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Dependence on family during school

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This is hypothetical:

Suppose a grown man of 23 just finished community college and wants to attend a four year university and will require 2-3 years to finish. Also suppose he needs financial support from his parents and/or relatives to pay for tuition and living expenses, and that he does not feel capable of working full time while undergoing a rigorous course of study in something very difficult like engineering or premed, etc. His family is fully willing to help him and they want him to succeed. However, the family is corrupt, he has had a strained relationship with them in recent years, and doesn't really respect them very much. He wants to finish school to achieve his desired career, but loathes the idea of being dependent on his dicked up family for any length of time. Partly because he finds it emasculating at his age and partly because, as they say, you can't bite the hand that feeds. What should he do?

A) Place his independence above all else and forfeit college.

B) Settle on a less difficult course of study that is not his first choice, but allows him to work his own way through.

C) Bite the bullet, take the money, finsh school, deal with all the shit that comes with it, and be glad when it's over.

D) Something else.

Edited by cliveandrews
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D: Take a year or two off of school, get a full time job and at least 1 part time job. Make it his mission in life to save enough money to pay for 2-3 years of tuition including living expenses. Fill out every possible scholarship application he can find, even stuff for $50 and $100, and then attend college on a delayed schedule, earning him the degree he wants without compromising his values.

You could also consider student loans but honestly, I think saving and paying cash combined with scholarships is a better financial option. Too many people are paying Sally Mae for a degree they never completed.

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Many people work their way through college and allow just a little longer to get their degree, say 5 or 6 years instead of 4. If you can mannage to get an entry level job in a firm that does what you intend to do once you have a degree this also allows you to become more familiar with the business and/or to get your foot in the door.

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I would assume your family is volunteering to help you because THEY value YOU, not because they necessarily care about YOU valuing THEM in a particular way. If they're being manipulative and helping because they want to bribe you into attending family events or faking an emotional state, that's different, but if you have no evidence that is their motive, why worry?

Giving you money is an entirely selfish act on their part--they are buying their happiness by paying for your happiness. Taking the money is an entirely selfish act on your part--you are taking a good option available to you like any sensible person.

Unless your family really is *evil* (like, mafia gangsters or something or the money comes from fraud) there's no reason why you shouldn't accept it--the fact that you *feel* dislike for your family does not necessarily mean that they *deserve* to have their offering rejected.

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I vehemently disagree with Jenni's take on this. The way that the family feels about the person in question has no bearing on the situation, it is how that person feels about his family that matters. It is his values that he must deal with and live up to no anyone elses. The question of value isn't a shell game in which it's okay to play the hypocrite and compromise your standards as long as the people you are being hypocritical to value you more than you do them.

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I vehemently disagree with Jenni's take on this. The way that the family feels about the person in question has no bearing on the situation, it is how that person feels about his family that matters. It is his values that he must deal with and live up to no anyone elses. The question of value isn't a shell game in which it's okay to play the hypocrite and compromise your standards as long as the people you are being hypocritical to value you more than you do them.

How is it being hypocritical and compromising your standards to take money from your family? If someone decides that they like you and want to offer you money *because you are a value to them*, the only concern with hypocrisy should be things like "are they offering me more than they can afford?" or "are they valuing me for things I despise?"

Your family presumably cares about you because they have enjoyed bringing you into existence and spending vast amounts of time with you--you've brought great things into their lives. Children frequently don't reciprocate quite the same emotional attachment because their end of the relationship is VASTLY different from the parents' end.

If your parents are like most parents (like mine, for instance), they have good qualities and bad qualities and, yes, could be described as "corrupt". I don't love my parents, but I do appreciate them and I'm willing to let them help me if that's what they want to do. I don't ask for their help, but if they want to help, I respect them enough not to tell them to fuck off like some kind of asinine jerk just because I have something to prove.

The OP described his relationship with his parents as "strained". That's not the same as "I spit on them and everything they stand for and will intentionally make my life harder just so I can continue spitting on them in the most vicious way possible".

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How is it being hypocritical and compromising your standards to take money from your family?

