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The College Freshman and growing pains..
Old 10-10-2017, 08:16 PM   #1
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The College Freshman and growing pains..

He was going to make the hour and forty minute drive home to go to a Paranormal tour of Fort Wilmington that the Mrs and daughter bought tickets for. I thought this would be a perfect time for me to get updated on how the first semester freshman in college was going. He had complained he wasn't sleeping well in the dorm -Yet he came home on Saturday. I wasn't surprised as the girlfriend is just across the hall.

My wife cornered him and asked him about the 'History exam'? I am always the last to hear about anything like that as I have been known to overreact. Im sure he said "dont tell dad". Somewhere In that dark huge cement building I got him alone and he confessed he failed to pay attention to the study guide. I said that study guide is like being handed the keys to the castle. Further I told him to 'get on it' and I reminded him Cs 'wont cut it'. That was all I said. Im proud of myself . I controlled my urge to say "what the heck were you thinking" and to go into a lengthy lecture- Hard to believe 63 year old Ray has developed old parent patience. Ive accepted that he is going to have to learn somethings for himself - just like I did so many years ago.

His experience in college to date is very different then mine Yet in many ways similar. I went to college "on a wing, a prayer, a grant and a loan". There was no stability at home. - to this day I am still surprised that I managed to pull it off. He on the other hand is fully funded with my credit card and my old jalopy. The Mrs and I are there for him and involved. When I met my college advisor I believe he quickly determined that I would benefit from a dose of reading the classics - The trouble was that is was an accounting major. My son is much like me in that way. If you asked him who or what Pollyanna was I would bet any amount he would not know. There is no question liberal arts courses he takes will no doubt do him good. I am sure of one thing It would be a challenge for him to read 13 books in 15 weeks.

He left early afternoon on Sunday, My snoopy daughter said his girlfriend had texted him "When are you coming back?". I could offer some advise there too but I wont. I see a change in him, more engaged and thoughtful (x the study guide incident). My wife proofread the most English paper and actually said "It wasn't bad'.

I can't help but wonder what changes are yet to come?
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:06 PM   #2
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You call it old parent patience but for me I was more restrained because I was afraid my son would just drop out.

They grow by leaps and bounds in college IMO. My son brought his XBox home the first Christmas and left it because it was a distraction he said!

I asked him going into his junior year if he ever thought about quitting and he said, I'm not an idiot - college is fun!
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:59 AM   #3
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Rayinpenn-

Our son struggled freshman year. Too many distractions, was not in the right major, all the social aspects too. We were not expecting this, as we both thrived in college. But every person is different.

I think it is a time of learning about yourself. Our son would agree with this. He definitely changed a lot-and after transferring to a college nearer home (he was out of state at first) he ended up doing really well, has a great job etc.

It was not always pretty.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:04 AM   #4
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Oy Vey Rayinpenn the stories I can tell. lol.

First, let's start with yours truly. My freshman year at Pitt was literally my first time out of Manhattan without some type of family. talk about struggling, it did not end well. 2 C's 1 A and 1 D. Now my wonderful parents were footing the bill so it was not a huge surprise when my mother ended up in the lobby of my dorms. Since my mom did not drive it meant she took greyhound from NYC to Pittsburgh, so when I saw her there I immediately knew life as I had known it was about to change. lol

My youngest, the "minion" unfortunately took after me in this trait. his freshman year out of state was a disaster. after bringing him back home, he's at Temple it was a much better fit and now he has a healthy respect for the "evil mom lady".

It's a winding road, some times with bumps and bruises along the way. he'll find his footing.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:14 AM   #5
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The first two weeks my son went to college I thought there was no way he was gonna make it and how did mankind survive this long. He was ate up! I talked to a friend of mine and he said you think you weren't like that at his age. That got me thinking.

My son had some o crap moments last year as a freshman not reading the details and having a couple of late assignments. Bit him a couple of times. My response was "just think what your grade could have been had you just paid attention" He clearly grew a lot. Summer at home was a hard lesson for him and probably for us. He is gaining his independence and didn't like some of our requirements living at home but we all survived. He seems much happier back at school sophomore year. However I suspect we have a couple of more learning periods on the horizon. One is next semester when he takes a vehicle back to school. Two is next summer when he stays in the school area and lives in an apt and works for the school. Hopefully those both go well.

I have learned to be more patient and give him a wider lane but still keep an eye on catastrophic issues. Mid terms this week so we will see how grades are going.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:18 AM   #6
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I never went to college but all my siblings did and graduated. Other than the brother right below me who breezed through college away from home, my other siblings had a tough time early on in college way from home.

My son is about to graduate and he stayed local and lived at home while going to a community college the first 2 years and then a local 4 year college for his bachelor's degree.

I think the common denominator for a lot of kids struggling early on in college is most of them are way from home for the first time.

Mike
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:31 AM   #7
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Yes, it is interesting when they take off on their own...

My DS has started his second year... he got a job in the city of his college and stayed the summer... I expect that to be the norm now...

I have told him he is now an adult and is responsible for all repercussions of his decisions, so I said he needs to make sure that he makes smart ones.... I have been a bit surprised that he has asked for advice on some things... that was not his MO when in HS....

He said he makes all As.... I believe him, and I do not check... if he started to make bad grades I am sure the Ms would find out much sooner than me... but that is not in his nature... and I think that is the thing that you have to hold onto... what is his nature? If someone is a screwup in HS, they will probably be one in college...

