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Could someone be too immature for college?

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Replies to: Could someone be too immature for college?

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16651 replies66 threads Senior Member
    You can label it immature or coddled but the OPs D seems in my opinion to be a classic example of someone who is not emotionally mature: Emotional immaturity can be identified by four major characteristics:Self-centeredness, Unpredictable and unstable emotions,Over-dependence, Demanding attention. This is not to say that a kid who is over coddled or immature will not GAIN maturity...just that they are not there yet. College-readiness and success in college has more to do with emotional maturity than it does academic readiness.
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  • boysx3boysx3 4993 replies174 threads Senior Member
    Hugs
    Right now the past is in the past
    Counseling would be good for all of you. A therapist to help your daughter learn coping strategies would be ideal . And your daughter will mature with the passing of time.
    I am afraid the next several months will be even rougher.
    Over the next weeks she will realize that "home" isn't the same any more. Her friends will all be getting involved on their new lives at their schools. Her boyfriend will be getting involved in his college studies and his college friends and social life. I don't envision the average college boy not showing up for a club meeting or an intramural game or not going for pizza etc just because his girlfriend at home wants to skype
    And I am afraid she is going to try to make all this your fault too

    It's probably a good thing that she is at home to regroup and mature. Even without the roomie family from hell incident it's likely the experience was not going to end well for her.

    But maybe being home and feeling the new reality will help her reassess her realistic options financially and otherwise.

    Help her grow by being a good listener but let her become an adult.

    Let her take the lead. She wants to go to college? Let her do the leg work on her own. Tell her what you will pay based on what you can afford to pay and let her work out the financial details.

    Don't let her tantrums make you a hostage.

    We can't all have our first choice desires all the time. Sometimes we need to do the best with what we can have and that's something she needs to learn.

    Maybe have her watch a few episodes of the HGTV show Property Brothers. The clients always want the crazy expensive dream house but learn to get what they can with what they can afford.
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Wow, yes that was a horrible experience. And frankly, it is pretty gross to have one closet for two people - two people who do not know each other at all.

    A thought that I haven't seen here. Would she consider visiting the campus with you, even though you say she's "withdrawn"? Just to look around? Either it will reinforce that she does not want to be there, or she will have second thoughts.

    I find Consolation's comments offensive. May he or she never need the help of another person.
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  • thumper1thumper1 78277 replies3527 threads Senior Member
    If the daughter does not want to be at this college, for whatever reason, the family did the right thing by allowing her to come home. But the daughter, in my opinion, needs to have a plan for what she will do next. And I think the daughter should take the lead in formulating this plan...perhaps with some reinforcement from her parents.

    College isn't some race to the finish line. It takes some kids longer to get into the groove, and it takes some longer to graduate. And it takes some longer to actually choose a major.

    This young lady needs some time, it appears, to get her thoughts and plan in order. But this planning needs to happen ASAP. It might be that the initial plan is to work for a year, and THEN make a plan to return to college. It might be that the daughter wants to go to a local college. It might be that she doesn't want to discuss college at all right now. Lots of options.

    Hopefully a year from now, she will have a fresh view of what college plans are right for her.

    In reading this, and previous posts from the OP, there seems to be a disconnect between what the daughter, father and mother want. I think it would be nice if this could somehow be resolved.
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  • 1sttimer1251sttimer125 28 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Face it with college costing what it does these days not many of us can afford to spend that kind of money for kids to "find themselves." I was super mature when I went to college but it was still a huge adjustment and I almost didn't make it through the first semester. Some kids just aren't ready and there is nothing wrong with that. Plenty of kids also don't know what they want to major in, or think they know and change their minds two more times anyway. It's part of the process of figuring out who you are as an adult. But again, with what it costs now many can afford for their kids to be on a 5.5 year plan

    What's done is done with your D so the question is what does she do for the next year? If she can get into some classes somewhere, even if its CC or a lower ranked branch of a state school she can commute to. Knock a few core subjects off or take a few that she thinks she might like - much cheaper way to explore options than at full-time U. She also needs to work, preferably something low wage and awful. It's funny but kind of true. My S (HS senior now) was not super enthusiastic about going to college next fall. The only job he could get this summer had terrible pay, physically demanding and a long commute. Voila! Now he's gung ho about it all!

    She will figure it out. I know plenty of kids who have gone through similar and it all turned out alright in the end. It's just more stress that you weren't counting on right now, but as parents I'm not sure we ever get to stop worrying about our kids.
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  • blossomblossom 10382 replies9 threads Senior Member
    first timer makes a great point. If you have done the math on the finances to cover 8 semesters, than that's what your D has to work with. Not a fifth year to take the classes in her third major. Not two summers to make up for W's, or to backtrack on Gen Ed requirements she didn't get around to Freshman year. Not a 6th year (it happens) because when she switched from Chemistry to Chemical Engineering (or from Econ to Applied Math, or pick your combination....) the kind of stats she took doesn't meet the requirement for her major, so she needs to take a more rigorous version.

    Better to regroup now then have to regroup after the money has been spent with no BA to show for it.
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  • salandersalander 382 replies4 threads Member
    OP:

    What happened to her is horrible. And one of the big disadvantages of a very small school like that is that you cannot avoid seen the other person. Also, if you are not sure about your major, there are going to be less options for majors and classes to explore. The anonymity of a larger school is helpful in those situations. Maybe she should consider a larger U next time.

    I do feel she never wanted to go there, but you thought it was the perfect place for her (neither your husband not other people around agreed with you). So she probably never owned her decision, because she never felt it as hers, and unconsciously she may feel like you pushed her to go there. So, be prepared, she is probably going to blame you for this (right or wrong). In your shoes, I would go to therapy as well. You are in a rough situation.

    I'd just say she can either go to college somewhere else (soon) or get a job. If she wants to go to BF school, you should suggest to her to find a way to pay for it herself (save, work, etc) maybe that will put things into perspective. Also, there might be other universities near BF if she wants to be near.

    If she wants to apply for colleges for the Spring or Fall, let her do it on her own. Don't hover, don't give your opinions (as hard as it is). That way any decision will be hers, she will own her successes of failures. she won't be able to blame anyone but her. That is a fundamental step in maturing, but it's incredibly hard as a parent.

    Good luck to you both!
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  • MaggpieMaggpie 224 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Perhaps, but she's certainly not more mature.
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16651 replies66 threads Senior Member
    What happened to her is horrible.

    No, nothing that "happened to her" was horrible...unfortunate maybe but not horrible. It is not even a subtle distinction.
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  • MaggpieMaggpie 224 replies8 threads Junior Member
    It's impressive that in one day you have 5 pages of replies. But I still had to chime in.
    Most important - this will work itself out.
    I have 3 kids, one just graduated and is working. S is a HS senior with really good stats. Middle D is in second year of CC. She didn't try in HS, so there she is. Absolutely kids can be too immature to leave home at 17 or 18. Perhaps some of that is parental coddling and sheltering. Some of that is developmental and just takes more time.

    The most disconcerting thing is her sense of entitlement - to not have to work, and to get to go to a school that would financially damage her parents. I know, because I have battled it in my house. Until she is mature enough to sit down unemotionally and look at a spreadsheet of college costs and ways to pay, you are not obligated to give her one penny for school.

    The decision is made, so no more hand-wringing. It's okay. She made a decision and has to work through it. It sounds like you are sensible and know these things, but in the face of her tantrums you feel uncertain. Don't do that. Be strong and calm. It's no different than a 2 year old screaming because you had to leave the playground. Repeat your mantra of "get a job", "put $100 a week in college savings", "do your own laundry". Don't send her off to chase her BF. There's a 95% chance that will end badly.

    If you do look for a therapist, find a good one who exercises some "tough love", not one that will just ask how you feel and string you along for a year. It's time for her to grow up this year, if she wants to be able to go somewhere next fall.

    It's not that fun now, but it will be rewarding when you see her succeed next time!
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 19800 replies163 threads Senior Member
    Some upthread have said your daughter needs a plan. I don't think she does, right now. Rather, she needs to regroup and take some time. Then she can figure out what she wants to do, choosing among her available choices. Note that her BF's school is still not a possible choice. You couldn't afford it before, and you still can't.

    But she'll benefit from house rules. She's an adult now, and needs to take on adult responsibilities. She's not going to college, so she needs to work. She needs to contribute to household chores: do her own laundry, cook meals or do dishes, stuff like that.

    And her claims of your ruining her life, if she is making them, are to be ignored. No one has ruined her life because it is not ruined.
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  • tiderider14tiderider14 45 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I have seen the community college route go both ways. Our second son had a good friend who went to JC after working a menial labor job for a year-realized that he was gonna be his life if he didnt buckle down and pulled a 3.7 and got admitted into UGA. JC was the best thing to ever happen to him. Consequently a neighbor who is our oldest son's age has a very nice-but very lenient and enabling mother-who has never insisted that he work a day in his life- is 22 and NEVER had a job- not working for the family business, not a cashier job in high school, not a job in college, not even volunteered. He has sat on his donkey for 3.5 years since high school and recently failed out of university for the second time. Ironically, he is the only person in the neighborhood of young people that is close to being engaged-to someone who he has been with for almost 4 years. Both our kids say it is destined to fail because he has never been told "no" in his life and they cant imagine ANYONE putting up with a husband with no clue what he is doing in life.

    The only person responsible for anything in life is you-my oldest son said the moment he became a man was when his father yelled at him for not doing a chore right and instead of griping he put his head down and did it right. A little tough love is sometimes neccesary.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14500 replies106 threads Forum Champion
    Feeling violated by the person you are supposed to live with is pretty horrible...of course there are more horrible things.

    To the OP: Decide what you will and will not support.
    Car?
    Phone?
    Insurance?
    What are your expectations? Do you expect her to make dinner/clean/cut the lawn if she is not working?


    To the OP I would say to my daughter: "I will support you while you go to school. If you choose not to go to school then you need to get a job and pay rent. If you want to go to school in the future, XX,000 is available to you for schooling. Keep in mind we will not co-sign any loans beyond that.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35380 replies399 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    First, Mom, I'm sorry you're going through this, but do try to take a breath. These things are hard- as someone said, it's a speed bump. Sometimes, no matter how we tried to steer them or be good parents, things happen. We can only try to do the best we can, at each moment. This is a new phase- breathe, set expectations- and know we're with you. Please know, we all walk on eggshells, at times.

    D2 wasn't emotionally ready. The ups and downs she put us through were an extension of some hs issues and it just took time and her own astute counselor to help her tread water as she grew. (Aim for a counselor for her who specializes in older teens and college age- often you can get a rec from a local college. These counselors can be golden. A different sort benefits family therapy.) At one point, she wanted to drop out to be with the then S.O. When they broke up, she crashed. She didn't really 'wake up' (ie, wasn't ready for college challenges) til the beginning of junior year- none of us can do much of the hindsight thing.

    Nor was my brother ready, but that's another tale. It took a few false starts before he got his wheels on track- but the point is, he did get them on track, eventually.


    I want to say that she can't find the perfect major based on hs courses, which are limited- she needs to get to that college buffet of choices. (And remember they don't even declare til late 2nd year, so the expectation of knowing now is unrealistic.) Community college is one way- people talk about issues later reapplying to a 4-year, but it would put her in the academic scene, learning, it's something productive. Maybe she can audit.

    Or she works- either work or classes become the commitment, a condition of staying home. A responsible job, not necessarily what earned her spending money in hs. If possible, as many hours as possible, learning the real world expectations we all face. If you can't afford to pay for cc, then it's a job. And, maybe the requirement she makes a contribution to you for her living costs.

    I know this is hard for you. Agree you shouldn't blame yourself and your own counseling may help sort that out. I hope none of this sounds harsh. My heart is with you.
    edited September 2014
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  • DiffMomDiffMom 157 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited September 2014
    "Fact is, she was ruthless to us last year. She always demanded of us, was completely unreasonable, and was mean."
    Could this be caused by unstable hormone levels? Have her checked out by an adolescent doctor, make sure the behavior is not related to a hidden physical illness. Therapy can help. Does she have another adult with whom she can talk?
    edited September 2014
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    "Now that she is home, I would insist on her getting a job and start paying her way."

    Yup. Work out some reasonable rules with your husband and present them as a united front. Job, chores, and treating other members of the family decently. Children of the family get to live at home even if they are ruthless and mean. Adult members of the family do not.

    These rules worked on me after I flunked out of high school. Can't live at home unless I'm working. Parents will not pay for car, etc. I grew up a lot in those two years working and living at home.
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  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 6200 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Living full time on a college campus and dorm life is not for everyone. Many, many students in the U.S. do not sign up for the "full college experience" and do just fine. There are costs issues here and perhaps there is a suitable 4 year college within an hour of your home that might work for your D. She is probably beyond community college as I think her stats were very good, so look elsewhere closer to home while she figures all this out.
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  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    I wouldn't beat yourselves up. I have one slightly immature kid and I'm glad she is only 1 hour away. She did some stupid things last year and now expressed regrets, but at least she learned never to do it again. Going to nearby or local seems to be good option for your daughter.
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