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He's a Freshman in college, I'm a Freshman what do I do???

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Question: What should you do with your college freshman the first semester?


Let them do it all, fail or succeed.

Monitor them closely and make sure they do everything and don't fail.

Keep in contact, make suggestions and hope they listen.

Let them do it all and if you see them struggling, talk to them.


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Total Votes: 19

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He says he's doing fine.  He says it's going fine.  He says he loves his classes but something tells me there is more.  He calls a lot.  I had to tell him to stop, hoping he would be forced to go find friends.  He is always in his room when I call, Friday night, Wednesday afternoon or Sunday.  His grades on-line (I have his password) are horrible, mostly.  He says his grades will be added to and improve with the semester.  He says he is involved and does go to the movies on campus, is part of a group and has friends. 

We have a good relationship and he has always been a real honest kid, a bit lazy sometimes but a good kid.  How do I know that he is making friends, doing well in school and being responsible without smoothering him?  I think he still needs some help but at the same time I think he needs to grow up and take responsibility for getting things done on his own.  I don't want to wait until he gets his grades to find out that we threw away $15000. 

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM
Replies (11-20):
by Barb on Oct. 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM
1 mom liked this

As far as your situation goes, your son may be a bit homesick or a slow starter. I suggest, if I may without causing offense, that you retract your restrictions on calling and let him call whenever he wants to.  It may be that you provide the comforting stability that he needs right now, and to withdraw it may be hurtful and may only make him withdraw more into himself.

by Jeanine on Oct. 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM

 Who's paying for the education?  I've seen too many kids party their way through college while their parents go into debt.  We encouraged our kids to find something they want to do and go to a technical college (at their own expense).  Amazing how a guy who could care less about good grades in high school, goes to plumbing school and is now a Master Plumber with his own business.  My guess is your son doesn't really want to go to college so he's not giving it his all.  If you are paying for his education I would have another conversation with him about what is expected of him.

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I wouldn't be paying the entire amount of his college education.  He would be working, getting grants/loans and I would help but, but I'm a bitch of a mom.  I feel that my child is responsible for her future, so she needs to pay for it.  I came from a working class family and no one paid for my education except me, I also had rent and bills to pay.  I don't mind helping but I wouldn't be paying for it all

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by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Gice him time to adjust,
The first semester away is so hard ::sigh::
As for his grades .. keep asking/checking, LOL
Am glad you guys can talk & I think you should keep doing that.
However he does need his space in hopes of making friends too.
Good luck & let us know how it is going :)

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by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
1 mom liked this
The first year, the first semester is tough... My daughters didn't go away to school, as both universities were close enough to commute... We always were available if problems arose, if they were struggling along or whatever... If you have a good relationship and want to know how he's doing then talk to him... Ask him to be honest and not afraid to say if he's got some issues ... Communication is the key, if his grades are poor explain the cost of his education, and advise him NOW to seek tutoring so he can catch those grades up and you don't feel like you threw away your money... It's not even mid term... He sounds like he just needs a healthy push... Don't make him stop calling you... Kids even young adult kids need to know they can call home. Don't push him away.. Let him know you are there, but that he has to start improving his grades ect... If your paying for his education those grades are by all means YOUR BUSINESS... We paid for our girls educations, we saved all thier lives so they could have quality educations without the worry of loans BUT.. We knew about every grade yes it was our business... Just like elementary school and high school we pay they produce and produce they did, ... Just my opinion,
Keep the lines of communication open, talk with him, advise him to seek tutoring or see his councilor ... And remeber this is all new to him... Good luck and Bless...
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:40 AM

 My suggestion would be to read The Happiest Kid on Campus & The Naked Roommate: For Parents only, both by Harlan Cohen and give him The Naked Roommate and The Naked Roommate workbook, both also by Harlan Cohen. He is a very insightful author. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the college my youngest son was attending right before his freshman year started. Here's a website for parents: . It helps to get advice from parents who have been there (he takes input from parents who have had college students and adds their advice to his books).

College is a HUGE transition. High school life very rarely prepares them for it. So, helping him find is footing is very important. He's a fish out of water, encourage him to join things and please, read the books and check out the website. And if your son is receptive, pass this website on for him: (btw, the naked roommate refers to one of many issues kids run in to while in college, they aren't in Kansas anymore and they are going to be experiencing things they have never run in to before).

by Susie on Oct. 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM
If you are paying, you have a say. Withdrawl him at the semester, make him pay for it all? We withdrew our older daughter from massage school. Now at 21, she is at a different school and A's and B's. So much more mature. I sucked in college and quit. I went to medical assisting school after I married at 23 and got about all A's.
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by Silver Member on Oct. 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I think it is great that you care about your son succeeding and you are willing to help him with school. It is now up to him if he takes advantage of that opportunity or not. We believe in education and helping our children financially if they pull at least Cs. Our oldest daughter did and graduated. We didn't monitor her homework or grades, but she shared the report with us. The second daughter failed out of her first term and decided she didn't know what she wanted to do yet. She is a waitress right now. The third son is in school and thriving. One of our twins wants to go to college and can only qualify at the community one. We will support her as well (all worked part-time and/or full-time for their personal expenses), unless she is getting Ds or Fs. We do this to motivate her and we also feel it is a waste of our money. If she fails a class, she will have to pay us back for that before we will continue to help her with school. It's been the same opportunity for all. It's up to them whether they take it or decide to pursue another path.

by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Homesickness takes a huge toll on kids their first semester away and it is the primary reason many college freshmen never make it to their second year.  Talk to him, get him to talk to you, don't let it lead to something worse if he is unhappy, depression can take a hold quickly if they are not adjusting to college.  

If you are paying for his education you have as much right to access his grades as he does and he should know that.  It is something you need to discuss with him and make sure he is well aware of what your standards are in order for you to continue paying for his education.  If he dips below those standards he needs to know up front what the consequences will be.  Whether it means withdrawal from school or he takes on the financial burden, it needs to be clear to him.  Also, make clear what the expectations are should he not remain in school.

Some kids just do not thrive like we want them too when they are away at school.  If this is the case for your son it doesn't mean all is lost, it just means everyone needs to re-evaluate.  Maybe a local school would be better for him, where he could live at home and commute.  Maybe the classroom setting is too overwhelming and an Online Education would suit him more.  There are some excellent Online educational programs out there these days, just do your research.  Or maybe he just needs to get a job for a little while to figure out what he really wants to do.  Every kid is unique and each needs to grow in an environment that works for them.  

So . . .  talk to him, see what he is thinking and feeling and work from there.  

by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM

 Thanks everyone!  I have gotten some really good advice.  hugs

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