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When mama keeps pushing you

Milan Stojkovic's mother was quite determined on her son's educational path. (Photo: Milan Stojkovic)

In a country like Denmark, there are an extraordinarily amount of possibilities in terms of education. Because of that, parents who might have had different living conditions in their native country tend to put more pressure on their children when it comes to education. But is that really a bad thing? Or is it merely an attempt to make us harness the opportunities they never had?

Column |   17. Oct 2017

Milan Stojkovic

Student Reporter

I’ve never been an over-achiever. In high-school, I was a mediocre student with average grades. The only thing that mattered was partying and secondary to that was acquiring the notorious student cap, which I have for so long been dying to wear on my head.

Nevertheless, I got through it. Perhaps I didn’t get an A+ in my last exam, but at least I finished high-school. I could have chosen to drop out like many of my schoolmates back then but that was not my style. Because even though I am not an over-achiever, I’m definitely a “finisher”. I finish what I start.

I enjoyed finally being done with school, but a short time after graduation, questions such as “what’s my purpose”, or more importantly, “what do I want to be” started to pop up in my mind.

The first half year of my sabbatical I literally did nothing. And I remember that my parents –  especially my mother – were not very pleased with my indolent lifestyle.

But then again, what was I supposed to do?

I mean, sure, I could have gotten a job in a supermarket. But I sure as hell wasn’t aware of where my life was headed, and definitely not in an  educational sense. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue studying, which at that time was my mother’s biggest wish. For her, having a son at university would mean a great deal.

Maybe it’s because neither of my parents ever had an opportunity to go to university. Back in their day, they didn’t have the opportunity to attend school in Serbia, their native country. This was due to a shortage of money and social status. Maybe this is also why my mom so desperately wants me to take advantage of the many possibilities Denmark has to offer.

I guess it’s true what they say, mothers always know what’s best

Milan Stojkovic, student

As if it would be a shame not to at least try and make an effort in order to become a successful independent person. In conclusion, my parents wanted me to attend university and break the pattern; become the first one in the family with a university degree.

Dropping hints

As time went by, I finally pulled myself together and decided to do something. I became a certified fitness instructor, since lifting weights and working out for a long time has been something I have devoted myself to.

The course was relatively short and only took a couple of months to complete. As luck would have it, shortly after I finished the course, I got a job at a fitness center. But my mother still remained to be rather unsatisfied since she felt that this wasn’t my path in life. Although, she was happier now that I had found something to do.

She kept dropping hints and pressuring me into realizing that this path would be something that would bore the hell out of me in the long run. She believed that I should be studying a language or communication and become a successful businessman, rather than a trifling fitness instructor with an ordinary salary.

She was right – I just wasn’t aware of that yet.

Mom knows what’s best

As March approached, time slowly ran out regarding the application for a higher education. I was determined to give it a shot and I therefore applied for a BA in International Business Communication with Spanish and English at the University of Southern Denmark. My choice of education reflected the three years of Spanish that I learned during high-school, and also that I know how to speak five languages. Therefore, it only seemed natural that I chose an education where language and communication are the most central elements.

To be honest, in the beginning I only applied to shut my mother up, however, when I got accepted, it was a total deal-breaker for me. Because now, new questions, such as, “am I good enough to attend university” and “am I really ready for this?” would circulate in my head.

Nevertheless, I quickly found out that I was good enough and today, I am one hundred percent certain that applying was the best decision in my life. And for this, I can only thank my parents and especially my mother for.

It might have been a pain in the a** at times. When she would badger me about education. But in the end, I guess it’s true what they say, mothers always know what’s best. Be as it may, as time went by and I adapted to the environment at the university, I realized that I should be grateful for not only having the opportunities my parents didn’t have, but also that my mother kept pushing me to not only become a pattern breaker, but to become the person I am today.

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