Dear Mikey,

My parents always wanted me to go down a path of the business world for my career. My grandfather was a businessman, my uncles are businessmen, and my dad is a businessman. It makes sense as they are all very successful.

I just graduated high school and will start at Arizona State University in the fall. Although I enrolled in the business bachelor’s program, I am not sure that is the route I want to take. I actually would like to go into the art field instead and become an illustrator, as I love to draw.

I have talked to my parents about his periodically and they do not seem too supportive of the idea of me going to art school/studying art as opposed to business. When I enrolled at ASU for the business program, they seemed very pleased. I am glad they are, because I am not so sure that I am.

How do I go after my dreams without disappointing my parents?

— Wanting to Illustrate

Dear Wanting to Illustrate,

As you are about to find out, you cannot please everyone in this world. There are too many people you will come across in your life who will demand or want different things from you, and there is no way that you will ever be able to please every single person you come across in life.

Therefore, since you are about to start college, you need to learn to do what is best for YOU.

If you are attending college, you are going to be studying a lot for the next four to five years. You should ask yourself, why are you going to college? To get a good job? Make a living? Do something you love? Well once you graduate and hit the “real world,” whatever job you choose understand that you are making a choice. If you do not like to flip burgers then don’t work at McDonald’s. If you do not like to talk on the phone, then don’t work at a call center. You choose where you work and what you do for a living.

Going to college is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life as it can help shape your future. Your future after college will be what you make of it.

Ask yourself, would you rather go to work every single day doing something that you despise, or would you rather enjoy going to work and love what you do?

Although your parents may be looking out for your best interest, they need to respect that this is also your life. You can be just as successful, or even more, if you become an illustrator like you can if you become a businessman.

Perhaps if you sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with them, you both can find common ground to accept what your decision is. But, you will never know unless you try. If you are too afraid to try, then become a businessman only to please your parents, and forever hold your peace.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at

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