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Not good news from my college freshman :::(((( UpDate

Posted by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:13 AM
  • 21 Replies

Now that we have had some time to think this through and have some perspective, we have decided that this bump in the road might just be necessary for our son to grow up.  A dose of reality in his life which has been smooth sailing and easy up till now.  This learning experience will help him later in life.

We will bring him home next weekend.  He will have to get a job, pay rent and expenses.  We decided not to make him pay back the school he failed.  Rather he will have to save up to pay to retake the classes at a local community college.  If he can get back on track in the next year, we will consider sending him back to University, if that is what he chooses to do.

Engineering is his passion. I know he will be motivated to get back to college at some point.  I think he just has some growing up to do.

Thanks everyone for your input and advice.




As if dealing with my 16 year old ds's issues wasn't enough, now I am having trouble with my 18 year old.  Trouble of a different sort.

I posted earlier this week about my son not responding to my attempts to contact him at collge.

My son goes to a reputable university with a very competitive engineering program.  This year was the toughest to get in, or so the college says.  My son was a straight A student in high school.  Self motivated to get his work done. Involved in the marching band, he loves music.   I worried about him going off to college because he is very much an introvert, but at the same time thought the experience would be good for him.

We knew at about mid semester he was having some trouble managing his time.  He was spending too much time playing games on his computer and not enough time studying.  So we sat down and talked with him about some solutions that would help him manage his time better.  For a while he seemed to be doing well.  Then we started hearing from him less.  At this point it is too late to withdraw from classes.  I started asking him in early November if he had registered for next sememster yet.  He kept stringing me along telling me he was going to.  All along telling us everything is fine.  He is a little worried about calculus but he is going to study hard for finals.

Yesterday I logged on to what little parent information we are allowed to see (dumb privacy rules, we are paying the Bill, we should be able to see more...rant)  anyway I and I see he has failed 2 classes already.  I wouldn't be surprised if he has failed the others, but he hasn't taken all of his final exams yet.  I am devistated.  I can't believe he would let things get this bad and not tell us anything.  We will have to pay back the financial aid he was given by the school.  Looks like when he comes home for Christmas it will be for good.  He will have to get a job and make up the classes that he failed and maybe he can apply for readmission next spring and pick up where he left off.

We can't talk to him about this though, because he is completely ignoring our calls, texts and emails.  Ugggggg.  What do I do?  This is a hard lesson for him, maybe one he needed.  But a huge financial burden for us right before Christmas.  I am so mad!  Now I need to call the school today and find out what we need to do.  He needs to let housing know he isn't coming back in the spring and who knows what else.

I swear when it rains it pours!!!  At least my 16 has woken up and decided that doing his homework IS in his best interest.

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:13 AM
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by Susie on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM
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Maybe take time off or work and go to a jr, college part time. I failed out of college. Went to medical assisting school at 23. Got almost straight A's. Our oldest failed out of massage school. Matured, went back part time this year at 21. Making all A's and B's and studying a ton and many times making the highest grades in her class. She wants it now. What a difference in her from 18 to 21. Our 18 yo has a C in one of her classes. She is away at college. All other grades are A's and B's. She gave me her password. I could see her mid term grades.
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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM
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Is he attending a college near-by or with-in a short drive?  If he is then I would show up on his door step.  

I also agree that a community college/junior college may be a better fit for right now.  When he moves back home insist he get a job, enroll in classes at the local community college, and then tell him what his room and board will cost/month.  You don't have to charge him a lot but he does need a hard lesson in what the real world is like.  I hope things improve.

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM
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 I wouldn't pay it make him make payment arrangements to pay it back then when he goes back he will have a reason to study hard and pass.  If you pay it and he goes back he will have learned nothing and could do it again.

by Susie on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM
I agree, but we did not made dd pay the $4500 she wasted and she is doing wonderful now. I guess you never know.

Quoting 02nana07:

 I wouldn't pay it make him make payment arrangements to pay it back then when he goes back he will have a reason to study hard and pass.  If you pay it and he goes back he will have learned nothing and could do it again.

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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM
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I know what you are feeling. My son went away and did the same thing, we were going to bring him home also, but he promised he would get it together. So he stayed and finished out the year. He did do better, jusst not good enough and was placed on academic restriction. Going back the second year was not going to happen, so the plan was to work until he could go back. 

He came home, worked in the fields and then the husband got him a job out with him. All along the plan was for him to start taking classes at the local college, well that hasn't happened. He makes good money for his age, $19 an hour, and get's a lot of overtime. Hell his checks are more then ours, cause we have a lot taken (which he is on), 401 k, etc,..

Whats sad, he won't be going back. His girlfriend is coming back from college, they are going to get a place together, she's going to go to school and he is going to support them. 

Now I wish we would have forced the school issue, cause I can see where his life is going now, and school will not be in the cards with all of the financial responsibility he is going to end up with.

Have a plan with him, and stick to it. It is disheartening..........

by Emily on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM
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We linked allowance or spending money to having the code to go on line or be able to speak to the school.It worked.

