Could use some P&PT

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Could use some P&PT
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 10:57am

I've so enjoyed reading all of your stories of taking your kiddo's to college. Brings back memories of taking each of the boys for the first time in 2005 and 2008.

Justin starts back at the CC today. This is the 3rd time he's trying college. The last 3 out of 4 semesters (one away at college and the 2 semesters he attended CC a couple years ago) he's failed at least one class. How do you even fail a college class - they give you til, like 6 weeks before the end of the semester to drop it! He's saying all the right things about how he's going to do the work, he's going to get that GPA up, etc. - right now it's sitting at a 2.2 so it's going to take a lot of work to even get to a 3.0. We're trying to be encouraging and supportive but at he same time we've had 'the talk' several times that if he doesn't have at least a 3.0 at the end of the semester we won't pay for another semester. So we could use some P&PT that he really does buckle down. He's taking 14 semester hours and isn't even working part time so I feel our expectations are completely reasonable. He's half heartedly filled out a few apps over the summer but never follows up. We've never made the boys work while they were in school so we're not pushing him at this point. ( Probably one of hte things I would have done differently but hindsight's 20/20). While he's still fairly young at 22 he's not getting any younger and he's going to have to figure his life out soon. This summer has been kind of bittersweet for me as several of his classmates, his cousin, etc. that graduated high school the same year graduated college this year and are working at 'real' jobs. And Justin hasn't even been able to hold down part time jobs and the one full time call center job he had.... Sometimes I worry about his ability to take care of himself in life!

Thanks for listening and I hope you all had a great weekend!



Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 3:25pm

Does he have an inkling of what he wants to go into? Any chance of an internship (unpaid) or volunteering in that field while in school, even 4 hours/week, just to see what it's like 'out there'? That might help solidify and hopefully pump up the motivation. (In ds's case he's always worked maybe 10-16 hours/week during the school year and has to pay for books, gas, and 'fun stuff' - he's better busy like that than idle, and that still gave him enough time so far to get his work done for school - not a stellar GPA but now with the new U, hopefully much better as he won't have the core class requirements he did there). Best of luck to Justin!


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Registered: 01-05-2005
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 5:47pm

 This summer has been kind of bittersweet for me as several of his classmates, his cousin, etc. that graduated high school the same year graduated college this year and are working at 'real' jobs.

{{hugs}} and sending many prayers and positive thoughts. I felt this way last year - dd21 was "on break" and I had been clueless until March that she wasn't going to graduate (let's just say that I didn't say anything in the Christmas letter this past year, after erroneously announcing her impending graduation the year before- UGH!) And I have asked my dd how one fails a college class - she failed Spanish, after carrying a near perfect average, by blowing off the final, which was 40% of her grade. A gifted linguist and she fails Spanish 101 - a class she didn't even need, but took for fun?!?!  I agree with the others that some just take longer. This year was dd's best year by a long shot, and it's like she finally grew up in so many ways. Hang onto hope and just remember that if Justin does end up leaving, you've done all you could and he can still come back on his own.  Let us know how it goes (vent if need be, but hopefully post to celebrate!!:smileyhappy:)



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 11:23pm
Hugs Pam! I agree with Con, som kids are slower to mature... my Justin took until he was 24 or 25 to figure it out but after a stint in the army and some age on him he's doing well in school now, for. The first time in his life. Same goes for Tim who barely graduated hs but finished community college on the deans list.

I know you now question not having him work while in school, but I think that sometimes kids benefit from being really busy. Nicki's grades her last 2 semesters, after she had a baby, were MUCH better than the semesters when she was childless.

What is Justin going to school for? Or simply taking gen eds now? Maybe a technical program is more his cup of tea than an academic program? Someone mentioned having him volunteer in his field to spark his interest... that might be what he needs.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 11:55pm
Pam, I agree with Rose. I think kids that have a hard time staying focused need MORE things on their plate--not less. It certainly helped my ADDers when they HAD to keep up both school and a job. And they HAD to pay their own bills, and so not working wasn't an option. At least, not if they wanted their cars to move, and their phones to ring.

As for Justin's schooling, rather than say "if he doesn't have a 3.0 by the end of the semester you won't pay for another", tell him if he doesn't have passing grades at midterm, he will have to drop all the classes, return your money, and move out. And you will NOT pay for another semester, no matter if he passes or not. The bank of Mom & Dad has closed. If he wants to go to school, he will have to get an Unsub loan, in his own name, and pay it back himself. The longer he keeps up passing grades, and makes adequate progress toward graduation, the longer he can defer paying back that loan. If he flunks, he has to pay it back IMMEDIATELY.

