise, just ignore them and show them that you really ARE talented and can become successful on your own standards, NOT theirs. If you, just like me or many other students, find your parents have conflicting thoughts about your life or career, talk it out with them. Participate in talent shows, enter contests, do whatever you can to prove your abilities to them. Act responsible and be smart in your decisions so your parents trust your choices and your abilities. If all else fails, just remember- if you love it, then do it, because you deserve a happy, joyful and fulfilling life just as much as everyone else. You do you.