Mary Kate

Sheer Panic!

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Mary Kate

Ladies!

Ladies.

My son. Oh, my.

This is the kid who has brains like you wouldn't believe. Scored VERY well on ACT. Scholarships. Awards. Honors Societies. Dual Enrollment galore.

His first semester at a TECH school ... his grades??

He was making 30's and 40's. NO LIE!

 

THIRTIES! FORTIES!

 

He withdrew from them - now has a W/F on the transcript.

 

Why? Why was he failing?

HE

NEVER

EVEN

OPENED

HIS

TEXTBOOK

It was still in the shrink wrap when I found it.

He said that he didn't know he needed it. He said the professor never mentioned the book. This is Human anatomy and physiology. These are not easy classes. 

WHAT IS GOING ON?!

Scholarship money = gone.

:help:

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the geographer

I am so sorry!! Biggest tip he should have paid attention to at the beginning of the semester is to read the syllabus! Most of the information he would have needed was in there. He also needs to realize this is college, there is no hand-holding although if he took dual enrollment at a cc he should have known that. The other thing I pounded into my girls heads was get to know your professors and don't wait until you're in trouble. If your ds had gone to the professor after the first poor grade he may have figured out the problem and been able to end the semester well. I'm sure he's learning a very hard lesson from this. What are his plans to regroup and move forward?

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ajbmom

Ugh, I’m sorry!  Our son leaves for college this summer.  Super smart, but major executive functioning issues due to ADHD.  What you are describing is what we are afraid of.  Have you had him tested for a learning disability or some other issue?

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SewWhat?

My son was the same. SUPER smart!!!! 

But, classes he deemed stupid and unnecessary he totally blew off to the detriment of his scholarship too.

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Momof4JackAttacks

I have no words of advice just ((((hugs)))) 

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4arrows

Oh, my....I am SO sorry!  I agree with Debbi that if he had talked to the professor he could have headed this off.  Is he wanting to do college?  Is he feeling ambivalent about what he was studying?  Maybe some time off working will be good for him.  How is he feeling about this whole thing?

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the geographer

One thing to realize is that this is his problem not yours. You can help him figure out what next, how to get out of this hole he's gotten himself into but it's about him and how he's going to solve it. Have a discussion along the lines of what 4arrows said - does he want to continue college, how is he going to do that if he's lost his scholarships, does he want/need to work, take a different path than what he originally envisioned. If he continues college have the discussion about how to do well - read the syllabus, talk to your professors, study groups, etc. Help guide him to figure out what's next. 

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Mazurka

I worry about this with my older son, too.  Smart as all get-out, but he always wants to do things his way, and that includes not writing out problems, not studying with focus, etc, etc.   Because he was able to coast for a long time,  the concept of studying is somewhat alien to him. Yes, yes, he says he's studying, but that mostly amounts to staring at a book with eyes glazed over.   I'm also worried that he will argue with a professor over stupid stuff, and then get kicked out of class, lol.   My son is going to do an extra year at home, and then go to community college for two years.  He decided to go the CC route, although that wouldn't have been my choice for him.  Maybe he knows that he's not quite ready for the rigors of a 4-year school, living away from home. 

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SewWhat?
2 hours ago, the geographer said:

One thing to realize is that this is his problem not yours. You can help him figure out what next, how to get out of this hole he's gotten himself into but it's about him and how he's going to solve it. Have a discussion along the lines of what 4arrows said - does he want to continue college, how is he going to do that if he's lost his scholarships, does he want/need to work, take a different path than what he originally envisioned. If he continues college have the discussion about how to do well - read the syllabus, talk to your professors, study groups, etc. Help guide him to figure out what's next. 

YES! It is HIS problem, not yours!

As parents we want to feel like we did something right if they do well, or we did something wrong if they didn't do well. But, they make their own choices, just like we do. It is not OUR fault if they flounder like this. They made the choice, not us. 

And really, he didn't know he needed the books? um.... if there is a book we know we're going to need it. That was a really sorry excuse. It came down to the fact he decided he wasn't going to use the books. If it were my son I'd think he thought he was smarter than the books and thought he could pass without studying. Because, up to college he DID pass without studying too much! He finally got to a point where without studying he wasn't doing well, and he didn't like it.