We told ours that we had money for grades but not failing ones.They could come home and live free as long as they worked and saved ,worked part time and community college .We wouldn't make them pay us back as long as they were productive.Once they had successfully completed a semester worth of classes we would support college again.We haven't had to use it so far but with two more ya never know.We copied this idea from a friend ,her brother had gone to school almost 6 years on her parents dime with nothing to show.

Engineering is very hard .Maybe he slipped behind and was embarrassed to need help.He had clearly been successful in high school and kids can be funny about asking for needed help.A friends daughter sounds like your son.She just had a hard time admitting engineering wasn't her forte.People had been so excited and proud of her being an engineer.She is 28, graduated two years ago as h.s. math teacher and is great.She is thriving and is already a requested teacher.It was hard for a while till she found her niche.

Good luck !

by Kimberly on Dec. 7, 2012 at 12:15 AM

I would be pissed, too!   Can you call the dorm leader or campus security and have them reach him for you?  I know before you called the police.    

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:07 AM
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I agree with nana that any class he doesn't get a c or better, he should have to pay the tuition for.  Sounds like considering bringing him home might be good, but I would personally stick to a local 4-yr college.  If he's bright enough to get admitted into a competitive engineering school, then he needs to be in a 4-yr-college. 

However, he most likely can make up classes like Calculus at a local community college in the summer and transfer units to the University.  He may also be able to test out of some General Ed units.  Check on DSST (Dantes) and Clep (through the college board) tests.  Many schools allow testing out of certain G.E. classes, and some are as high as 44 units max. 

I had one dd who came home, and I have one dd away at college.  They have to want to do it.

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 7:07 AM
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I would be completely supportive of him. He's avoiding you bc he feels like a total failure and is likely depressed and embarrassed. I'd tell him 'this happens to a ton of kids. the transition to college is difficult, and engineering is one of the hardest programs. this doesn't mean that you won't get a degree, this doesn't necessarily mean that engineering isn't the right field for you. All it means is you had a tough start. And we can't let you continue in the same situation next term. So - you'll come home, and we'll figure out our next step. It could be you work for a semester and then live at home and go to the U here in town for a term. If that goes well, you could be back here next spring. It could be you take a couple classes this spring at the U in town and work part time, and if that goes well, you could be back here, or some other college you choose that we can afford, next fall.

Maybe engineering is exactly the right field for you, you just need to ease into it more slowly. Or at a different school that has better support in their engineering program, especially for first year students. Or maybe it's not the courses, it's easing into all the responsibility of living on campus more slowly. It could be that you may choose to get an undergrad degree in some other field and do a graduate degree in engineering later. Or it could be that engineering isnt your cup of tea, which is fine, there's loads of other things you can major in and you don't have to figure it out now.

You are a smart kid. A good kid. You simply had a rough start. Tons of kids have a tough time first semester at college, kids who are in lots easier programs than the engineering one you were in. You'll get a degree. You'll have a great professional life. We just need to ease in to the on-campus college thing. It's a lot of pressure to go from high school living at home to much harder classes and living on campus with loads of distractions and much less structure. You are not alone in having some difficulty with it. I'm sure you'll do fine later if you choose to try again at this school or somewhere else. But for next semester, and perhaps the one after, we're taking a breather. Re-grouping. Easing in a bit more slowly.

If he's not answering, I'd leave him a message on his cell: 'You have nothing to be ashamed of. This happens. You'll do fine later. We love you. Come home'. If you can't get ahold of him after another few days, I'd also call the school and ensure he is ok. I would be concerned about possible suicidal thoughts. I'd also ask the school to give you advice about how he can pack up in the least conspicuous way - like after most kids have already left for break.

Like Dr. Fink's reply above, we also will be sending our kids off to college with some caveats, in writing, about who pays for courses that aren't passed, and what is the floor for a gpa that would necessitate their coming home to go to local u for a while or take a semester off to work if studying isn't their priority at the moment as evidence by not passing classes. And that if you're not going to school, or working fulltime to save for school that you intend to enroll in fairly soon, then you'll be getting an apartment. That their job in this section of their life is to get a degree to be able to support themselves, and our job as parents is to support their efforts to do that. They know my sister had to come home and go to local U after a pretty bad freshman yr, and she got her degree, then her master's, just like the rest of us, and had a fine professional life. It happens to the best of us. No shame (well, hard to avoid a little). Just clear understanding of the non-punitive but logical consequences.

Try not to be pissed and not to focus on the money. He didn't purposefully set out to blow off school and waste your money. He got in over his head out there alone on campus. He already feels completely awful and is going to be embarrassed explaining to his friends and your neighbors that he is coming home to live with mommy and daddy after bombing out of first term. It would be intolerable if he had to live with pissed off parents. Get it all out of your system before he comes home and in some happy hours out with your girlfriends and DH. With him be loving, supportive, upbeat and firm.

by Silver Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

either way I would pull him out and make him go to a city community college party is over

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