Dear Confused and Struggling Guy

Dear Poppy design created by Sydney Haulenbeek.

Dear Poppy design created by Sydney Haulenbeek.

Dear Poppy,


My parents believe I’m not able to do anything besides college and be an accountant. I want to join the military, but my parents keep refusing to let me go after high school. I really want to join, but I don’t want to upset or anger my parents by joining without permission. I’m 18-years-old so I’m able to join without a parent/guardian consent. I don’t know what I really want to do in my life or career and I believe that the military is the best way to guide me. However, my parents don’t see it that way and think I would panic or become homesick and just quit when I tell them constantly I won’t. I’m just torn if it’s better to just go to college without knowing what I really want or going to the military with discontent from my family.


— A Confused and Struggling Guy


Dear Confused and Struggling Guy,


First off, I’m sorry you are going through this. What I want you to do is do all the research you can on the military. I’m not sure what branch you’re looking at, but research it and get all the information possible. Take the ASVAB; it’s free within the school, and it’s useful even if you aren’t going into the military. Also, there are recruiters here most days, so talk to one of them if you haven’t already. Get all the information possible from them, and collect brochures and pamphlets. 


After you have all the information possible, I would schedule a sort of sit-down with your parents. Be confident in telling your parents this is something you really want to do, but you are also open-minded to their opinion. Stay mature and reasonable even if they become angry or upset. Don’t become argumentative. Answer any questions, and use your resources. Ask for their input, and even offer to go talk to a recruiter with them.


At the end of the day, you’re going to need to stay true to yourself. You may be tempted to completely give up, but if joining the military is really what you want to do, for the sake of your emotional health, you need to follow your gut. You can stay true to yourself while also respecting their point of view. If you are 18, and decide to enlist, despite not having their approval, include them in the process. Show them you still love them and you want to share your experience, while also letting them know you need to live your life your own way. 


You may mess up. You may feel homesick. I think we all go through that at some point or another. But you’re going to have to step out on your own at some point whether it be college or the military. Through the entire process, no matter what you choose, stay positive and don’t become angry or resentful. They will come around, but sometimes you have to prove yourself to them first. Parents are still always learning, and they want what’s best for you. They might even just be scared of the possibility of you leaving. I wish you all the best, and I hope it works out. 



      Poppy <3