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Child very apprehensive about leaving home - not really engaged in college process

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Replies to: Child very apprehensive about leaving home - not really engaged in college process

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,147 Senior Member
    Have you checked out the out of state cost of UO? Don’t let him apply places you can’t afford. I’d ask him to visit some campuses with you. But if he doesn’t want to go away, I wouldn’t try to force it.
  • cameo43cameo43 Registered User Posts: 1,542 Senior Member
    @Publisher: it’s common here for posters to refer to their kids as S or D followed by graduation year (so OP’s son will graduate in 2020).
  • hoppy1hoppy1 Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    My second son really wanted to leave the house for college and he did,but
    he gets homesick here and there.

    He does not regret leaving home, but he wishes his school was
    a lot closer and could come home once or twice a month.

    Before leaving the house, he even told us that he would only come home
    during summer, and he would travel other times.

    If your son feels like he is not ready, let him stay home.
    He will eventually want to leave the house. That is what happened to my
    oldest son.

    He is now ready to transfer from CC this fall. He cannot wait!

    But as other posters said a lot of different things can happen
    in senior year, just apply for some realistic choices just in case.
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple Registered User Posts: 1,283 Senior Member
    May I suggest when your son does go away to college impose a couple of simple rules. First, don't allow him a car if the school let's freshman have them. This will keep him present on campus and not able to run home. Second, tell him he has to spend the first month there with out going home. This will force him to adjust, be a part of things, and "gut it out." If he goes home every weekend, he won't find his place.

    I was that kid who was so scared to go to college and leave home. This is what my parents did (I was #4, they knew what they were doing) and I am so thankful they did. Yes, I was homesick. Yes, I was scared at times (I had been sheltered) but I adjusted, made lifelong friends, and loved my four years. If my parents didn't push me, I wouldn't have gone on my own. I remember I too wasn't involved in the process. My mom did all the leg-work.

    The funny thing is I just went through a similar experience with my own son. He wasn't quite as reticent as I had been many moons ago but he wasn't helpful in the search and eager for the experience. I pressed on and pushed him. He loves it.

    Hang in there, try to stay positive and keep it light. My thing is, "at least try." A freshman who truly hates it can always make another decision to come home but if you don't step out there, you'll never know.
  • damon30damon30 Registered User Posts: 572 Member
    @thedreamydaisy I think you have received some very good advice. The only thing I would like to add is about the finances. In the OP you said it would be easier financially if your son attended a state school. In post #3, you added that you thought it would be an advantage if your son lived at home so he could stay debt-free. Sometimes kids are wise in their own way and parents should try to pick up on that. I recommend having some kind of "talk" where you include your own expectations and things you've learned about the college application process, but also go over the funding aspect. Your son attending an affordable state school and living at home is not the same kind of "problem" as when the child applies and is accepted to some unaffordable private school. I agree that now is the time to get your son engaged, but ultimately you want to respect his decision on which school to attend, consistent with economic considerations.
  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    @Publisher S20 refers to his gender and the year he will graduate high school. It is a standard abbreviation for here in CC.
  • ThreeGalsThreeGals Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I was there with D19 where you are with your son. I could have written your post. We are still in that place somewhat. My D is still not openly embracing the idea of going away to college, rather she seems to be quietly accepting that it’s the next step for her. She never wanted to look at schools or talk about the process, still does not. She doesn’t know what her interests are or what she wants to major in. That said, her dad and I pushed her to apply to nearby universities that were no more than 3 hours away from home (with one exception of a reach school). I also relied on (good) peer pressure, hoping that her very academic friend group would talk about college/applications all the time and sweep her up in the wave. The peer pressure did help to some extent when getting through the application process. Some parents and friends wondered if D might benefit from a gap year, but we feel like she will greatly benefit from becoming more independent from us. Our theory: push her to ensure she had the most options and the least regrets. D in fall of ‘19 might have very different opinions and feelings than D in fall of ‘18.