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Mazurka
7 minutes ago, SewWhat? said:

If it were my son I'd think he thought he was smarter than the books and thought he could pass without studying. Because, up to college he DID pass without studying too much! He finally got to a point where without studying he wasn't doing well, and he didn't like it.

"...and he didn't like it."  Yes, indeedy!  I think that is a problem a lot of smart kids have.  Often they can get by for years without having to study or work hard, and then, eventually, they get to stuff that is a challenge for them, and they are almost insulted that they have to study.  

My DH always said that the best engineers are not necessarily the smartest people, but they are the ones who are willing to work hard and study.  

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SewWhat?
13 minutes ago, Mazurka said:

"...and he didn't like it."  Yes, indeedy!  I think that is a problem a lot of smart kids have.  Often they can get by for years without having to study or work hard, and then, eventually, they get to stuff that is a challenge for them, and they are almost insulted that they have to study.  

My DH always said that the best engineers are not necessarily the smartest people, but they are the ones who are willing to work hard and study.  

Insulted they have to study, good word!!! Christian didn't seem to study much and passed into 2nd level Japanese in college, but everything else he didn't much think was important he didn't pass well without studying. He decided college wasn't for him. 

So, now he's working midnights and plans to take ESL as soon as he saves enough money for the course, and then do that. He tried to get into the Navy and he passed EVERYTHING! With flying marks! His office hadn't seen such a high language placement test (he was accepted into the translator school) and he scored nearly perfect on the ASVAB, but he's still got a teeny weeny hole in his eardrum from previous tube placement :( They declined to let him in because of it. So, his whole future plans fell through, and now he's just trying to make it through life. He could try to get a waiver from the Air Force, but he's not sure he wants to chance not actually doing translator school with them so he's not even pushed for the mto make sure they've looked at his records. I"m a bit miffec about it, but again, he makes his own choices...

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Mazurka
19 minutes ago, SewWhat? said:

Insulted they have to study, good word!!! Christian didn't seem to study much and passed into 2nd level Japanese in college, but everything else he didn't much think was important he didn't pass well without studying. He decided college wasn't for him. 

So, now he's working midnights and plans to take ESL as soon as he saves enough money for the course, and then do that. He tried to get into the Navy and he passed EVERYTHING! With flying marks! His office hadn't seen such a high language placement test (he was accepted into the translator school) and he scored nearly perfect on the ASVAB, but he's still got a teeny weeny hole in his eardrum from previous tube placement :( They declined to let him in because of it. So, his whole future plans fell through, and now he's just trying to make it through life. He could try to get a waiver from the Air Force, but he's not sure he wants to chance not actually doing translator school with them so he's not even pushed for the mto make sure they've looked at his records. I"m a bit miffec about it, but again, he makes his own choices...

I've heard that small issues like the hole in his eardrum, or less than perfect vision, can keep one out of certain branches of the military.   I guess I understand that somebody without good vision couldn't be a pilot, but it seems like there are other things that qualified candidates can do in all branches of the military.  I'm sorry that Christian had his plans fall through. That is hard for anyone to take.

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Debbie in Bailey

My oldest failed out of college his first year.  He was asked not to return.

He decided that studying and going to class were just too much.  He couldn't be bothered.  He had all sorts of excuses and reasons.  But the bottom line is that he chose not to. 

Please, believe everyone and me when we say it is NOT your problem.  It really does not reflect on you.  I know it can feel like it though. 

My son is very gifted.  Even profoundly gifted in mathematics.  He easily got into a they-don't-just-admit-anyone engineering school a year earlier than typical.  He scored perfect scores on standardized tests without even trying.  He could have done anything he wanted.  Yeah. 

((hugs))  I know it's hard.  Just love him.  Set appropriate boundaries and such and then love him - even when he makes choices you would not or that you wish he would not.  

 

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Sandwich in Wi

My dd quit college after the first day this year.  I made her stay the first week, but then she withdrew and came home.  She didn't like the teaching style, didn't want to write papers, didn't want to learn that way.  Not the choice I'd have made, but why pay all that money if you aren't motivated to do your best and get something out of it.  You need to have an end goal in mind.  She went back to work full time and is now working overseas.  I'm sure when she figures out what she wants to do, she'll be motivated to work within the system.

