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What is the next step after flaming out?

YSREQBYSREQB Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Daughter who performed exceptionally well at a competitive private HS, had a successful freshman year at a well regarded private University, allowed herself to get far behind in the Spring of her sophomore year (essentially simply not attending class), to the point where she was unable to complete the semester. We had given her lots of freedom and she hid her failure to attend class from us. She got things together over the summer and asked to apply to a different private University. She was admitted. We established certain basic rules with her - attend class, tell us if you miss, meet with advisor and professor periodically. Nothing beyond the basics - things that I expect many people require for their students when college begins. Within 2 weeks we learned that she had 1 class that she had not attended at all. Of course she had not told us. We learned that she had missed several other non-class but essential meetings.
She is not abusing drugs, she does take ADHD med.
We are not going to allow a repeat of last year and are removing her from school.
Obviously there are issues that must be resolved.

The question is what is the next step for a student like this.
We have considered options ranging from the military to NOLS to requiring her to get a job and save to return to school in the future.

Looking for advice and constructive suggestions from people who may have been in this situation.
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Replies to: What is the next step after flaming out?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,504 Senior Member
    YSREQB wrote:
    she does take ADHD med.

    We have considered options ranging from the military to NOLS to requiring her to get a job and save to return to school in the future.

    US military service is not an option if she currently uses ADHD medication.
    https://www.additudemag.com/uncle-sam-doesnt-want-you/
  • 1Tiger211Tiger21 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    edited September 13
    You might try describing how difficult it is to provide for herself at 19 without parental support. If you know how that is. She also might benefit from counseling.
  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 Registered User Posts: 5,799 Senior Member
    I would ask her what she sees as her next step. Perhaps just a break from school all together for a period time so she can figure out what the issue might be. I would see how she responds to the idea of coming home and getting a job until her motivation to complete college returns. The goal would be to get to the bottom of what changed for her Sophomore spring. Not the end of the world -- some students just do college in their own time.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,312 Senior Member
    Yes, duh counseling. She's not going to succeed until she figures out what the problem is. It may be that college is not for her, it may be that something lousy happened to her that she doesn't want to tell you about, it may be that there's some onset of mental illness (sadly early college is a time when many previously healthy kids become ill.) Good luck.
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    edited September 13
    What changed-- did she stop taking her medicine?? She clearly can do it -- why did she stop attending class? I think these answers are important. I agree with counseling -- unfortunately I couldn't keep my 'adult' daughter in it or on her meds.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 2,870 Senior Member
    What does she want? She's 20 (? - this is her third year in school, if I am reading the OP correctly), Honestly, all you can do at this point is tell her what support you are willing to provide and let her figure it out. Will you provide housing? For how long and under what conditions? Will you provide financial support? For how long and under what conditions? Once she has her parameters, you're pretty much stuck with whatever she wants to do as long as it is within them. (And I don't think anyone is going to judge you for no longer paying for the full-time sleep away college experience.)
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 1,176 Senior Member
    @YSREQB

    Agreeing with @TTG about not knowing if she is dealing with something very difficult, and adding, it could be she doesn't want to tell you, may never tell you, but she might tell a skilled therapist.

    Access to counseling and/or treatment can be a great life-changing gift for a young person who is struggling. Plus your unconditional love.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    This has happened to my daughter, who is also on ADHD meds. She did fine her first semester, but only managed to pass one class second semester. She had quit taking her ADHD and depression meds, which we didn't know until later. My daughter goes to school on the opposite coast so it was difficult to keep tabs on her.
    Anyway, we hired an ADHD/life coach for this semester (after going back and forth as to if we were even going to send her back). She had us make a document with 3 columns: "Abby's opportunities" (e.g., Abby's parents will pay tuition, room and board for four years of undergrad) and then a column with our boundaries (Abby must maintain a Bs or hard-earned Cs with a tutors help in order for her parents to pay for tuition, etc) and then "Abby's choices" (e.g., Abby can choose to maintain Bs or hard-earned Cs or Abby can choose to pay her own tuition). We did this for spending money, cell phone, etc.
    Anyway, are you sure your daughter was taking her medications while she was at school?
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 519 Member
    I agree with @Emsmom1 - my daughter also went to school far away and stopped taking her anxiety and ADD medications. I highly suspected it but she denied it. I like the approach Emsmom1 says the life coach took.
  • OspreyCV22OspreyCV22 Registered User Posts: 1,595 Senior Member
    @YSREQB Counseling of course. I was reminded of reading of several young women who stopped going to class after being date raped on campus. They couldn't face their attackers on campus. You need to get to the bottom of this. I'm sorry she's going through this, whatever it turns out to be.

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