    D now has the choice of our excellent in-state university 75 minutes away from us and the other state school just downtown. We think that the university about an hour away is the place for her; “away” but not far from us. While I worry that she will be overwhelmed and homesick for a little while, I am also hopeful that she’ll end up loving college life. She is our oldest and has no real experience or idea of college - so of course that’s scary for some kids. I keep telling her that the future is so exciting for her, she just can’t see it from where she sits. But we’ll take it week by week once she attends. I also tell her that nothing is absolutely permanent; if after a semester or year, she hates it, we can talk about changes. Perhaps knowing that will ease her mind.

    I don’t know if this is helpful, but wanted to chime in and say I *know* how this is. It is stressful especially when it seems all her peers are fine with the transition. We have pushed D through the process because we feel like that was and is the best course of action for her and we didn’t want her to have any regrets when all her friends start leaving for schools—but obviously you have to do what’s right by your S and your situation.
  • OttermaOtterma Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    edited March 14
    I feel like I am the one driving this whole thing at the moment.
    It's a common feeling at this stage in the process. The Bay Area is rich with excellent community colleges. I would let him know that this is a perfectly acceptable path if for no other reason than to let some pressure out of this process.

    It will be clear to both of you when he is ready to spread his wings and it can happen seemingly overnight. In the meantime, knowing that community college is an acceptable option could make him less apprehensive about visiting the four year campuses since he can rationalize that he's looking at them for eventual transfer.

    Finally, have you calculated his UC GPA? If that pops up, UC Davis might also be an option. If nothing else, Davis could be an appealing transfer target from community college. If you're in the East Bay, it's an easy drive over for a visit.
  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    @ThreeGals thanks so much - sounds very similar! I also am not sure a gap year would make sense for him, but we have let him know that it is always an option. He says he does want to go to college and he also knows what he wants to study (film/video production).

    @Otterma we have let him know that community college with a transfer is an option. We live close to DVC (we're in Concord, CA) and that is a great choice if he decides to go that route. Funnily enough, the one school we have visited in UC Davis. He was a young sophomore and it was way too early, so as a consequence he hated it...lol. It would be a stretch school unless he scores really well on the ACT/SAT, but we might revisit depending on those results.
  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Thanks again everyone for all the great advice - it is nice to know that we're not the only ones that have ever been in this position.

    And to those asking about finances, we are definitely not looking at anything we couldn't afford. Oregon State (based on their NPC and scholarship calculator) would likely end up the same in cost as a UC school. The only private school we are looking at is Saint Mary's College where he qualifies for the highest merit aid based on his GPA alone and he could live at home.
  • turtletimeturtletime Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member
    My first two were applying at 16 and wanted to leave home but I required they ALSO apply to our two local public schools. If I were you, I’d require he apply to 1 or 2 affordable options away from home and then see where he is come May of his senior year. He’s got a lot of growing in the next year, best to Cover the bases just in case.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,765 Forum Champion
    @Publisher S20 may mean her Son graduates in 2020
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,765 Forum Champion
    I would say "Let's have local CC as a plan and you can live at home. If you want to look at other Cali schools that is great too.
  • UndercrackersUndercrackers Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    Our high achieving somewhat introverted D (an only child, btw) was definitely going to attend college but didn't really have a fire lit under her (it's that next step, and it's scary). While weren't going to do the whole "tour 20 colleges before applying" thing, we did want her to seriously get in gear. Early in her senior year (early October), we decided to tour a couple of local schools - a small private 15 minutes away and a large public 1 hour away - just so she could get a flavor of what was out there and what might appeal from a size perspective. Just those two visits really got her motivated and working on a college list, which she put together (we just took a look - it seemed to be a reasonable balance of reaches, fits and safeties, as much as anyone can divine that type of thing). She did drive the rest of it (with some guidance). Sometimes, they just need a gentle nudge.
  • oneofthosemomsoneofthosemoms Registered User Posts: 338 Member
    @thedreamydaisy, consider adding Sonoma State and Sac State to your son's list of possibilities. The price is right and neither are far from your home.

    Not all kids blossom once they make that move away from home. I've known plenty who transfer close to home after a year, or truly need to come home every weekend to manage their anxiety. There are a lot of different ways to 'do' college. I hope you and your S find the one that works the best for your family.
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