How do I handle my daughter when she calls me begging to leave college to go to a different one?

Judy - posted on 09/16/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Please bear with me as I give you some background. My 18 year old daughter is a freshman in college. She has been calling me at least once a week begging to come home when her first semester is completed, work for a few months and then move in with friends in another part of the state for the Fall 2013 semester. My daughter is very bright. We informed her when she started high school that in order to go to college in her home state she would need to qualify for a scholarship. Our state gives students scholarship funding from 50% to 100% depending on GPA. We told her that we would pay the difference. She knew that if she didn't get the scholarship, she would have to go to Canada where she was born where tuition is cheaper. We were willing to pay for her college education 100% in Canada because it is more affordable than the US. She was well aware of this. Well, she was one tenth of a mark away from securing the scholarship. It was not due to inability. It was due to her slacking off. She admitted that she slacked off. She could have easily qualified. I can think of 3 subjects in her last year alone where she received a C for homework. Had she passed in the majority of her homework assignments, that alone would have been enough, not to mention if she had put even a little more effort into her studies she would have easily gotten her scholarship. She applied to a college in Canada and was accepted. She is presently renting an apartment with other cousins, also college students. She has a great support system and has many family members in the area, as well as friends she had previously met on previous visits. She is missing in her words 'the life she had'. She said college is not bad but she has not made many friends and she misses her own friends terribly. She does not like living with her cousins. Her plan is to come back after the first semester, live home, get a job, move in with her friends in the fall of next year in another part of the state, go to a community college to bring up her grades and then go to the college where her friends are. I have tried to give her a reality check in as gentle a way as I can. She needs to take responsibility for the choices she has made. As I said, she was well aware of her responsibilities if she wanted to go to college here. I hate to see her so miserable but I feel she has to grow up and face reality. The college she is in now has a great reputation. If she continues there she will graduate debt free. Moreover, we are not prepared to go back on our word with regards to her attending in her home state. She has had it very easy in the past and has not always taken responsibility for her actions. Am I being cold hearted and unreasonable. My daughter has always blamed everyone else for her misfortunes. I really think that she needs to mature and be thankful for the opportunities she's been given. I think that if she had a more positive attitude and really gave it a chance she would be fine but I don't know how to convince her to do this. It breaks my heart to see her unhappy but I don't think that letting her come home because she misses the social life she had here and her friends is reasonable. Advice please!

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Linda - posted on 09/20/2012

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Hi Judy,



I'm glad I could help. In response to your concern that your daughter has "meltdowns"; my son did the same thing. The first week or so, freshman and sophomore year. Freshman year I was very concerned and thought he was going to come home no matter what I said. I had never dealt with anything like this before. I knew there would be adjustment issues, but not to that extent. But, as I said he calmed down on his own and adjusted very well. When he had a "meltdown" sophomore year, the first week or so, I knew it would pass and it did. I know it's hard. You feel torn and don't want your child to be upset. (although they are technically young adults) In my heart I told myself if he was still complaining at Thanksgiving, we would seriously look into him transferring. He never mentioned it again.



So, no matter what your daughter says. You ARE a good mother. She is feeling homesick and wants to be in her own environment where her friends and family are. Like I said, your daughter has family in Canada she has it better than a lot of kids do.



So, let me know how things are going. If you have any more questions or concerns I will be happy to help.



Good Luck! :)

Ramona - posted on 09/20/2012

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Freshman year can be rough. Just encourage her to finish out the year. It is easier to make the change in the summer. By then, she may be set in routines, have friends and not be homesick any more. ((HUgs))

Judy - posted on 09/19/2012

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I appreciate the reply, Linda. This community is wonderful! It is good to be able to talk to other moms who have had similar experiences or who can offer advice/encouragement. It's a relief to be able to vent and express my feelings knowing that others understand. Knowing that your son went through a kind of similar reaction makes me feel that it may just be an adjustment phase for her. My only concern is that my daughter has 'meltdowns' when she is upset. It breaks my heart when she gets like this but she has to learn to 'suck it up' as you said. She has to learn to deal with change and challenges. We would not be doing our job as parents if we tried to solve all our children's problems for them. They have to learn to stand on their own two feet and deal with 'life'.

Judy - posted on 09/17/2012

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Thank you so much for your response, Sharon. I agree, it is too early to think about changing. She has to give it chance. My daughter tends to not think things through initially. She has her vision of the way things should be and when it doesn't work out she wants change. She has to learn to stick to her commitments. Her options are limited given the information I supplied in my original post. My husband and I agree she needs to complete at least one year before she considers other options. Hopefully, after a year and a little more maturity she will realize what is best for her.

Sharon - posted on 09/17/2012

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Tell to hang in there, it seems early to want to switch colleges. I did not like my first semester at school. but ended up staying 5 years. We allowed our kids one college change. My son spent two years at one college and he is attending another one. We told him, you have to stay at this one, graduate or you will be footing the bill if you change and it will be at your old school. If she is truly unhappy at the end of the semester, then maybe let her try something else but she only gets one change. I don't think it is a good idea to work and then try to go back. Just go to school and get it over with. Also, let her know that is plans on transferring, as my son learned the hard way the first school he wanted to transfer to, that all the stuff they look for achievements, community service when they applied in high school is null and void. What college look for in transfer students is the GPA. Tell her that if she plans on transferring make sure she checks the GPA they are looking for because that is the biggest factor. Good luck!

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Judy - posted on 09/20/2012

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Thank you again, Linda. Your words and our common experiences really help to put my mind at a little more ease. I spoke to her today and she was much calmer. She was in a better mood. I am going to see her over her mid term break and she did say she wanted to talk when I get there about it but she wasn't as insistent and desperate as she was last week. I'm praying by the time I get there she will have settled in and will be able to think more logically about everything.

Linda - posted on 09/19/2012

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Hi Judy, my son recently graduated from college also in another state. (in May) The first week or so of the school year freshman and sophomore years, he went through the same thing. Especially freshman year. Talked about coming home, going to community college, etc. And, yes he chose the college wanted to go there. Freshman year, I think it was more homesick, didn't have any friends there yet etc. Sophomore year, had many friends, he just likes routine, doesn't like change, had a new roommate, etc. Called the first week of school said the same thing. I "gently" told him if he left where would he go. And, that I wanted him to give it at least a semester. (if he could the year) and then transfer. Give it a chance. He met his girlfriend 2 weeks after that sophomore year on his birthday. They went out for dinner. They are engaged, and getting married when she graduates in 2 years. So, sometimes it's worth the wait. And, yes he worked very hard was Dean's List or President's List all through school. Had many friends, a job and activities. Sure he complained at time, but it was a good experience for him.



Your daughter should go for at least 1 semester. (Try for the year.) Easier to transfer beginning of the year. And, no she shouldn't take a break and work, she won't go back. She has family in Canada, she will make more friends, and I don't think she has anything to complain about. She has more than a lot of kids have when they go to college. I agree one change, but not yet, too soon. Tell her "gently" to suck it up and make the most of where she is now. Not spending all her time with family, meeting new friends would be a good idea too.



Good luck!

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