For me it would be a matter of integrity. If a person declares that he "loathes the idea of being dependent on his dicked up family for any length of time." then that is the thing he has to deal with, not if they want to give him the money but if he wants to take it.

If someone decides that they like you and want to offer you money *because you are a value to them*, the only concern with hypocrisy should be things like "are they offering me more than they can afford?" or "are they valuing me for things I despise?"

Again, no. Their value of me means nothing. By this backward reasoning if a woman valued me enough to ask me to marry her then that value is more important than if I want to marry her or not. This kind of fuzzy thinking is what gets weak willed people into situations exactly like that in the first place. In TF, Peters mother valued the idea of her son the Architect more than the Artist, and he in turn betrayed his entire being to surrender to her value judgment.

Your family presumably cares about you because they have enjoyed bringing you into existence and spending vast amounts of time with you--you've brought great things into their lives. Children frequently don't reciprocate quite the same emotional attachment because their end of the relationship is VASTLY different from the parents' end.

I do not, and will not live my life through the lens of anyone elses opinion, feelings or desires.

If your parents are like most parents (like mine, for instance), they have good qualities and bad qualities and, yes, could be described as "corrupt". I don't love my parents, but I do appreciate them and I'm willing to let them help me if that's what they want to do. I don't ask for their help, but if they want to help, I respect them enough not to tell them to fuck off like some kind of asinine jerk just because I have something to prove.

Nice strawman. Care to point out where in here I said that this person should tell his parents to "fuck off"? For that matter could you please show me where I said he had something to prove?

The OP described his relationship with his parents as "strained". That's not the same as "I spit on them and everything they stand for and will intentionally make my life harder just so I can continue spitting on them in the most vicious way possible".

I really don't understand where you get the idea that I was saying that he hated his parents? The only relavant fact here is how he feels about the situation and taking the money. On that question he has already said that;

the family is corrupt

he has had a strained relationship with them in recent years

doesn't really respect them very much

loathes the idea of being dependent on his dicked up family for any length of time.

he finds it emasculating at his age

you can't bite the hand that feeds

To me this all adds up to a big, "Thanks but I'd rather not." which is in no way the same as "Fuck you I'm going to do it on my own because you people are fucking garbage."

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For me it would be a matter of integrity. If a person declares that he "loathes the idea of being dependent on his dicked up family for any length of time." then that is the thing he has to deal with, not if they want to give him the money but if he wants to take it.

So integrity = acting in accordance with your *emotions*, whatever they are, without examining them in any way? The fact that you feel loathing does not mean that you have a rational reason for doing so.

Again, no. Their value of me means nothing.

Yes it does--it means they have a motive for offering you the money, and their *motive* for offering the money does play a large part in deciding whether you *should* accept it or not. If someone offered me money because they felt it was their "duty" to do so or as an attempt to manipulate me--heck, if they offered me a *cookie* for one of those reasons, I'd reject it entirely. However, freely offered gifts on selfish motives are wonderfully benevolent and there's absolutely no reason to reject them unless they're a.) excessive or b.) from really evil people.

By this backward reasoning if a woman valued me enough to ask me to marry her then that value is more important than if I want to marry her or not.

Here you're just deliberately misunderstanding and drawing an invalid parallel. Someone wanting to give you money is not even remotely the same as someone wanting to marry you in this context--the first implies no obligation, while the second requires a huge investment and obligation on your part. So, thanks for the lovely strawman argument. :P

I do not, and will not live my life through the lens of anyone elses opinion, feelings or desires.

Again, you're assuming some sort of obligation--and the term gift only applies when there's NO obligation. So where are you getting this from?

Nice strawman. Care to point out where in here I said that this person should tell his parents to "fuck off"? For that matter could you please show me where I said he had something to prove?

If I were to offer someone I cared about a substantial sum of money in the spirit of goodwill (heck, if I just got them a Christmas present!) I'd be SERIOUSLY insulted if their response was "you're not good enough to give me presents".

