If parents don't want you to study because they think it's useless?

<p>I'm not sure if this is the correct sub-forum to post in, but I am in need of some advice on what to do.</p>

<p>I am 24 years old and I live with my mom and my half-sister. I started my undergraduate career recently after a long feud with my mother. My mom says that a physics degree is useless, and I told her about the various jobs in research and development or finance I could get as a physics Ph.D. She says that it is unrealistic because I am not smart enough for those things and that I should just work in a trade such as plumbing or carpentry or something. She believes that I have narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies because of the fact that I have the grandiose idea that I think I can do physics, and she thinks that only geniuses like Albert Einstein can practice in the field. I don't personally know any "normal" physicists, so I could not provide support for my defense. I tried to show her this CollegeConfidential forum, but she's technologically ignorant and thinks that every member on this forum is a robot or something. She can't seem grasp the concept of the internet (she's over 50 years old).</p>

<p>So I ignored her and try to study for school anyway, and she says that I should at least work full-time to pay the rent and bills because she's getting old. I don't mind working, but in order to maintain my current 4.0, I feel that if I begin to take hours off studying to work, my grades will drop. I asked her to hold out a few more years until I begin my Ph.D program, but she says that all of her friend's kids worked 50 hours a week while maintaining 4.0s and went to graduate schools like Harvard, Yale, etc. albeit for literature or some other subject in the arts, which she claims are all more difficult than the field of physics. She also thinks that another characteristic of being a sociopath is studying 12 hours a day (which I usually do) and thinks I need psychological help because nobody she knows studies that much and believes those kinds of hours to be irrational, although I know many students on this forum probably study for those hours.</p>

<p>The reason I cannot continue to ignore her is that she takes me to school and asks to check my class schedule, and I have to be home whenever I'm not in class or else she'll kick me out of the house and then I won't know what to do when I don't have anywhere to go. But when I am home, she won't let me study. She scolds me for hours on end and talks mostly about God. If I try to study or don't listen to her, she will take my schoolwork/notes and rip them up. On a couple occassions, she threw my laptop on the floor in attempts to break it (fortunately, unsuccessfully). Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night if she can't sleep because she's worried about me, or has a nightmare about me failing in life or whatever, and wakes me up and begins to scold me again about life. Our family lives in a studio apartment, so we all share one room, and it especially annoys my sister (who wants to drop out of high school when she turns 16, smokes, does weed, drinks alcohol, etc.). So basically, none of us get along.</p>

<p>The primary issue I want to focus on is to how to get more study hours in so I can still maintain my 4.0 GPA before applying to graduate school. Do any of you know of techniques of studying aside from traditional textbook reading/solving problems on paper so that it looks like I'm not studying? Or maybe some ideas on how I may be able to reason with my mother or some other suggestions on how to escape from this situation? Thank you.</p>

<p>Okay, how about this? Overload your schedule next semester. Add a couple of classes, and show her your course schedule. If you can, make them labs (like, all afternoon classes). Then… drop the classes right away once the semester starts. But don’t tell her. You can spend that time on campus in the library instead. Just don’t forget to drop, and hopefully she will not need to see your final grades (or won’t remember what classes you had). If you need permission to overload, explain it to whoever has to give you permission.</p>

<p>The other option is to move out, and live on or near campus. You might need more loans or work hours to cover that. But it might be worth it… I actually think this is the better solution, to tell you the truth. Also, you should be working full time in the summers, and if you have a long winter break get a seasonal job.</p>

<p>Hi intparent,</p>

<p>Those are pretty both good ideas. But I’ve already taken out the maximum Federal loans that Direct Loan will allow me, so I guess the only option is to work. For the summer I participate in REUs out of state or out of the country (all paid for and nothing out of my own pocket, of course) and similarly in the winter (or I will take extra classes). The only part that irks me is the transportation costs will probably take a chunk of my income. I don’t think I’ll make enough to pay rent, bills, and food at McDonald’s. It’s hard enough to find any job. I haven’t been able to get one yet, at least.</p>

<p>Hmmm, doesn’t being 24 mean that you are no longer dependent on your parents for financial aid purposes (like you were at age 23 or younger)? That might give you some more options…</p>



<p>Is it really worth studying 12 hours a day to keep a 4.0? You might as well lock yourself up in a jail cell. Not to mention grad schools are going to find this very suspicious, and will know studying is literally all you did, which doesn’t look very good in their eyes.</p>

<p>So, you started your undergraduate at 24, right? Are you at your local Community College working on transferring? Even if you are at a 4 year university, I think you’re getting a little ahead of your self with the PhD. You still have a long way to go. Given that, you can either move out, or just deal with it. My situation is not as crazy as yours, but I am desperate to move out. I told myself I would try my hardest and transfer out of my CC. I’ve been dealing with my parents for the last two years and so close to moving out. I only need one more semester. Honestly, it looks like you’re going to just have to put up with her. I sympathize though. My dad did the same thing with my laptop, but he actually smashed it to bits. :(</p>

<p>The point about being 24 and independent for FA is a good one. Maybe you can get need based grant aid from your college so you could move out. I suggest you meet with the FA office at your college and explore that option. Maybe you can get aid starting for next fall and move out when you get back from your REU (good for you if you have an REU, by the way!).</p>

<p>You’re 24, move out.</p>



<p>As far as I know this is not a sign of sociopathy, but I wouldn’t hesitate to call it irrational. And no, I highly doubt that many students on this forum study 12 hours a day. I would be seriously worried about any college student who studied 12 hours a day. Being a well-rounded, interesting human being who has fun sometimes is much much more important than having a 4.0. I don’t think grad schools will disagree with me.</p>