Learning English through Social Issues

You write an advice column for Teen magazine and you have received the following letter:

I’ve been thinking about my future. I love animals and I’ve always wanted to be a vet. But when I told my parents, the first thing they said was ‘No’. I feel really frustrated. What should I do? – J.C. 16 years old

Write a letter of advice.

Dear J.C.,

I am writing in response to your letter concerning your choice of future career. I am sorry to hear about your frustration and would like to offer some advice to you.

First of all, you should understand the worries of your parents about your future. Although you love animals, it is hard to make a living as a vet in Hong Kong. In general, it is not common for people in Hong Kong to keep pets as there are many residential buildings which ban keeping pets. As a result, the demand for a vet in Hong Kong is very low and the job market for a vet is very small. You have to be exceptionally competent in order to secure an employment as a vet in Hong Kong. You might think that you can work as a vet in foreign countries. However, it is hard for a vet to apply for a work visa in other countries. Even if you are allowed to work overseas as a vet, you will have to leave your homeland and will need to face many problems living and working overseas such as culture shock and communication barrier. Other problems may come along.

Second, you should know that it is difficult to turn interests into career. There are many people who like singing, drawing and dancing. In fact, however, very few of them can work as a singer, a painter or a dancer and make a decent living. There is only one in a thousand chance that you can develop a successful career from your interests. More often is that interests remain hobbies in your spare time. For example, you may think about being a part-time volunteer at SPAC to help take care of abandoned animals in your free time. 

Third, you should know that you can always choose to be a vet. You may first think about a more practical career like dentistry or nursing, earn enough money, then study a part-time vet programme and open a pet shop if you like. People pursue a second career after they make enough money to realise their dream. 

After considering the above obstacles, if you still want to be a vet as your first career choice, then you should try to convince your parents that you want to follow your passion and that you are able to overcome the obstacles in the pursuit of your career as a vet. You have to show them that you understand all the negative sides of following your dream and that you agree to bear all the responsibility and consequence of your choice. 

To pursue one’s dream is never easy. I hope the above suggestions are helpful to you.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Wong

#dse #sample

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