Need advice on 23 year old college son

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2011
Need advice on 23 year old college son
28
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 8:27pm

My son was the golden child in high school. Top grades, president of class all 3 years, top athlete and accepted into 3 top engineering colleges. And handsome on top of it. He looks like Justin Timberlake's twin.

He is now in his fifth year of college. He is barely getting by but due to graduate, hopefully this year. He rarely returns phone call or messages. He looks like a one of those grungy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 9:49pm

No you're not over reacting. It's not uncommon to be on the 5 year plan these days. My older ds took 5 years to graduate but he had to take a medical withdrawal twice during college. He turned 23 the day he graduated last summer. But he also worked hard in college, went to school in the summer, and graduated with an excellent GPA. Is your ds working during the summer? Is he involved in clubs at school? Is he expected to pay for his own 'fun money'? If he's barely getting by, not replying (at least occasionally) to your calls and texts and you're paying for everything then I think he probably needs a bit of a wake up call. Is he off for the summer? If so I'd sit down with him and tell him you'll pay his tuition this year as long as he gets a certain GPA. Work out a reasonable budget for living expenses (not including beer money and gym fees). He can get a job for those extras. If he's going to be interviewing this next year and putting a resume together the work experience will be good; he'll need more to put on it than mountain biking and working out!

Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 10:30pm

Over reacting?

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 1:06am

At what point in the 5 years, and the $200,000, did things begin to go south?

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 10:18am

You're not overreacting, but my feelings are similar to Sabr's.

My kids know that I will pay for college for them, which will be close to $250K per kid.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 11:21am

You're not overreacting, I'd be really upset too. I have the same questions as the others regarding what he is doing this summer and how its being paid for, and when did this downturn begin?

My ds also took 5 years to graduate and I know kids who took longer; is your son taking that long because he's taking a light load each semester, or having to repeat failed classes, or ? And what does the school say about his GPA? Is he on Academic Probation? How many units does he need to graduate?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 3:00pm

Just because a student got top marks in high school doesn’t mean he/she will get great marks in engineering. I have seen this happen time and time again. “Golden boy or girl” starts university and what a shock. The marks drop because engineering is more than being good at math or being able to memorize facts or writing good essays.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 3:45pm

We don't have quite enough information here.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 4:16pm

You make some good points here, such as that engineering programs can be a rude awakening for kids who skated through high school, or even those with a good work ethic who are in challenging programs.

However, I would point out that there are some things in the original post that suggest the issue is greater than that:

"He is barely getting by but due to graduate, hopefully this year."

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 4:17pm
Excellent points - also an idea is an internship or just shadowing, for free. Will definitely help hone down what type of engineering career he might like. or at least sort out what he might not like. Maybe he can call some local engineering places and see if they'd let him shadow someone for a week or more (whatever they'd permit) - if he can do that with one or more places that could be invaluable to his future.

Sue
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 4:45pm

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