Here's What Happened When I Told My Parents I Didn't Want To Become A Doctor As They Had Hoped

By Maliha Khan | 31 Oct, 2018

Desi parents seem to have our lives planned out before we’re even born. They have planned out our careers, love lives, living situations, and so much more, but how does one convince them that there are other paths that can be taken as well?


As a child, I was definitely my parents’ favorite.

And all for the wrong reasons. I was the favorite because I wanted to become a doctor until a mere 11-year-old me almost fainted at the sight of blood. Then I re-evaluated my decision and thought about dentistry. I was still the favorite because you know both are in the medical field – so close enough. (We can get into the dentists aren’t doctors debate some other time, okay?)



Then, eventually, the rebellious 16-year-old in me woke up and decided my path was going to be different.

For as long as I can remember, I have been creative. Let’s get this right – not artistic but creative. My hobbies aligned more in the arts field versus the medical field and that was my parents’ worst nightmare. It did not help my elder brother dropped out of college to go straight into the working field.



To live my passions and still not get disowned by my parents, I had to figure out a way out of all this.

Instead of going to college for the arts, we agreed to meet each other halfway. I chose to go to school for business. The business field is pretty broad and diverse. Plus, a business degree opens a lot of doors for an individual and does not force anybody in a certain circle.



So, I applied to colleges with good business programs and got into a few.

I ended up going to one of my last options because I had waited too long to accept at other places and it was basically the only place willing to still take me. My parents, of course, were already not too fond of the fact and I stepped outside the box and was getting a business degree and on top of that going to an average school is not something they were proud of either.

Via Tumblr


I finally graduated with a Bachelor’s this past year and am in the process of getting my Master’s in 2019, but that is still not good enough for my parents.

Since my siblings and I, all chose paths my parents were not very fond of, my accomplishments are still a disappointment to them. I cannot blame them for the way they think and perceive things because that is how they were raised. They were taught doctors, dentists, engineers, lawyers, and other high-paying careers are the best choice and people that choose to traverse upon these paths are respected in our society.

Their inability to understand that journalists, business owners, artists, and IT professionals can be just as successful as a doctor is a hard thing to fathom for my generation, but it’s how things are.


They see the world in a different way than us. We grew up in the age of internet and technology. Our minds and thought processes are a lot more open. We understand more of the world and how it works today than they do. They may know more about the world in general through age and experience, but we also have the ability to understand the world we live in through various avenues of discussion and information.


So how did I manage to convince them being a doctor wasn’t a priority for me?

I was honest and truthful with them. I told them how I felt. The fact that blood makes me queasy, I can’t put a needle inside of another human being, I don’t want to be in school for years to come, and I don’t want to spend endless hours with patients were the reasons I used.

At first, my reasons were not acceptable to them but they finally came around when I gave them a sneak peek of the bigger picture. I am creative at heart and I wanted to explore that side of myself. And I am doing just that.


My camera and my laptop are my best friends to this day. I explained how I would get a degree as a backup. In their eyes, a business degree isn’t as bad as an arts degree so they let me pursue that. That became our compromise. I would get a degree, and while working towards that degree, I was allowed to explore my options. While in school, I ended up really liking the concepts I was learning and wanted to use what I learned towards helping people.

At this point in time, I am a college graduate, doing what I love.

I am helping people and I get to change the lives of others. I would not have discovered that side of me if it had not been for my parents forcing me to get an education. They gave me the freedom to enjoy my life and do something I wanted to do, along with keeping me on the path they had always seen for me.


Yes, I did convince my parents that being a doctor was not the path for me, but they also convinced me to believe in their vision for me. I am thankful I did not solely depend on my hobbies to provide me a living because I now do what I love. I help people through the means of a career-oriented job as well as through my hobbies like writing.


I Dropped Out Of A Medical University After 2 Years, And It’s The Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

Here’s How Being Forced To Become A Doctor Or Engineer May Actually Ruin Your Life


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