Daughter about to crash and burn. Help!

<p>She had a terrible first freshman semester at a top U. Registered for 5 courses, dropped 2, failed 1, got an A- and a B in the other two. The A- was for a course that was just one credit, unfortunately. The reason she failed the one course was because she missed the final. GPA was 1.81. As a result, she couldn't rush for sorority as she wanted to - school requires a 2.5 GPA in order to participate. H and I were puzzled that sorority was even interesting to her (she's an artsy type) but in any case it wasn't an option.<br>
She came home for Christmas. We had many discussions about how to proceed. I thought she should take a semester off, but H felt that she wouldn't be doing anything productive at home and would likely never go back. She said she wanted to go back and swore she would change. The news about the sorority issue came during this time (this info would have been available to her previously, but she's not the type to check into school policies). It seemed to be a kind of wake up call. Even though H and I are mildly anti-sorority, if it motivated her, fine.
She's back at school and she doesn't seem to have changed or not changed enough. She's missing deadlines and sleeping through classes. It's likely that she's partying, though I don't know to what extent. She's depressed because her friends are in sororities and she feels left out.
I think this may not be the right place for her altogether. She had a lot of other good acceptances, but this place has a better rep. I think she was dazzled by that and not thinking clearly about what it would be like to be in school there. And now that she's accumulated these awful grades, it's unlikely she could transfer to any of the other places that accepted her (small LACs rather than a large-ish U).
We could bring her home at this point and probably get a refund for the semester tuition, but that window will close fairly soon. And H has a point - she would be running away (or we'd be dragging her away) from a bad situation with no idea about what to do instead. I don't know what to do.
I've gotten a lot of good ideas from CC parents (I'm a long time member, changed ID and reregistered to protect daughter's privacy). Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.</p>

<p>If she doesn’t do better on her own, she soon will not have a choice regardless of what your H thinks. Academic probation and dismissal will come soon enough. If it were my kid, I would be thinking hard about whether it was worth my hard-earned money (I assume you are paying significantly for this experience). Based on your description, my guess is that she is partying too much. :frowning: No good advice from here, unless you and your H want to set a minimum GPA that you expect her to achieve if she wants to return in to school the fall. Otherwise, it is home to CC and/or a job next fall. And that is REALLY far away from the sororities and her friends.</p>

<p>Your D needs to talk to a Dean ASAP.</p>

<p>This is the first time you guys are handling this situation- but there are folks at your D’s college who have seen this rodeo hundreds of times before.</p>

<p>Stay, go, none of this can be sussed out before figuring out if your D really wants to be in college (not just this college, any college) and understands that at a minimum- she needs to attend class, hand in assignments, show up for finals-- boring stuff like that. If she is not prepared to do that (the bare minimum) then there is no value in having her enrolled right now. The sorority business is a nice distraction- but even having dozens of BFF’s and lots of things to do on weekends won’t change the basic paradigm- you’ve got to go to class and do some minimum amount of schoolwork or the college will ask you to vacate the premises.</p>

<p>Get her to the Dean of students or his/her representative and get the ball rolling.</p>

<p>Academic probation is already here, intparent. Getting her to a Dean is a good idea, blossom. Looking into it now.</p>

<p>I think intparent has it right. If she isn’t going to classes, what does she say about that? Does she “mean to, and then it doesn’t happen”? Does she realize the implications of another bad semester? I guess my question is, do you have any reason to believe it will change (very quickly) for her? If not, I think I’d be bringing her home. I’m assuming this behavior is not similar to her high school work ethics. Maybe you could figure out what is wrong, because something must be going on in her head to change her attitude, and it can’t be the friends in sororities since she had the same problem in the fall. Good luck. I’m so sorry…</p>

<p>Whatever her issues are (partying, depression, immaturity?), being where she is now is not helping her to resolve them. CC is not necessarily a failure or a punishment. CC plus a job and living at home might give her the space to learn what she needs to do differently.</p>

<p>Not everyone is ready to go away to college at 18. It would be quite strange if they were!</p>

<p>Her high school work ethic was erratic, 89. She managed decent grades and had super ECs and test scores. But H woke her up every morning and bullied her out the door. I think she may be (unconsciously) purposefully sabotaging herself. Therapy? She’s a plane ride away, so it’s complicated to arrange things. Ultimately, she’s going to have to arrange things for herself, but to watch her screwing herself out of a top flight education is painful.</p>

