Help, my son called last night and wants to leave tulane

<p>Need some suggestions on how to deal with this. Son is a freshman, has a difficult major, doing great academically, has a 3.75. He explained that he just wants to leave and come home, feeling depressed, but likes the school and the people. I have a Masters degree and have extensive experience working with counseling issues, but he would not listen to anything I suggested.
Some suggestions included going to the counseling center, being more involved in the school and joining clubs. My impression is that maybe he hasn't made close friends, is not involved in anything, and doesnt like to go out to party !!! Everything was great 1st semester, this phone call was a great shock, but I am not willing to let him come back home.</p>

<p>Suggest you post this in the general Parents Forum. It doesn't sound specifically Tulane related - more of a freshman struggle. There are likely parents who have been through this before and can offer advice.</p>

<p>There will be a Mardi Gras break (four days long) two weeks from now. You may consider getting him back or you can visit him during that time if possible. A face to face chart may figure out what going on. I guess one of reason is that he might get more challenge course load and it stressed him out somehow. Another way is to let him to go to Gym if he has not to do so. Good luck.</p>

<p>It's so typical to see freshman go through this, having three kids who have all attended/attend college, I can speak with experience to say your son is hitting a typical bump. If there is any way possible at all for you to go and visit him, take him to dinner, go for a walk and just be there and tell him that what he is feeling is normal. Let him know he can apply to transfer, but he may find that after he works through this tough time, he adjusts, comes out stronger and will find he's in the best place to accomplish his goals. </p>

<p>But do keep in mind, maybe he is not in the best place. Listen to him and keep an open mind. Our oldest transferred her sophomore year, and it was the best decision she ever made.</p>

<p>Our second D struggled like your son, but did not want to transfer, she was committed to work through things. This year, her Junior year, she is very happy that she stayed put.</p>

<p>Our third S found the perfect university, and has been happy all along (in his freshman year), but I still wonder if he will give a call home at some point with a struggle, just because I know how typical it is to experience sadness sometime during your freshman year.</p>

<p>A visit to see him face to face will surely help both of you to get through this and make the best decision for his future. Try not to judge him, thinking he's young and about to make a mistake. Try to follow his struggle from an understanding, supportive stand point.</p>

<p>I wish you the best of luck. I don't think you'll need luck, since your son is opening up and telling you about his struggle. Just patience and understanding is all you will need.</p>

<p>Agree that this is probaby not a school-specific issue, and also that seeing him face-to-face is a great idea. What are his hobbies and interests? Has he joined any clubs or sports activities? Second semester freshman year seems to be a tough adjustment for a lot of students. I remember a time my freshman year (after winter break) when I began to wonder if I was being left out of activities. It all worked out fine, and I have great lontstanding friends from college. Would you consider flying there before Mardi Gras and spending a few days with him?</p>

<p>Breakup of romantic interest?
Suspension or expulsion situation?
More digging is needed.
Can you/other parent go visit him for a few days for a face to face?</p>

<p>Definitely get in the car and take a trip. You need to see him. Warrior said it best. Don't judge just listen. Help him through these tough times. But go and see him.</p>

<p>I wanted to thank everyone for their input on this situation. To my knowledge, there is no breakup, or suspension. My son is still not talking much over the phone, but did say that he wasnt feeling well, sore throat etc. I did encourage him to go to the health center. He did say that he has decided to stay at Tulane , but sounds miserable. If he would talk I would listen, but there is not much talking. I am afraid that if I or dad goes down he still wont open up. What are your thoughts if I send his older brother down I'm thinking he may open up to him. Older brother is a Senior in college.</p>

<p>Since we don't know his older brother or anything about their relationship, it is really hard to say how that would turn out. But in principle, I would think any time spent with someone he respects and has "been there, done that" would help.</p>

<p>A Skype chat may also help somehow.</p>

<p>I just want to let you know that this sounds completely normal. I keep hearing this from friends ... their kids seemed happy as can be during their first semester, and then this happens! Although maybe something specific is going on, it could very well be that the "honeymoon period" is over... reality is kicking in... It's college - lots of work academically - more responsibility than the kids have ever had... and a certain level of homesickness (sometimes it can be missing the "ease" of home life - clean bedroom, meals prepared, laundry, someone "caring" even if the kids don't admit it). </p>

