Taking Control of My Education

I have always valued my education and knew that going to college was an important step towards my future. However, the support and guidance I received from my parents in pursuing higher education was far from ideal.

While my aunt and uncle generously offered to pay for my cousin’s college, I decided to take matters into my own hands and fund my education myself. Why? Because I didn’t want to be constantly stressed out and controlled by my dad’s strict conditions.

You see, my dad had set strict rules for me, including maintaining a certain grade point average, seeking his approval for classes, and weekly meetings to discuss my grades. On top of that, his anger issues made my life in school even more difficult. From sixth to twelfth grade, I lived in constant fear of being yelled at or punished for things that were often beyond my control.

I vividly remember instances where a teacher forgot to update grades online, leading to assignments being marked as “missing.” Despite it not being my fault, I would still face the wrath of my dad. And to make matters worse, he would randomly search my backpack and locker, claiming it was to make sure I wasn’t hiding anything.

Given this tumultuous environment, I made the decision to pay for my own education. I didn’t want to trade my freedom and peace of mind for financial support. I would rather be in debt for a few years than be controlled for four more years of college.

And so, I completed my first year of college, feeling a sense of accomplishment and independence. However, during a family gathering on the 4th of July, the nosy nature of some relatives led to an uncomfortable conversation about my education. My uncle, perhaps unaware of my decision to self-fund, turned to my dad and casually asked how much my schooling was costing him.

Not one to shy away from speaking my mind, I promptly intervened and corrected my uncle, saying, “What are you asking him for? I’m the one paying for it.” Little did I know that my frank response would later ignite anger in my dad. He accused me of embarrassing him, but the truth is, I was simply being honest. He wasn’t even aware of the tuition fees, so he was not the right person to ask.

Now that the dust has settled, I am left wondering if I was in the wrong for speaking up. Was it truly inappropriate to clarify the situation? I seek your judgment: Am I the asshole here?


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