Students pose in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
A girl from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, reportedly chose to be a professional masseuse after finishing her studies in Australia. Her parents, who felt ashamed of her choice, arranged a job in their friend's company in Australia and paid their daughter themselves. Southern Metropolis Daily commented on Sunday:
Parents and their children may have different expectations of the rewards of studying overseas. Parents often expect children to get high-paying jobs after studying overseas.
However, with China's development and the number of Chinese students studying overseas increasing, the value of studying abroad has decreased.
And for the young people studying overseas, they expect they will find a job that is interesting, whether or not it offers the social cachet and remuneration their parents hope for. So the girl from Chengdu has chosen to be a masseuse, even though people of her parents' generation view such a profession as being unseemly.
Many Chinese parents are willing to make study, career and even marriage plans for their children; anything so long as their children adhere to their expectations of what is proper. And that is reasonable, since in most cases, it is the parents who are paying.
Therefore, if children want their personal choices to be respected by their parents, they should be fully responsible for their own lives, which means being financially independent. If young people can return the tuition and any other "investment" made in them by their parents, they will be able to make independent choices. But taking parents' payments for granted and ignoring their wishes is irresponsible.
To settle the contradiction between parents' requirement for obedience and young people's desire for free will requires the latter to be financially independent.