<p>In my opinion, I would not bring him home... maybe get through this phase and see how it goes. Give him time.</p>

<p>This may sound counter-intuitive, but can you suggest he do volunteer work. Maybe tutoring local kids.</p>

<p>I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you fly to see your son (or drive the distance). Your effort will show your son that you wish to be supportive of him in the strongest way possible. Sending a sibling will not send the same message and not gain the same results. If you have been his rock for a lifetime of up and downs, right now when things are unsettled your presence will surely give him strength. Every bit of strength you offer will stay with him long past your flight home. Bring him a box with everything from dayquil, throat lozengers, tea and honey, along with a couple of chocolate bars. Students hate spending money on cold medicine, etc. </p>

<p>Sons don't typically talk on the phone, so don't feel badly that you can't get him to open up. I think he'll open up a bit more when you are there. If he doesn't you need to remember that your time spent there is still time well spent. Just your presence will give him peace of mind and strength to see the glass as closer to half full than half empty.</p>

<p>Remind him that what he is experiencing is very normal, and make him promise you that if he ever feels like he can't handle the stress, he will call you and talk. Let him know when there's a problem, there's always a solution and you are here for him to help him find solutions when ever things get too heavy to handle alone. It's a conversation that will help him through this time. He'll know then that you understand and you are there to support him through this stressful time.</p>

<p> he an active kid who for any reason (injury or studies) has had to slow down his activities?</p>

<p>Book your ticket and go!</p>

<p>Bringing him home is not an option. This is so foreign to me because this had never happened to me when I was in college. And it does seem pretty common. I now remember several moms/dads telling me that they have to go to their kids college because h/s were having difficulties.</p>

<p>Again, Thanks for all your input. And yes Warrior, Boys really dont talk much on the phone.... good point. Did encourage son numerous times to volunteer, join clubs etc. but he has not. Spends much time studying. He does work out every day. Decided after reading much input from everyone it would be best for Mom and Dad to go. So I am going to be heading out Thurs or Fri.</p>

<p>I hope all works out. Best of luck.</p>

<p>This may or may not have anything to do with your son's sudden change of heart, but one thing that is different this semester is that a lot of the boys have pledged fraternities,and from the sounds of it, your son chose not to. But I can tell you that between classes and pledging, my son's time to totally consumed. The point is, your son may be feeling the absence of friends or hall mates that chose to go the fraternity route, or he just might feel that everyone else is suddenly involved and really busy while he is not. </p>

<p>Involvement in something, anything at all, will force him to meet new people - that being said, I know you have suggested that, and it is up to him. My daughter was very homesick her freshman year, but she did get over it and learned to love her school - again, the biggest difference for her was getting involved. She too was very academically driven as it sounds like your son is, so it was hard for her to make time for things she considered less important. This whole thing is probably harder on you than it is on him. Good luck with your visit! I did that a lot my daughter's freshman year - she would come stay at the hotel with me for a change of scenery and the sheer pleasure of taking a shower without shower shoes! It really did her a lot of good. One more thing: my son almost never talks on the phone with us. I do get text messages from him pretty regularly, and I think our "conversations" are better than the ones by telephone. I know there are things he tells me in a text he would never actually say on the phone. So maybe that is an option to consider. Although I hated it at first, I learned to take what I could get!</p>

<p>Blueeyes1 - Just checking in and see that you may be in route to see your son. I'm so happy for you, as I think it will be a great weekend for all of you. While it may be low key, someday you may look back on the weekend and remember it to be a very important time of your relationship. As I write that I remember vividly back to visiting our, now, 23 year old daughter when she was in a tough spot in college. She needed me that weekend and things got better from that point on. I hope things work out and your son enjoys his second semester. So many things could be facing him, things he never imagined, there being square in front of him; roommates with drug/alcohol problems, tough professors who don't care if students succeed, etc. Your presence will remind him that you are there to be the rock that he needs during difficult times and experiences. I hope you enjoy your weekend!</p>