The only outside influence that is open IMO is if they are introduced to drugs or alcohol.... that can be a disaster... I saw it happen to my nephew... but he was kinda a screwup prior to college.... he took the wrong path...
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:50 AM   #8
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I think that success and failure in the first year also depends on the course of study.

In the first class of my first accounting course toward my degree the prof told us that the failure rate was 40-50 percent. He was right. It was the same for our second year consolidation course. Only about half actually passed the first time around. I do not know how much of this is attributable to not doing the work, not having the aptitude for it, or to student being stuck in a course, a stream, a faculty that was simply not in their wheelhouse so to speak. My friends in engineering had the same experience.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:14 AM   #9
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I think that success and failure in the first year also depends on the course of study.

In the first class of my first accounting course toward my degree the prof told us that the failure rate was 40-50 percent. He was right. It was the same for our second year consolidation course. Only about half actually passed the first time around. I do not know how much of this is attributable to not doing the work, not having the aptitude for it, or to student being stuck in a course, a stream, a faculty that was simply not in their wheelhouse so to speak. My friends in engineering had the same experience.
+1

Got the same lecture in pre-med class. Professor said "look all around you and realize that 90% of you will not make it into medical or dental school". That was a big wake up call. Needless to say I switched majors the next term.
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The College Freshman and growing pains..
Old 10-12-2017, 06:55 AM   #10
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The College Freshman and growing pains..

Look they took a shot - this is not personal. Id be inclined to drop my price by 5%. When you hit the price you want just inform them it is your last and final offer...

Ps the realtor doesn’t get a dime until you sell... his or her advice isnt worth a dime.. When I was selling my house my realtor told me i wouldn’t get what i wanted. Bam multiple offers.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:58 AM   #11
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Look they took a shot - this is not personal. Id be inclined to drop my price by 5%. When you hit the price you want just inform them it is your last and final offer...

Ps the realtor doesn’t get a dime until you sell... his or her advice isnt worth a dime.. When I was selling my house my realtor told me i wouldn’t get what i wanted. Bam multiple offers.
Wrong thread Ray?

Mike
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The College Freshman and growing pains..
Old 10-14-2017, 11:35 AM   #12
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The College Freshman and growing pains..

We sent my son to college with a car - about 2 1/2 hrs away, and he came home every weekend the first 3 months because he was homesick. The car broke down in December and my ex-husband and I decided not to get it fixed until Spring so he would stay put over the winter.

I think his biggest adjustment was being Mr. Popular in HS vs. being just one of the crowd in college.
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Old 10-14-2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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I think university is a time for our children to get a taste of the real world. It is competitive. The profs don't really care if the student works or gets through the course. It is entirely up to them. This is a reflection of the real world.

I have done job interviews with third and fourth year university students. You can sometimes tell the ones that have been or are still coddled from the ones who have really stepped out and moved forward on their own steam.

I believe that there are some very important life lessons to be learned at this stage. Lessons about independence, entitlement, work ethic, etc. We took the view that we wanted our children to learn and to experience these early on in life in order to prepare them for what was coming down the pike at them. Seems to have worked.
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Old 10-14-2017, 12:26 PM   #14
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I think university is a time for our children to get a taste of the real world. It is competitive. The profs don't really care if the student works or gets through the course. It is entirely up to them. This is a reflection of the real world.

+1

DS is a freshman this year. I intentionally don’t get in touch. We talk very little during the week and usually only if he has a question or needs to vent. I either listen or let him figure out the answer, with some occasional leading questions.

College is a great opportunity for kids to figure it out on their own in a safe environment. We’d be doing him, and us, a disservice if we tried to solve his problems.

Personally, I get a kick out of watching my kids be independent. Hopefully it’ll continue and they’ll have a good life.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:42 PM   #15
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Some kids learn how to handle the independence when they get to college, and some don't. Unfortunately, my step-daughter is one that took too long to figure it out, and as a result she never did finish. I'm not sure what we could have done differently to prepare her - we had "the talks" to try and prepare her, we were always there for support, etc., but for some kids the temptations and new-found freedoms of that first year in college are just too great. Often, they have no concept of how the decisions they are making now will have life-long impacts. At any rate, her life has stabilized now, and she's okay, but she missed out on a chance to get a college education and have a chance for a better job and future because of those early mistakes.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:49 AM   #16
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As a former college administrator, these stories sound normal. The most important thing for kids is to look at colleges in terms of their inputs (what kind of students go there) and outputs (where do they go after). It takes a lot of savvy and usually parents aren't very helpful unless in education - most usually just look at buildings and the athletic programs, or worse yet the annual college rankings in a magazine.


The most successful students usually feel they fit in the very first day they arrive (about 20% of them). If your kid finds one of these schools, that's the one. Don't worry about school rankings or anything like that - finding a good fit is everything.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:19 AM   #17
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Times are dkfferent. We had two choices: Make it in college or cool your heels in Vietnam after being drafted into the military.

Made some unmotivated students more productive civilian stjdents.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:21 AM   #18
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My oldest, DD, had a lot of fun the first 2 weeks or so of college, and then got down to being a serious student. But that was enough lost time to have an effect on her final grades. I remember her calling me during finals, crying, about the stress of studying and how she still had some 6 chapters to read (i.e., for the first time).
I told her to do what she can, but learn from this so it doesn't repeat in subsequent semesters. She survived that first semester with OK grades - maybe C+? - but was a genuinely good student thereafter and graduated one of those cum laudes.
What she learned quickly was that just because she was one of the top students in high school didn't mean a thing. So were all of her college classmates. Maybe try pointing this out to your son, and that way it doesn't come off as being just another lecture from Dad.
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