I can see this exact same scenario, as the original poster, happening to my son, except that... he entered public high school as a freshman this year.  Now I would never push someone to put their kid in high school for this purpose, but he is making these exact same mistakes only it's FREE.  Yes, his grades matter for college purposes, but it's only freshman year and hopefully he'll get this figured out sooner, rather than later.  He hasn't had an F in a class yet, but he's had F's on tests and has been as low as a D- in a class.  A whole pile of missing and late work in the first quarter and still not getting how to study for tests.  Math, he's getting 100%.  History? He's up to a C+ with no missing work yet this quarter.  He definitely doesn't get how to use the textbook, though and he's spacey about listening in class.  He told me they NEVER told him what a bootlegger was when they studied Prohibition.  I said, well, if it was on the test, I bet it came up somewhere.  Nope.  Never mentioned.  (Psst.  I bet it was in the textbook you didn't read...)  Well, I guess he can be a math major, if nothing else...

Hopefully your son will get this figured out.  What's he doing now instead?

Blessings, Sandwich

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Merry
5 hours ago, Mazurka said:

I worry about this with my older son, too.  Smart as all get-out, but he always wants to do things his way, and that includes not writing out problems, not studying with focus, etc, etc.   Because he was able to coast for a long time,  the concept of studying is somewhat alien to him. Yes, yes, he says he's studying, but that mostly amounts to staring at a book with eyes glazed over.   I'm also worried that he will argue with a professor over stupid stuff, and then get kicked out of class, lol.   My son is going to do an extra year at home, and then go to community college for two years.  He decided to go the CC route, although that wouldn't have been my choice for him.  Maybe he knows that he's not quite ready for the rigors of a 4-year school, living away from home. 

CC has been an excellent choice here. I think it allows for a lot of scaffolding to help students make that transition to college before they have to be totally on their own.  That first year for my son was a mixture of hands on/hands off for us!  Anyway, you might find that it really helps ease the transition for him.

The part about him arguing with a professor kind of makes me giggle though! (Partly because I know that teen, arguing boy stage!) I think most teens tend to do it more with mom/dad than outsiders though, so maybe it won't be an issue at all. Or maybe the prof. will welcome arguments! 

 

4 hours ago, Mazurka said:

"...and he didn't like it."  Yes, indeedy!  I think that is a problem a lot of smart kids have.  Often they can get by for years without having to study or work hard, and then, eventually, they get to stuff that is a challenge for them, and they are almost insulted that they have to study.  

My DH always said that the best engineers are not necessarily the smartest people, but they are the ones who are willing to work hard and study.  

A friend of mine lost a full-ride scholarship for just that reason--he'd never had to study at all in high school, and then college was a shock. 

 

4 hours ago, SewWhat? said:

Insulted they have to study, good word!!! Christian didn't seem to study much and passed into 2nd level Japanese in college, but everything else he didn't much think was important he didn't pass well without studying. He decided college wasn't for him. 

So, now he's working midnights and plans to take ESL as soon as he saves enough money for the course, and then do that. He tried to get into the Navy and he passed EVERYTHING! With flying marks! His office hadn't seen such a high language placement test (he was accepted into the translator school) and he scored nearly perfect on the ASVAB, but he's still got a teeny weeny hole in his eardrum from previous tube placement :( They declined to let him in because of it. So, his whole future plans fell through, and now he's just trying to make it through life. He could try to get a waiver from the Air Force, but he's not sure he wants to chance not actually doing translator school with them so he's not even pushed for the mto make sure they've looked at his records. I"m a bit miffec about it, but again, he makes his own choices...

I'm so sorry--it's hard to have one's dreams dashed--and hard to "recover" and do something else. I hope the ESL works out for him, and it serves as a good stepping stone for whatever he decides to do in the future. 

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SewWhat?
4 hours ago, Mazurka said:

I've heard that small issues like the hole in his eardrum, or less than perfect vision, can keep one out of certain branches of the military.   I guess I understand that somebody without good vision couldn't be a pilot, but it seems like there are other things that qualified candidates can do in all branches of the military.  I'm sorry that Christian had his plans fall through. That is hard for anyone to take.

His recruiter told him it'd be fine. But, we knew recruiters lie out their butts.... so it wasn't such a surprise.

58 minutes ago, Merry said:

 

I'm so sorry--it's hard to have one's dreams dashed--and hard to "recover" and do something else. I hope the ESL works out for him, and it serves as a good stepping stone for whatever he decides to do in the future. 

