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Having a car at college ...

toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
My nursing student is needing a car at college at a certain point coming up (for clinicals). Her first clinicals start second semester sophomore year. She just finished her freshman year VERY strong and I am very proud of her.

What is my worry? She has an at home boyfriend who is about to graduate high school but is otherwise drifting -- not sure what he is going to do, not going to college, perhaps the military (but he is apparently underweight) and what I don't want happening is her driving to his house every weekend rather than studying (with some classmates) and such as she has been doing this year which has been a giant key to her success.

I understand I cannot control that -- but any words or wisdom other than trust her? (I want to, but the boyfriend sometimes has an odd hold over her and I am amazed at the decisions she will make that she otherwise would not). The only other thing is she doesn't work at school and would probably run out of gas and toll $$ pretty quickly.

Replies to: Having a car at college ...

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,657 Senior Member
    Can she work now and first semester to bank some money to support her car...you know...gas, tolls and oil changes?

    Are her clinicals all located where she absolutely must have a car? No public transportation? No Uber or Lyft?
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
    edited May 8
    Yeah she does need the car -- I have no issue with paying for the gas and tolls to get to school and such, not really my issue. It is the distracting potential side trips that I am not happy about. What I meant about the gas and tolls is maybe I don't need to worry about her running back to the boyfriends because the gas and tolls for that are not even a little bit cheap.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,480 Senior Member
    I'd have a frank conversation about your expectations around the car. I'd be clear that it's to be used only for getting to/from clinicals and that you won't be paying for gas/tolls beyond coming home for school breaks. Beyond that I'm not sure what else you can do other than hoping she uses good judgement and keeps her focus.
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
    Yeah she does need the car -- I have no issue with paying for the gas and tolls to get to school and such, not really my issue. It is the distracting potential side trips that I am not happy about.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 9,530 Senior Member
    But what happens if the BF shows up every Thursday night and expects to be entertained until Monday, 11 am when he decides to head back home?

    I think you're using the car as a bit of an excuse, and hoping that you can use the tolls and gas money as leverage. Which you really can't.

    I think you have two choices here- have a sit down where you air (in a non-judgemental way) your concerns about a relationship derailing her academically, and tell her that this is something she might want to think about over the summer before it becomes problematic; OR- keep your mouth shut and hope nature takes its course. Don't push them into a "Romeo and Juliet" situation, where your disapproval becomes the fuel to keep the relationship going long after its run its course. And don't pretend that you're worried about the tolls if your REAL concern is her killing every weekend driving to see the BF.

    None of mine had cars at college- it just was not in the budget, and although some of their work/internship type stuff was less convenient than it could have been, they teamed up with colleagues to take cabs and were creative about the occasional zipcar. Cost MUCH less than maintaining and parking AND insuring a car.... which wasn't even an option since we weren't paying for said car, and they needed their work earnings to pay for other stuff.

    And recognize that the kid with the car (which is now your D) gets hauled into making runs to Walmart and Target; dropping friends at the Greyhound station to go visit THEIR boyfriends on Thursday nights, picks up friends at the airport late Sunday night, etc. There's a lot of random/distracting side trips that are going to go on, whether you know about them or not. Are you going to be happier that she's killing Sunday night waiting for a friend's flight which is delayed vs. driving home from the BF? I doubt it.
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
    @blossom All good points -- most of her friends at school have cars already, she will be the last of the group so that is not a HUGE concern. Yes he could park himself there all weekend and there isn't much I can do about that - this year it has been sporadic at best as far as I can tell but he is still a high school student with limited resources as well. I am not really planning to USE the gas and tolls as leverage, but I am also not paying them if running around to her boyfriend every weekend is her choice is all I am saying. I will give her what is needed reasonably to get to school and clinicals and the rest is her problem if she chooses. She is the only student of ours that got a car (at least on our dime), the older one bought his own and paid the expenses too.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,507 Senior Member
    You can have a talk with her but as you know YMMV. They usually do as they please in this scenario.
    I had an unpleasant conversation with our son last year regarding the purchase of a car that ended up a nonpurchase. Knowing him, he’d have ended up providing unpaid Über and Lyft services for everyone regardless of what he would swear he wouldn’t do.

    There really isn’t anything more you can do. Just wish you good luck and hope it works out.
  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens Registered User Posts: 1,008 Senior Member
    @cptofthehouse she impressed me this school year with her dedication and grades so perhaps I worry needlessly
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,337 Senior Member
    You CAN GPS the car. If she isn't trustworthy though, that is a whole 'nother issue.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,657 Senior Member

    Seems like the issue is not having a car at college (the thread title), but rather the concerns about the boyfriend...which are not new.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,507 Senior Member
    As I said upthread, I don’t think there is much one can do without causing more harm other than let your DD know how you feel.

  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,858 Senior Member
    Is she close enough to home to be able to come once in a while? You could have her and the BF for dinner as a regular thing. If she knows she'll see him regularly, this might be enough to keep her from making side trips.
  • TS0104TS0104 Registered User Posts: 812 Member
    Sounds like the gas and tolls are going to take care the problem, as long as she knows that you'll pay for them for clinicals/etc and that's all. Not having gas is a pretty strong deterrent to weekend trips, and it sounds like the BF won't be covering the gas.
  • TexasCollegeMomTexasCollegeMom Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Does your daughter have a gpa that she needs to maintain her admission to nursing school? Reason I ask is my kids had scholarships that they had to maintain a certain gpa to keep. They knew they couldn't continue at the private university if they lost the scholarships. As a parent this was scary at first. In the long run, it was a blessing. I never had to be concerned about the grades because they knew what was necessary to maintain. They both graduated with honors.

    Boyfriend is a rocky story. Eldest daughter fell in love during an internship in Costa Rica. He was what most parent consider a poor choice- after dropping out of college, he was working for his room/board at a self sustaining farm in Costa Rica. He is a citizen of the Netherlands which created challenges with moving to the US. After 2 years of dating long distance, they married and now live in Amsterdam. He is a welder and now supporting her while she gets her masters in Engineering.

    While this is not what I envisioned for my daughter, I've learned that this is my daughter's life to live and her choice. She is happy and in love. We look forward to spending 2 weeks with them in Germany this summer.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 11,185 Senior Member
    She did it last year, kept her focus and worked hard, all while being separated from the boyfriend.

    If she is passionate about becoming a nurse, I would guess she will continue to put her studies first.
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