Don’t have the money to pursue tertiary education

September 09, 2021

Dear Pastor,

I am a 19-year-old woman who is uncertain about my future. I come from a poor but noble family. My parents have six children in total from different relationships, but I am the only one from their union. I only correspond with two of my siblings because the others don't seem to be interested to communicate with me. Even though we are poor, my parents managed to send me to a prominent, traditional high school for seven years, and I must say that I am grateful to them. I managed to get eight grade ones in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams and five passes in my first-year Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE). I am still awaiting the rest of my second-year CAPE. From a tender age, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, and from that early age my parents always told me that they would not be able to send me to medical school. Because of that I have had to consider other careers that were less expensive. But to my dismay, my parents had the same response. I am the only child that did so well in exams. I am not bragging, but I studied a lot. The siblings that I am close to try to help me in any way they can, but I do not expect that they will take me as their responsibility, seeing that they have their own families. Leaving school this year, I want to enrol in university just like most of my classmates, especially the ones with whom I share similar career interests. Most of my close friends are going on to university. I did not receive any scholarships. I had no choice but to skip this year. I promised myself that next year, I will either apply early for a scholarship or take out a student loan. My brother heard about a position at a government organisation and urged me to apply, which I did, and now I am awaiting a reply. When I told my parents about my plans, I was greeted with ridicule. They think I should stay in that position as long as possible. Mind you, that is not a bad position, but it is not one I want to grow old in. Remember, I am only 19. What time will I get to go to university for five to seven years then leave to start my family? It does not add up. Now, I am confused. I want to make my parents proud; however, I feel that I am being controlled. There are many nights when I cannot sleep. I am getting so many different thoughts regarding my future. I am thinking that my friends will have their careers and I will be stuck in a job. I have also considered applying for overseas scholarships, but my parents are not supporting that, considering my age and the new environment I will be in. Their aim is for me to get a job and start making money, because that is what my siblings did.


Dear A.B.,

It is your desire to have a career in medicine and right now it does not seems possible. But if that is what you wish to do, you should not allow anyone, not even parents, to stand in your way. You might not be able to attend university now or next year, but you will get there. God is going to open a way for you. I know your parents mean well, but you will have to learn to do what you have to do, and your parents will have to learn to allow you to pursue your objectives. Yes, you should apply for scholarships, and you should also apply for student loans. You are not too young to travel and to be living away from your parents, so trying to get scholarships for help from colleges and universities abroad is a good idea, and I would encourage you to do so. My prayers are with you. Do not give up.


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