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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

  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    @oneofthosemoms thank you! We did have Sonoma State on the list although fit with major is not as great there. I will look at Sac State also to see what they have in the way of film/video production. Somewhere he can live in a dorm but still come home on weekends (if needed) might work best for him.
  • oneofthosemomsoneofthosemoms Registered User Posts: 338 Member
    @thedreamydaisy, you might also look at USF's Media Studies major/Film Studies minor (easy BART ride from you, and he'd qualify for lots of merit aid); University of the Pacific isn't too far from you and has this interesting looking major (he'd get nice merit there, too):

    https://www.pacific.edu/academics/schools-and-colleges/college-of-the-pacific/academics/departments-and-programs/media-x.html
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,599 Senior Member
    I have not read through the entire thread but here are my thoughts. My almost 26yo S got a lot of scholarship money thrown at him from many schools. While he was not as active as I would like in the college search process, he certainly had inputs and made many suggestions. He ended up at a school half way across country with a full tuition scholarship and flunked out first year. We had him tested and found out he is very IQ but has EFD. Bought him home and he continued to attend our local state school and CC for a couple of years until we decided to cut our loses. S loved to go to school to learn but was unwilling to do busy work once he had the subject down, even if it meant he got a poor grade. For example, he will not do 20 math problems when he knows it in 10. He worked various low paying jobs with no benefits for many years while living at home. Good kid, did what we asked of him, just could not find his "tribe" wrt to a career. I signed him up for a welding class at out local votech school because I knew welders were in demand. He loved it. Applied to the pipefitters union and got accepted as an apprentice. As a first year apprentice he makes 44K a year. Not great money, but in 5 years he will be making over 100K. Free training. He loves, loves, loves it. He comes home from work and talks about the economy, politics, theology, etc. He is still a smart kid who loves learning, but also likes working with his hands. Your son may need more time to figure it out, may not be interested in college at all, may want to pursue a trade. Give him time and allow him to spread his wings. Let him know there are other paths besides college. We did not "lose" a lot of money when S flunked out, we were only paying for room & board, but it could be a costly lesson if you are full pay.
  • UndercrackersUndercrackers Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    @mamom - skilled welders ARE in demand. I have the utmost respect for good tradespeople. My H does a lot of stuff on our house. He knows a lot (and learns what he doesn't), but he's not a professional. I see how much knowledge and skill is required to do this stuff, and how a layperson like him struggles with it. The fact that the post-HS emphasis is always on college vs. encouraging interest in the trades (don't get me started on the continual cutting of shop classes in HS and the lack of a good, affordable trade school system) is just doing a disservice to our children and our community. We NEED smart, talented people who know how to plumb, wire, build, repair and maintain our stuff. Good for him, and good for you as a parent for being able to let the expectations go and let him grow into himself. That is not an easy thing to do.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,601 Senior Member
    I know a lot of smart contractors. A lot of them clearly had learning disabilities that probably hampered them in school. One guy absolutely cannot spell at all, but he's great with numbers, can organize a crew, and makes sure everyone does good work. Certainly college isn't for everyone.

    That said, I also think a lot of kids (and it seems like more boys than girls) just aren't ready to think about college as high school juniors. I think one or two college visits to nearby colleges can let them see that college does not have to be just like high school only bigger. Or it can make them see that they really do want a break.
  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    I totally agree that good tradespeople are in demand. My S20 is definitely not that way inclined and does want to go to college (just not sure where as of yet). My second son, on the other hand, has autism but is fairly high functioning, and I would love to get him trained in some kind of trade once he gets out of high school (he's on a certificate track and not a diploma track). Every child is so different and I also believe that we, as parents, need to be supportive as they work to find their way in the world.
  • NicoleGreenNicoleGreen Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I’ve got a friend who always claimed her son wouldn’t be going to college. She said she knew he’d hate being cooped up inside a classroom all day. I always thought it was a shame she wasn’t encouraging him as he was a very intelligent young man. In the end, though, she was right. He does some kind of electrical work now, completely self taught, on the job training kind of deal, and makes over $1,500 / week. Plus, he gets to travel all over the US. He loves it. He’s doing much better financially than many of my friends’ kids who went to college. Everyone wants college for their kids, so I think that makes us sometimes forget that there are other options out there.
  • JESmomJESmom Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Has he ever been away for something like sleepaway camp? While I agree, it's totally fine to stay at home, or pursue something other than college, if it's feeling intimidated by the idea of living away that's stalling his interest, some of that might be mitigated by trying a short summer program this year where he lives on campus for a week or two. My S21 is doing a 1-week program this summer at a local college but staying in the dorm as part of the program. While, in theory, he does want to go away to college, he was kind of freaked out about having to spend just a week sharing a bathroom with strangers so I could see him getting intimidated by that aspect of going away as college gets closer. I hope the real exposure will show him it's actually fun to live in a dorm.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,781 Senior Member
    My daughter was also young for her grade and wasn't into the college process for most of her junior year. But we set up a tour for spring break, based on some of her interests, and once she set foot on a campus, she became more enthusiastic.

    The hard part about college planning is that kids are so young when they have to think about something that will take them all the way to age 22. It's really too much at once.

    You are fortunate to have a fantastic public education system, including community college. I'd let this rest until you get your son's scores back, and then maybe suggest a tour this summer. Even if school isn't in session, he could at least get a feel for a college campus. Include a few CCs. It may be that your son will prefer to go to one of these for 2 years, and then apply to a UC.

    The thing to keep in mind is that he is not behind! He will eventually leave the nest, get an education, and have a life for himself.
  • lilmomlilmom Registered User Posts: 3,532 Senior Member
    OP, timing is everything in this process. Our S10 wouldn’t talk to us about college apps until fall of his senior year. In retrospect, it may have been that he wasn’t ready to put himself out there for possible rejection. And what he didn’t want was all the chatter from us parents. It was probably putting more pressure on him.
    He was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher who guided S and his classmates through the process. Maybe there’s such a teacher or program at your S’s school?
  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 5,910 Senior Member
    in my experience, college is a pretty abstract concept to the typical 16 yr old boy. They either think they are all the same or that there's only one good one.

    You can help break that paradigm by touring a variety of schools, then discussing what they liked or didn't. Someplace like UoP is a great representation of a small private school, Sac or SF are good representative large commuter schools with urban surrounds, Davis is a really big UC in a college town, and Sonoma is a tweener size and is really residential. Visit several, chat it up with some students, ask them about their experience and where else they applied. Use the drive home to talk about what they liked or didn't - use that feedback to help them find a couple of schools they will feel comfortable at - and can get into.

    From the East Bay, these can be half day or less outings... or can be added to trips they already need to take for a sport/band or just a vacation.
  • thedreamydaisythedreamydaisy Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Thanks again everyone for the feedback! S is open to touring some places this summer so we'll visit some of the closer schools to give him a variety of what is out there. We'll also know his ACT and SAT scores by then, so we'll have a better idea of fit, merit aid, etc.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,601 Senior Member
    I prefer visits when colleges are in session so that you can meet students. Summer visits tend to either have empty campuses or visiting students.
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 13,210 Senior Member
    Our dear friends were a half hour from a CSU. All three of their kids started out commuting there, then moved into apartments with friends. It was a nice transition out of the nest, and it saved them a lot of $$.
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
    Apply at a variety of colleges. Drive around and definitely arrange some overnight stays. For my son, college as a real thing didn't kick in until our accepted students' day visit. I told him, if you like it here, we can make it work. The schools have so many opportunities for students to gradually separate themselves from the family home. Our son love attending the rising First Year student summer orientation and is having that initial friend / associate group has been great.
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