By Karen Galarpe


It never fails to amuse people when they hear my reply when they ask me what course I took in college. Sometimes I make them guess. At other times, I blurt the truth out to save time.

“Commerce. Accounting,” I would say. And always there would be a split second of shock, before I hear laughter.

“Then what are you doing in journalism?”

And so I would tell them how I really wanted to be a writer since grade school, nurtured the dream in high school and even joined the school paper, before ending up at the College of Commerce.

My dad wanted me to be a lawyer since he wanted to be one too. He wasn’t able to finish his law course though since he got married early and started a family. Since my three elder siblings didn’t fancy law, he put his hopes on me, the youngest, to fulfill his dream.

The accounting course was in preparation for a career as a CPA-lawyer. I did the whole course and even passed the board exam. After 2 years as an auditor, however, I felt I would grow old by 10 years in a year’s time. I would really rather write stories that could help other people than trace transactions and prepare financial statements.

I share this because in a few months, many senior high school students would be applying for college, and I am sure, a lot of them aren’t sure of what course they want to take.

Parents, I believe, should not relive their dreams through their kids. Instead they should help them find their passion and encourage them to go that way.

When one has passion in what he does, he’ll no doubt excel in his field and will have a zest for life every day. That’s in stark contrast to the man just trudging along, slaving away at a job he doesn’t like, waiting for the clock to signal the end of a working day.

Your child will show signs of his interests and passion which are gifts from God. Be keen in observing them. These may be different from your own gifts and passion, but that just goes to show you your child is his own person. Then be your child’s cheerleader and egg him on to enrol in a college course that could prepare him to pursue his dreams.

My dad couldn’t do anything when I told him I resigned from my auditor job many, many years ago and was enrolling in graduate school for a master’s degree in journalism. He realized this is my passion, and has given me the leeway to pursue my dreams.

And that’s why I’ve been writing and why you’re reading this.