Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My future after school

My parents are always pressuring me about my future after school and that my options are coming up this year and I need to get a job that gets more money so I can provide for my future family, I really feel pressured because I only live on a council estate and it is hard for me to go to university and take become really successful when I know my family cant afford it. What should I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Feeling like you have to live up to other people’s expectations can be really difficult. I can tell that you’re feeling under a lot of pressure to take a certain path in life but remember that your life is your own. You have the right to make choices that make you feel happy and fulfilled.

You mentioned that your parents told you that you need to get a job so you can earn enough money to provide for your future family. It’s important to ask yourself whether having a family is something you, rather than just something other people expect you to do. If you feel you’d like to have a family, you can decide when the time is right for you.

Having enough money is important so that you have the basic things you need. It also helps to think about the type of life you want. Ask yourself: Which things in life make me happy? How do I want my future to look? What are my strengths and interests? Which things might I enjoy doing as a career?

It can take time to figure these questions out and it can feel scary to make big decisions. If you’d like to talk things through with someone, have a think about which people in your life you trust most and ask them for help. If you’d prefer to talk about it with someone you don’t know, remember that Childline counsellors can always be here to support you as well.

You mentioned that you live on a council estate and this makes it hard to afford to go to university. I’m not sure whether going to university is something you’d like to do, but if it is, there's some help available to people whose families might not be able to afford it. You can have a look at the Government’s Student Finance calculator for more information about this.

I noticed that you mentioned becoming successful. University is one way of following a career path, but there are lots of other routes people can take, depending on the sort of job they’d like. Anyone who’s unsure of what they’d like to do next, might find it helpful to visit the National Careers Service for specialist advice and support.

I’m really glad that you took the time to write this letter to me. Being under pressure can make you feel as though you don’t have many choices, but this is your life and you can decide the path you’d like to take.

I hope this helps and that you get the support you need so that you can take the route that’s right for you.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter