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How to disappoint your parents?

On Thursday 29 September the workshop ‘How to Disappoint your Parents’ took place at Wijnhaven. Lenore Todd, Student Life Officer and Assistant Professor at LUC, was in charge of the workshop. The workshop centered on the question who and what causes you stress and, more importantly, how to deal with it. Todd: ‘I have met students who were having panic attacks because of a phone call from their parents.’

During the workshop it became clear that a lot of students experience stress. Stress that is caused by their studies, financing, working too hard, or trying to comply with the expectations of others, such as their parents. ‘A lot of the students I talk to have a need to understand why they are having these discussions with their parents. It is often about the study they have chosen or because they believe that they are letting their parents down’, says Todd.

Disappointing your parents is something Todd is familiar with, because her parents had wanted her to study Law. ‘When I decided to study English Literature, my parents were very confused: “You already speak English, you’re from New York, what good is that?” was their reaction. They simply could not understand my choice.’ She tells students that a conflict or an argument often stems from love and that you should ask yourself what it is that you owe your parents.’

That was the reason Chaya Berger, master’s student International and European Governance, wanted to participate in the workshop. ‘I lost my father at a young age and I often had the feeling that I owed it to him. I often wonder: Would he be proud of me?’

Todd hopes to be able to help students to manage their parents’ expectations and how to deal with them. ‘The workshop has given me tools that I can use whenever I’m wondering which expectations I should live up to. It really was an eyeopener’, says Chaya.

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