If there is one thing about society that irks me the most, it’s the pressures put on women as we get older. One that I find the most irritating is what they expect us to do in the future — to stay home and raise kids while our husbands go to work and make the money.

As someone who has quite a bit of loans to pay off after graduation, and who has cried and sweated a lot over her courses so far, there’s no way I’d consider giving up my career to raise kids. Actually, there’s no reason I’d even consider having kids. Childbirth is scary and kids are too much of a responsibility.

But beside all that, I’m working hard so I can do what I love after graduation. I’m not working my butt off and preparing myself to work in the book publishing industry just to give it all up. I want to have a truly life-long career.

I’m not saying that some women don’t want to give up their jobs to have kids or even just be housewives. I’ve always believed that women should be able to do whatever makes them happy. If raising kids is what makes them happy, then that’s great! But not all women feel that way.

And don’t get me started on the whole marriage aspect of this “ideal” future that society has laid out for us women. I have no shame admitting that I’ve never been in a relationship and dating is the last of my priorities. I don’t even see marriage as part of my future. I’m perfectly content being single and I’m in no rush to be in a relationship.

I know I’m not the only woman out there who wants to keep her career and not get married or have kids. So why does society keep pressuring us to fulfill the role of both mother and housewife with equal commitment and competency?

If you’re a woman and you’re like me, there’s nothing to feel ashamed of. It’s okay to never want marriage or kids. And it’s certainly okay for you to use that well-earned degree you worked hard for until you retire, or have the freedom to weave through the workforce and find what works for you without having to consider the economic stability of a family as a factor in your decision-making.

No matter what you do with your life — and this goes for anyone — it should be what you choose to do. No one should pressure you to do anything you don’t want to because it’s your life, and, as the saying goes, you only live once.

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