<p>If she does not change right now, she won’t be going to this school after this semester, because the school will ask her not to come back. Kids cannot “sleep through classes”, not show up for exams, etc. This is on her. You can give an ultimatum, but the college sorta, kinda did that by putting her on probation. I tend to agree with your H, if you can watch the money spent slip through your D’s fingers, then let the college “kick her out” because unless she changes her ways that is what is going to happen. If she changes her ways, then she might end up redeeming herself on some level and if you bring her home now you’ll never know.</p>

<p>Interesting that the OP says her H got the D up and out the door in HS. After all these years it surprises me how many parents send kids off to college expecting that those kids will jump out of bed when the alarm goes off…that never had to do that on their own before. Parents let your kids get themselves up and out the door at the very minimum as high school juniors and seniors. If they can’t do this in high school, why would you think they can do it in college?</p>

<p>I would bring her home and recover as much of your money as you can. I would not be willing to spend my money so that she can party and sleep through classes. If you bring her home now she can get a job and start community college classes in the summer. If she is suffering from depression (unlikely as you did not mention any symptoms) she needs treatment. Either way college at this point is a waste of money.</p>



<p>I posted on another thread recently that perhaps the first question regarding college readiness is whether the student gets herself up in the morning. Seriously. My son didn’t, and he crashed and burned his freshman year.</p>

<p>I don’t have a lot of sage advice…we’ve gone from Plan B to Plan C until now I think we’re out of letters (but there is a plan.) The one piece of advice I would give is that if your D comes home, resist the temptation to enroll her in community or other local college right away. I did that and my son didn’t go to class and for a while, managed to be on academic probation at community college! I think a job is better for a few semesters.</p>

<p>She should speak with a dean and also make an appointment with someone in student mental health counseling to try to figure out what’s going on with her social/emotional state. If there is a date by which she could withdraw/take leave for the semester and get tuition back I’d set a time before that date for you and DH to meet with her and decide what’s best. But staying, spending the tuition money, and continuing to do badly and be unhappy doesn’t seem like a good alternative. It may be that being home for the semester, getting counseling, and taking classes at CC/working may put her in a position to return to her current school in the fall. It sounds like the problems may be more with her than her present school, in which case transferring wouldn’t help.</p>

<p>Money is a thorny topic. We have enough for three semesters, grandparents have volunteered to kick in the rest. If she flunks out, she may be able eventually to get herself in somewhere else, but two semesters’ worth of tuition will have been burned. Which, as proud says, seems like an unacceptable waste and grandparents may lose interest in contributing. (I wouldn’t blame them.) Just one more issue in this problem stew.</p>

<p>I agree with everyone but your H. He seems to think she should adapt and overcome when it appears she is drowning and could use a lifeline.</p>

<p>Has her personality changed at all? Is this behavior that you could’ve predicted if you really thought about it?</p>

<p>If it was predictable, the school was never a match for her and she bit off more than she can chew.</p>

<p>If her behavior is completely opposite what you thought, you have to rule out promiscuous, alcohol and drug induced behavior changes. Then, you have to look at her immaturity and inability to cope and mental health. Finally, is she a kid with bad strategies that can be changed or modified easily. Is she bored, without purpose or ambition?</p>

<p>A lot of kids go bonkers freshman year. Don’t be panicked but you need to move fast to rule out serious stuff with potentially serious consequences - that takes straight talk, calm and no yelling or threats. Let her know CC is the next step for her. It’s up to her to pull her head out of her keester if she doesn’t want it. </p>

<p>As far as her future, college may or may not be essential. She needs to do some homework on why she is really there. To get away from home and party or to build a base for her future?</p>

<p>If she doesn’t seem to have changed in the first few weeks of the new semester, when the oomph from probation and no sorority recruitment would have its biggest effect, I’m not sure what anyone thinks will happen that will be different.</p>

<p>It sounds like your two options are

  • Let her stay there. Be prepared to “lose” the money for this semester because she probably won’t get a significant number of credits.
  • Bring her home and have her get a job and be expected to earn a certain amount of money.</p>

<p>If her problem really is getting up, then there are alarm clocks that run away from you, ones that shake the bed, etc. But, she needs to figure out what the real problem is. Maybe it’s time to talk with a counselor, especially if you think this could be self-sabotaging behavior.</p>

<p>Doesn’t sound like she has the self-management skills to handle college yet. Students can be taught time management. Students can be assisted with organizational schemes, but skipping class is more a symptom of “not ready to be in school” more than anything else. She may not know what she wants to do, she may be burnt out. You don’t know and even she may not be able to put whatever is wrong into words. </p>

