“Look at your neighbours. Their children have good jobs and earn a lot of money.” These words are commonly spoken in an unfriendly voice by parents who want to pressure their sons and daughters into careers.
However, this pressure can have a negative effect on children. Some young people find these lectures nonsense and ignore them, but others may not find the words easy to ignore, and let the pressure discourage them from studying.
At the same, they may force themselves to work harder to compete with their neighbours and show their abilities.
Being under pressure from parents and other surroundings, people may push themselves to work harder; however, this may not always bring about a positive result.
For example, Bun Narith, 24, after graduating from high school, decided to ignore his friends and follow his parents’ decision. After studying for two years, he found it impossible to go any further because he failed to put his heart into the subjects. It was a lack of interest, and he could understand the lesson well.
He says, “At that time, I wanted to study law, but my parents said it was dangerous to study law; they wanted me to study medicine. And then, I did follow their request.”
Likewise, Miss. Kheang Mana, an overseas scholarship student and a volunteer worker, recalls that her parents always talked about work and someone who had succeeded in a certain field. Although she knew her parents’ purpose was to push her to be a successful person, she was under pressure.
Mana says: “It absolutely is, but that has somehow bred me to be who I really am – being so competitive.”
It’s not only speeches from parents or other people is the pressure to push someone working so early; but there are other factors, such as competition and job market requirements.
Have you ever thought that your current subject you are studying or your current job is not your preferred choice, but your surrounding brings you there? If you think so, you are also one of the victims of this pressure.
Miss. Sous Sok Serey, 21, a student at CamEd Business School and an accountant at 17 Triggers, says it is a requirement of the job market nowadays for students to have experience during their study.
“While having a job, I find it difficult to concentrate on my study because I don’t have much energy left after work,” she says. “Sometimes, I put off my study because of the urgent work and vice versa; as a result, my work for both my job and my study is not good.”
Aware of this problem, Professor Samchan Sovandara, a psychology lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, says advice becomes pressure for youth when it brings about negative impacts in their lives. If they cannot meet their parents’ needs or expectations, he says they will face both physical and emotional problems.
“The best way to find the solution is to understand each other – parents and children – by lowering the demands from one side to another so that the pressure on the children will be decreased as well,” he says.
Although ambition is on everyone’s mind, we should not let it control our thoughts, but use it a machine to push us to be stronger for our brighter future. There is no use in comparing ourselves with others in order to degrade ourselves; instead we should compare where we currently are and where we feel we should be.