Going Back Next Semester?

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Registered: 01-23-2003
Going Back Next Semester?
9
Sun, 12-16-2012 - 6:44pm

I was just wondering if any of your kids, after attending college, that it was not for them.  Or maybe not for them right now.  How did you handle it? What did they do?  I'm just curious.  DD so far has enjoyed school, but it always is in the back of my mind, what if she decides not to go back?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003
Fri, 12-21-2012 - 11:46pm
Elle, you reminded me of my own school experience. I left school with 2 or 3 semesters left. I was burnt out, had suffered a few disappointments, been through a few things and was feeling quite inadequate and other things. Looking back, I think I was going through some kind of breakdown. I was ashamed to go back home, because I didn't have a reason to explain to people why I left and I thought it would embarass my mom. I left after Christmas break, but I had gotten an internship for the following semester and the summer. That break was just what I needed to go back and get through it.
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Registered: 08-06-2009
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 10:20am
I come to this question a little differently BECAUSE I am the child that chose one semester to run off from school mid semester and did not return to school the next. For me, i experienced how much i wanted my decisions to be honored for me to be authentically me, not just an extension of my parents dreams and controls. It is hard to stand up to be ourselves to listen to our own voice.  Loving a child unconditionally with out expectations and MY dreams attached I know now from the other side of this equation is one hard parenting challenge. My oldest dropped out of high school as soon as he turned 16. I was disappointed then. It took me back to my Early life decision too.  It is something he needed to grow through, just like, I would not be ME, without the struggle.  
Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 3:57pm

Better that he's employed and at home than wasting money in college.  Sooner or later he will find the motivation.

It took getting engaged for DH to finally get himself back to school.  It was kind of like he woke up one day and said to himself, I'm tired of sitting around feeling like a loser!  So he saved up money to buy a ring, and we went on an Engaged Encounter weekend, and he started back at school a couple weeks after we got married at the age of 27.  In 18 months, he'd finished his degree at a fine univerity and graduated with a 3.8 average.  We joke that he was on the 11-year plan, but in truth it was nervewracking to be his gf for so long and wonder if he was *ever* going to decide to do something with his life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 3:44pm

Yes, I have one of those.  My oldest son was top 10 in his class, lots of scholarships and his first year in college was dean's list both semesters.  Things started falling apart in his sophomore year, but he wouldn't share any of his difficulties with us.   We didn't know for sure he wasn't going back until that summer, when he could no longer hide that he had no housing arrangements and no classes scheduled.  His GPA had dropped, he lost his academic scholarships and he didn't want to go back.  We quickly got him signed up at the local community college, because they had a "guest scholar" program where his credits there would transfer back to his 4 year school (at that time, I still had hopes that he would return after he got his act together).  After three semesters, he told us last December that he would not be returning to school for spring semester--he needed a "break."

We told him that if he was not in school, he needed to have a job, and he also had to pay us at least a small amount toward his room and board at home.  He had a job within 2 weeks, working at a call center about 25-30 hours a week.   His dad is upset that it's not 40 hours, but I'm okay as long as he's working. He's kind of drifting along, living at home, working, gaming (fantasy role-playing, not gambling), and not showing much motivation to do more.   But he's also not doing anything destructive--not smoking, drinking, drugging, partying, etc. 

Am I disappointed? Yes.  Do I think he will always be a college dropout?  No. Eventually he will go back and finish his degree, but it will be on his time and his dime.   I can't live his life for him, and he doesn't have to live his life to fit my expectations for him.  Being upset with him, as DH is, doesn't do any good for either of us, so I try to be accepting of it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 2:35pm

I know I'd be disappointed, because this is the only of our children (and the baby) that actually seemd enthusiastic about going, and about her career choice (which may change, I know).  But I would definitely make her have a plan if she left, like we did for our kids who left school and our kids who chose not to go to school at all.  And the plan is not  "looking" for a job, it's having a   job(s) that amounts to full-time hours. 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 12-18-2012 - 10:57am

It's hard for me to imagine this scenario for my older kids, since the oldest LOVES learning, and the middle one is so excited to go to college and study things she likes instead of math and science.  They've also had it drilled into their heads that they have to go to college in order to have the kind of life they want to have, so I don't think they'd even consider it an option.

However, DH dropped out of college numerous times, and I was always annoyed that his parents put up with it!  They let him come back with no plans and just hang out.  Drove me crazy.  Eventually of course he got his act together, or he wouldn't be my DH. ;)

If it were one of my kids, they would definitely need to come back with an understanding of why college wasn't working out and a plan for work and/or community college.

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Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 2:57pm

I'm probably the queen of moms of kids that didn't go back to school here. Our youngest graduated h.s. in 2008, went off to school about 3 hours away. Did fine first semester but went into a tailspin 2nd semester after a hard break up. Met a girl on the rebound, stopped going to classes. She ended up pregnant and they got married in Sept. 2009. He didn't go back to school because he was working to try to support them. Their baby died 12 hours after she was born in Feb. 2010 so Justin and his dw moved back down near us. The plan was that they were both going to go back to school. They separated in a matter of months and the divorce was final in October. Justin did go back to school the school year of 2010-2011. Since he was married when he registered he got financial aid which paid for his classes plus some extra money. He ended up flunking 2 classes first semester and one second semester but since we weren't paying for it there wasn't much we could do. He again decided he wasn't ready for school so tried the full time job thing from June 2011 until this past May when he decided to try school AGAIN. We agreed to pay as long as he maintained a 3.0 gpa, which he did. But about 6 weeks ago he told us that he still wasn't sure what he wanted to do and he's decided to join the army. He's talked to a recruiter, taken his ASVAB (and did very well - he's smart, just doesn't apply himself at school). He's waiting on one more piece of paper work which should come through tomorrow. Then he'll go back to the recruiter on Wednesday and determine the what/where/when. They'll schedule his physical and - baring some unknown health issue - he will be enlisting at that time. We were a bit concerned about his choice at first but it could be just what he needs. He's not going to be able to quit if he gets tired of it, he won't be able to slack off. And if he does choose to return to school at some later date he'll be able to use the GI Bill.

It was kind of tough when Justin didn't return to school after that first year. DH and I are both college educated and we just kind of always expected that both boys would do high school, then 4 years of college, and then get a 'big boy' job. I guess our older ds makes up for it. Not only did he stick with college he's in his 2nd year of med school so he's looking at 2 1/2 more years of school and then 3-5 years of residency before he gets his first 'real' job!

Pam
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Registered: 11-03-2012
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 11:46am

 <<The plan is usually to bring them back home, with conditions, and I know that's what we would have done had either DS decided to drop out of college>>

If dd decided that (but she really loves the school she's at and is doing pretty well)- that's what we'd do. 

Though looking at it as "your" personal failure- I don't think so.  The college student made their decision and sometimes decisions aren't the best for that person. 

Cheryl

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Registered: 10-25-2006
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 8:01am
That question is probably in the back of most POCS. Although our two boys did stick it out, we have a nephew who went "back home" after two yrs. (His parents had moved to another state during that time.) He was a waiter at local restaurant there, and after a year or two of that, he returned to school, a local U, to finish his bachelors. Soon after, he decided to pursue his Master's, and he's doing just fine today at age 31. The plan is usually to bring them back home, with conditions, and I know that's what we would have done had either DS decided to drop out of college. Personally, I would have seen it as my failure, and felt obligated to continue parenting them, even though we know there are tons of other reasons a student may decide not to return.

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