ESL IS what he wants to do for his future :)

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Merry
21 hours ago, Mary Kate said:

Ladies!

Ladies.

My son. Oh, my.

This is the kid who has brains like you wouldn't believe. Scored VERY well on ACT. Scholarships. Awards. Honors Societies. Dual Enrollment galore.

His first semester at a TECH school ... his grades??

He was making 30's and 40's. NO LIE!

 

THIRTIES! FORTIES!

 

He withdrew from them - now has a W/F on the transcript.

 

Why? Why was he failing?

HE

NEVER

EVEN

OPENED

HIS

TEXTBOOK

It was still in the shrink wrap when I found it.

He said that he didn't know he needed it. He said the professor never mentioned the book. This is Human anatomy and physiology. These are not easy classes. 

WHAT IS GOING ON?!

Scholarship money = gone.

:help:

I'm so sorry! 

Give him some time to regroup and think through what to do next. Help him with offering options, but I agree with others that this is his situation to deal with. You are there to help, guide, walk alongside of course--whatever he needs--but it's good for him to wrestle with this. 

 

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Twentyshoesmama
On 12/21/2017 at 7:54 AM, the geographer said:

One thing to realize is that this is his problem not yours. You can help him figure out what next, how to get out of this hole he's gotten himself into but it's about him and how he's going to solve it. Have a discussion along the lines of what 4arrows said - does he want to continue college, how is he going to do that if he's lost his scholarships, does he want/need to work, take a different path than what he originally envisioned. If he continues college have the discussion about how to do well - read the syllabus, talk to your professors, study groups, etc. Help guide him to figure out what's next. 

YES!!  I can totally drown myself in taking responsibility for poor choices or even "rookie mistakes"  my grown children are making.  We have to let them own it.  They are old enough now to be responsible for themselves.  All they need from us is our encouragement and a few tips.  After that, they have to fix it themselves.  (I'm preaching to myself in agreement because I've been down a similar road with one of my older children)!

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Countrymom9

Dd21 lost an extremely good scholarship to an extremely good small college by not bothering, by deciding to help a friend who was making dangerous choices.  (The girl turned out to be un-helpable; I told dd that from the start but it took her three months to realize I was right and dump her.) After a semester of regrouping, working and never having enough money, etc., she enrolled at cc. She had a couple of bumpy semesters there as well. Now she has a 3.4, is studying courses in her field of interest, is head teacher of two's (18 of them, supervising two aides) at the day care where she's worked since age 16, is really doing pretty well in many ways. 

My kids have been all over the map as far as adult choices went, and there are two more to go. Once they're grown, I give advice when asked, sometimes when unasked if I think it's urgent enough, pray for them, let them know I'm praying for them........ but ultimately it's on their heads. And, yes, I hate it. Better when they're two and you can just pick them up and put them in a chair when they do stupid things.

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Heritage of Sons

I wish I had seen this thread when it was new!  A lot of it is resonating with me!

It is soooo difficult to not think that your kids' decisions are a reflection on you, the parent.

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Gilead

My sad story -- I hope it encourages. My oldest *did* get all the way thru college, but there was ONE class she got a "D" in and decided she hated the teacher so much (her grade was mostly low because of being late to class due to unreliable car and traffic-filled commute) she was going to change her whole major to avoid her. This led her into studio art rather than graphic design because all the graphic design classes were taught by the hated, demanding teacher.

Lo and behold, she graduates and discovers that the jobs and the stability are in.....graphic design. She works very hard to get a graphic design job and is so excited about it....and is escorted off the premises in month 2 because she didn't meet a deadline and her studio skills didn't transfer to speedy digital work. She was really, really down on herself and the next job she found was horrible. Now she is working at Good Will. Yep, four years of art school and happy to be working at Good Will. Her plan for next year is to go to the community college and get a certificate in graphic design. Gee, that would have been so much cheaper to begin with and she wouldn't still be paying the loans!! She started college with so much hope and is really having to rebuild herself right now. Hard to watch but making a more solid foundation for herself in the long run. What I do appreciate about it is that she owns her choices and (after a few months of the horrid job and rethinking her life and tearful phone calls) has a plan and is moving forward. Hard, but worthwhile.

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