Right now, he has no skin in the game. He's living at home for free, whether he passes or not, so what's the incentive? That next semester you won't pay for something he doesn't want to do in the first place? And he can STILL live at home for free?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 9:17am

Pam, I understand your uneasy feelings.  I hope Justin can stay focused this time and do well in college. 

The one suggestion I can offer that hasn't been mentioned here is one I got from my SIL, but I never followed through with it.  When I'd tell her about our DSs, esp. DS29 who is now changing fields, she said that they should take advantage of the tests offered by psychologists or by the college career counseling office--the tests that indicate which majors would fit best with their interests and abilities. (Apparently, they are much better than the ACT Plan test that students take in HS.  And I have a 30-something yoga friend who paid $2,000 for such a test before changing fields, and she was sure it was money well-spent.)  My SIL talked our nephew into taking such a test when he decided to go back to Wright State, one year after dropping out of James Madison U after his sophomore year.  The results of that test steered him to an econ major,  and soon after earning his bachelor's he went for his master's in public policy with which he was fortunate to find a job soon after graduating, a job he is still very happy in five years later.  Maybe Justin has already taken such a test, and that could be reason to be more optimistic this time.  If he hasn't, that sort of evaluation might provide more motivation for him to do well in school.

Despite my encouragement, DS29 never took that sort of test, thinking he knows what he wants now, his MBA.  He blames DH for steering him toward engineering 12 yrs ago, even though we didn't really pressure him.  Sometimes I think we should have paid for the testing for him to take the psych test before his enrolling in the MBA program, simply for our OWN peace of mind.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will be happy with the program he just started; and that DS22 won't want to switch after 4 yrs of pharmacy school. 

I'll be praying that Justin eases into the college routine more easily this time, and that he does well and enjoys being back in the learning environment.



Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 4:34pm

Pam, I'll keep my fingers crossed that this time college clicks with Justin. I definitely know how you feel since my dd26 has started and stopped college a number of times...this time it looks like she's on a roll so I am cautiously optimistic.

As others mentioned, its important that he have a reason to be there, a goal he is trying to reach or a skill that he's trying to learn. If he can find a part time job in the field he hopes to eventually join it would be great, and help him to be sure that the field is for him. And, a few boring low-paying jobs can be great for helping to learn what he doesn't want to do for the rest of his life and for motivating him to learn something that he enjoys and will hopefully pay well--so I would strongly encourage him to try to find work once he gets settled into the school routine. 

Keep us posted with his progress.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 7:11pm
Elc, I think you've hit on the reason that Nicki and Tom did so much better in school after they became parents - they now had a very important reason to do well in school so they could support their son . Not that I suggest that as a way to motivate a student!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 1:00am

Oh Pam, sending you virtual hugs - I know the ups and downs you have had with Justin - and Jason for that matter, though it is great that he is doing so well now.  I do hope he is focused and ready to take college seriously now.  Like others have said, I don't think it is a bad idea to work part time while going to school.  It was good for both my girls.  My older one toned down the partying when she had to get up at the crack of dawn for the early shift at Starbucks, and my younger one with the ADD struggles (which I think are pretty mild, but definitely made school harder) did better when she had less free time, as it forced her to be organized.  I think working full time and taking one or 2 classes at a time OR going to school full time and working 10-20 hours a week seems to be a good balance - but everyone is different.

I kind of agree with letting the gpa requirements go in the CC setting.  We had the same requirement for my older dd, but she went to a 4-yr. school plus we knew she could do it (she did).  With my younger dd and her struggles, we let that one go because she, overall, really tried her best.  She too failed a few, dropped a few (after the refund deadline), and as you may remember, eventually we all mutually agreed that her out-of-state tuition at UO was just too much money for that kind of track record. 

This may sound silly, and you may have already gone this route, but has Justin been tested for any LDs?  We didn't really find out about my dd's issues until things started to unravel in college.  She had a 3.7 in H.S. but in a school where the middle average is fairly low and there is a sizeable population of English language learners, it was probably overinflated compared to other higher performing districts.  My daughter is very bright and is now very successful, but definitely needed to find her own path to succeed.

Anyhow - keeping my finger crossed that all will go well this year!

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 12:08pm
((Hugs)) and prayers!! I do hope that the third time is the charm!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 9:18pm
Hi pam,
What about encourage club- govt. Connect to involve? I can't remember does he do martial arts?