Frustrated with Parents
This will probably be long, and might be disorganized but I have gotten so upset and frustrated with my parents that I just need to get this out somewhere, because I honestly have no clue how to deal with them.
I am 21 years old and about to go into my last year of undergrad with the intent to pursue a PhD in a (hopefully funded) grad program. I am second in my department, work as a peer tutor for my college, tutor local high school students in math (including a current student, Joe who I will mention later), and have recently been hired by Kaplan as an SAT tutor. The point of this is to simply show that I am not by any means a bad kid, and that I am motivated. Also, allow me to state here that I love my parents and have a great deal of respect for them.
Since I have been home (going on 4 weeks) my parents have made me cancel on my tutoring sessions with Joe twice, because they did not want me to drive (he lives an hour north). This cost me 100 bucks and was also not only inconvenient for me, but also for Joe and his mother. They also remind me constantly that I "live in South Jersey" and as such, having a job in central Jersey and a girlfriend in north Jersey are both unacceptable.
I know that they don't like me driving long distances because they worry about my safety. But they are preventing me from meeting with my tutoring client and from seeing my girlfriend. I do not travel constantly; once a week to meet with Joe and ideally once a week to see my girlfriend. I have sat with them a number of times calmly and tried to explain to them that I am not trying to disrespect them and that I know where they are coming from, but that they need to see how it is affecting me negatively.
It always escalates into an argument somehow, and nothing is ever resolved. I need to find a way to work around this, because I absolutely can not have them telling me to cancel tutoring sessions with Kaplan. I also find it moderately disconcerting that I am only seeing my girlfriend about once every two weeks, when there is no reason not to -- I do not ask them for money, I pay for my own gas or train ticket, and always compromise with when I will be home.
On top of this, even when driving is not an issue, they will say "it's too late to go out" or simply tell me "no, you aren't allowed out." I spend plenty of time with my parents and family, and it feels like whenever I am home for the summer, my friendships tend to get put on pause.
I don't make enough money to move out, which they hold over my head any time we get into a fight. I have considered taking out loans more than once just to get a house off campus from my college and to move in there for the summer. This just seems too brash a decision. My relationship with my parents has become more and more strained this summer, and I don't know how to fix it. I know they aren't trying to punish me, but it always feels like I'm being forced to stay in my own house. Talking it out with them is becoming less of an option as they always threaten me to take away the car or to ground me (which is pretty much achieved by taking away my car).
As a last side note, they also don't seem to understand anything about my studies and have been less than supportive of the fact that I want to pursue a PhD. My dad has always wanted me to be an engineer or an actuary, and math professor never was good enough for him. He refuses to believe that I will get into any program and constantly asks me "what will you do when you don't get into grad school." I am aware that I can't assume that I will get in or finish, but I have considered this and have back up plans. I wish that my dad didn't constantly throw my own insecurity in my face, and could at least pretend to support me.
So maybe I am overreacting, in fact I probably am, because I am absolutely fuming right now. I just needed to get this out in writing because I am more frustrated than I have ever been.