Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

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Kokirian
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Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

Postby Kokirian » Wed May 14, 2014 3:30 am UTC

My parents raised me religiously and have no idea that I no longer believe it. They want me to go to a Christian college (which happens to have $0 tuition), but it seems like a crappy school without good programs I'd be interested in. If I tell them I don't want to go there, I'm sure they'll ask if I'm still a Christian, and I don't know if I could lie. Should I just tell them? Any advice on how to break the news?

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LaserGuy
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Re: Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

Postby LaserGuy » Wed May 14, 2014 3:29 pm UTC

Are you certain that your parents will follow up with this question? I mean, if your argument is that this school doesn't have the program that you want, or isn't highly rated, those seem like good reasons to reject it irrespective of your religious persuasion. Be prepared with alternatives and explain why they are superior from an academic standpoint. You might be able to let the religious part slide if you can highlight the other problems well enough. Just something to think about.

As to the specifics of your question, it really depends on the relationship between you and your parents, and their religiosity. Would you consider your parents to be fundamentalists? How often do they attend church services, and how active are they in the church community? If you tell them that you no longer believe, will that mean, in their belief system, that you are going to Hell? Is Hell something that is discussed commonly at your church? As far as you know, do your parents believe that it is possible for irreligious/atheist/agnostic people to be moral? If your parents are fundamentalist, this is a situation that needs to be handled very delicately, as it can easily go really, really badly, especially if you are still a minor (as I assume you are) who is dependent on your parents for support. If you are in a high-risk situation, it honestly may be better to keep this to yourself until you are out from under their roof. [edit]You may want to try to ask them questions a bit obliquely to feel them out for how they'll react before you jump in with both feet.[/edit]

That isn't to say that it will go badly. At the very least, you should probably expect your parents to be upset. Religious parents often see it as a failing on their part when their children apostatize, and can take it very personally. You will probably need to reassure them that you still love and care about them, and are still the same person. You might need to explain why you came to this decision, but don't be overly argumentative, and don't belittle their beliefs.

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Re: Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

Postby Bakemaster » Thu May 15, 2014 2:11 pm UTC

Where (and whether) you continue your education is not your parents' decision to make, it's yours. It sounds like there are several reasons you don't want to go to that school. Give your parents as many or as few of them as you'd like.
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Krealr
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Re: Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

Postby Krealr » Thu May 15, 2014 9:21 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Where (and whether) you continue your education is not your parents' decision to make, it's yours. It sounds like there are several reasons you don't want to go to that school. Give your parents as many or as few of them as you'd like.


If the parents are expected to pay part or all of the tuition/expenses at a different school then it is partly their decision.

OP, I would focus on the academic reasons for why you do not want to go to that particular school.

Do you have an alternative or two already picked out?

Have information ready about those schools and why they are better for the programs that interest you.

If you expect your parents to pay some/all of tuition have information on the cost and what you are going to do to keep it as low as possible. (If your planning to go to school in the fall it's probably a bit late to be getting scholarships but it's still worth a shot.

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Re: Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

Postby Bakemaster » Fri May 16, 2014 4:09 am UTC

Negotiating with your parents about getting financial help with college doesn't make it any less your own decision to make.
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Re: Should I tell my parents I'm agnostic?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 30, 2014 8:12 pm UTC

Kokirian wrote:My parents raised me religiously and have no idea that I no longer believe it. They want me to go to a Christian college (which happens to have $0 tuition), but it seems like a crappy school without good programs I'd be interested in. If I tell them I don't want to go there, I'm sure they'll ask if I'm still a Christian, and I don't know if I could lie. Should I just tell them? Any advice on how to break the news?


This...this is a toughie. It really depends on you, your parents, and your relationship with them. Do you feel this will help your parents understand and support your desire to go elsewhere?

One alternative option is to handle the college issue seperately from the religious one, and simply focus on the support for the programs you care about. If they offer fairly little, but other colleges offer much better programs, this should be adequate justification for a decision to look elsewhere.

A really weak school still is an investment of time, energy, and money, because it costs cash to live. The investment value is not determined solely by tuition, of course. Therefore, a free college isn't always the best choice. Definitely do as much research up front as possible...your parents should be happy that you're taking an interest in your education, and a well researched position is much, much easier to defend.


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