The unknown pressures from your parent


Annabella Mireles

Many students face a lot of pressure as they near graduation and some even drop out before finishing due to this stress.

Itzel Giron, Multimedia Editor

Graduation comes with all variations of pressures, however, one pressure can at times be overbearing; having parents who have received their college degree before you have received yours. It can be a pressure that can either push or break students when trying to complete their academic career. 

For some students, parents want their children to be better than their own achievements, which creates a stress common in many college students. 

“I’ve always felt this weight of having to do better or making sure I’m not something less of what my parents were,” said Pauline Ortega, UTEP elementary education major. “I feel supported by my parents but on the inside, I get anxiety attacks and hide it from them because these attacks stem from the want of them wanting me to be this star.” 

This pressure from parents creates a deeper stress for students which causes them to feel unsupported or feel like they must drop out. Stress among college students is not something new, it is something that has become more common in about 44 percent of students, according to the American College Health Association. For Alec Rodela, UTEP neuroscience graduate,  the pressure Ortega felt was mutual in his household as well. 

“I didn’t feel any stress knowing that she had completed higher education, I did feel some pressure from my parent to complete it myself and to continue on higher than she did,” Rodela said. “I do know that it comes from a good place, but the lack of knowledge she has on what it takes to continue on in education can be overwhelming.” 

Though this stress does not just come from parents who have a higher education, in fact at times the stress from parents can be overwhelming on any student.  

“I have friends who have maybe dealt with the same stress I have or even more so from their parents who don’t have a college degree,” Ortega said. “I think it’s more so the fact that parents put this big weight on top of their children hoping they do better than what they were able to achieve.” 

Though, this stress can lead to many mental illnesses, eating disorders, low sleep and low self-confidence according to Bay Atlantic University, even when parents do not see it as added pressure but rather encouragement. 

There are ways for parents to help their children and not add unnecessary stress.This can consist of words of encouragement or talking to their child can make the difference in how a student interprets their wants. Encouraging your child to be better than what one might have achieved is not something to feel guilty about, but maybe something that should be reconsidered before telling a child to “be better.” 

Itzel Giron is the multimedia editor and may be reached at [email protected]; @by.itzel.giron on Instagram; @itzel_anahi_16 on Twitter.