If you want to try to be self-sufficient, that's great and certainly something you can tell someone: "I'm going to try to do it on my own first." However if you're clearly cutting off your nose to spite your face, it's an insult and you should be aware of that fact before you indulge in it senselessly.

Edited by JMeganSnow
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So integrity = acting in accordance with your *emotions*
No, the dictionary definition of integrity is enough;

adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

whatever they are, without examining them in any way? The fact that you feel loathing does not mean that you have a rational reason for doing so.

If a person has gone as far as to list a myriad of reasons why he is uncomfortable about taking the money then there is a logical assumption that he has thought about the decision.

Yes it does--it means they have a motive for offering you the money, and their *motive* for offering the money does play a large part in deciding whether you *should* accept it or not. If someone offered me money because they felt it was their "duty" to do so or as an attempt to manipulate me--heck, if they offered me a *cookie* for one of those reasons, I'd reject it entirely. However, freely offered gifts on selfish motives are wonderfully benevolent and there's absolutely no reason to reject them unless they're a.) excessive or b.) from really evil people.

While I agree that their motive does matter, I still hold that my judgment matters more.

Here you're just deliberately misunderstanding and drawing an invalid parallel. Someone wanting to give you money is not even remotely the same as someone wanting to marry you in this context--the first implies no obligation, while the second requires a huge investment and obligation on your part. So, thanks for the lovely strawman argument. :lol:

Obviously I disagree. :P You said yourself that they have a motive, I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that this motive motive begets obligation. As a matter of fact the unwillingness to be obligated is one of the reasons the poster lists for not wanting to take the money in the first place. Imagine that.

Again, you're assuming some sort of obligation--and the term gift only applies when there's NO obligation. So where are you getting this from?

From his own words...

He wants to finish school to achieve his desired career, but loathes the idea of being dependent on his dicked up family for any length of time. Partly because he finds it emasculating at his age and partly because, as they say, you can't bite the hand that feeds.

Of course biting the hand that feeds relates directly back to being obliged.

If I were to offer someone I cared about a substantial sum of money in the spirit of goodwill (heck, if I just got them a Christmas present!) I'd be SERIOUSLY insulted if their response was "you're not good enough to give me presents".

Again you are attempting to put what could be a very polite refusal in the worst possible light.

Here is a real life example. When I first joined the Army my Father, also a military man offered to call in a whole bunch of favours to get me into Royal Military College as an officer, even though my school marks would not have warranted it. This was a huge deal for my dad, not only was he going to ask a substantial favour from people he knew but he was going to put his reputation on the line for a kid who had up to that time not proven that he could dedicate himself to writing a grade 10 essay much less 4 years of university in one of the best schools in Canada.

I turned him down cold. I said in effect, "Thanks very much for the offer dad but this is something I want to do on my own."

That's it that's all. I didn't call him names or imply that he wasn't worthy enough to give me such a gift. It's a little thing called disagreeing without being disagreeable, coupled with some maturity it can take a person a long way.

If you want to try to be self-sufficient, that's great and certainly something you can tell someone: "I'm going to try to do it on my own first." However if you're clearly cutting off your nose to spite your face, it's an insult and you should be aware of that fact before you indulge in it senselessly.

No. Doing something worthwhile to you, that you value, on your own is not wrong.

Cutting off your nose to spite your face would be to not accept help when there is NO other way to accomplish your goal. There are other avenues open, and really unless someone is holding a gun to a persons head there are always other options.

A refusal can only be an insult if you make it one. Besides, since when does unintentionally "insulting" someone elses feelings hold mortgage over another individuals course of action?

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  • 1 month later...

If you don't want to take money from family or through loans - don't. Try working your way through. Yeah it'll be hard, but if you can't handle it well then you can go to your next options. If you can handle it well, then you'll be free and clear with no debt at the end. /highfive

But if the money you'll make after your education will be good, then take a loan through your parents or something else, and start some strict financial planning now and re-evaluate every 3 months until you're paid up. This is the option I took. I work my ass off through the summers to support myself and pay off some debt, and work my ass off at school to get the most out of the money I'm paying.

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