<p>You agreed to let her go back, so I don’t know about bringing her home now, but I would start on a Plan B for May if her grades have not improved and she hasn’t been able to manage a full course load. And let her know the plan as soon as you arrive at it. If she has X months to get a full-time job and her own apartment, she should know. Don’t make it a threat; just keep her in the loop.</p>

<p>Regardless of the reason she is failing I think you should bring her home and help her sort things out. I feel even more strongly about that after your post above. She has limited funds available for college. She should preserve her funds until she is in a position to succeed. Unless something changes, nothing has changed. </p>

<p>I think the question you have to ask yourself is whether you really expect a different result this semester than last semester. If the answer is no, bring her home and work on crafting a solution.</p>

<p>We did indeed agree to let her go back, mostly because she was convincing about her determination to change. It’s because we agreed that I’m so conflicted - doesn’t she deserve the next three months to prove herself? On the other hand, a huge chunk of money appears to be on its way down the toilet. And I suspect that she is unable to change, at least for now. As mathinokc says, now is when the consequences of past behavior are most apparent. The fact that she seems to be digging herself into a second hole is not promising.</p>

<p>If her motivation to go back to school was to join a sorority, that sends another “red flag” into the picture. To me, it means her priority is the social scene when it needs to be focus and responsibility. If you decide she can stay for the semester, then you need to put in all the checklist items to make it work (as discussed above). If it’s too overwhelming for your D to do alone, you may need to take a trip to the school. In the interim, be prepared for anything–she may not make it through the semester. It’s good you are on board with the idea of CC/work/therapy at home, which sounds like the best option for her if she cannot pull it together. If you have been on this board awhile you know that you are far from alone in this scenario–we want a smooth path for our kids but they have other ideas. Hugs to you.</p>

<p>I’m having a hard time understanding if you guys are grounded in reality or in your hopes and wishes. At least you seem to be enough to seek advice.</p>

<p>I don’t think anyone believes she will change. She needs a heavy hand right now if a change is to occur. I had to tell my S to see a tutor when he was struggling in a class. I knew he was struggling because we have access to his school email account and told him to get gmail if he wants some privacy. Then, I asked everyday if he met with the tutor until he did four days later. He succeeded but it it took an assertive approach.</p>

<p>Do you know your daughter’s class schedule? Call 45 min before class just to say hello, then tell her to get to class. Tell her to get a tutor too. When she complains, tell her your just trying to help her not to come back home and go to community college.</p>

<p>mominizer-I wish I had enough time to give the full run down but the abbreviated version is our D has traveled the same road very much. Your D is not going to make it through this semester any better than the last. She either is not ready, is not mature enough, or is not at the right place. It is a tough thing to do but it really sounds as though you are throwing money away keeping her there this term. If she tanks this one, the money is gone and the chance to redeem herself at this school or another may well be. If the same behaviors are in play, you can’t expect a different result.</p>

<p>It is a tricky balance because they are technically “adults” but this gen more than so many before are less prepared than ever to be on their own. We have overparented them leading to their helplessness. Through their constant use of technology, they have not developed social skills or patience (how can you be patient when a computer/cell phone etc gives you an immediate response?!). You don’t want to present pulling her out as a punishment; on the contrary, it should be an acknowledgement of not quite ready to be there and outline a plan for her to redeem herself through community college courses, etc… Have her get a job to pay her “wants” expenses-you may still cover her “needs”. Through that, she has the opportunity to either 1)discover how hard it is to earn enough without college credentials or 2)discover she isnt cut out for college. </p>

<p>She is technically an adult but she is not a finished product. She still needs your help but that help takes a different form at this stage.</p>

<p>You aren’ t breaking your end of the deal by pulling her out after saying she could have another try. You already know she is not holding up her end of the bargain. She needs your help, but sometimes that help involves being realistic and being disappointed. </p>

<p>Therapy is helpful and so is organization skills training but there is also a need for behavior modification, pure and simple. SHE has to choose to make better decisions and to be responsible for her self.</p>

<p>Set goals for her to earn her way back. You don’t owe her a college education and she has to be ready to take advantage of it. If it is just babysitting, it is too expensive.</p>

<p>Sorry to not be eloquent-rushing through this as no time but very empathetic and very much have been there. Good luck. PM me if you want to chat and we can even talk by phone.</p>