Adulthood: Transitioning Into Expert Forum
College Age Child
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Questions in the Transitioning Into Adulthood forum are answered by Dr. Jason Greenberg, PhD. Topics covered include Anxiety, career choice struggles, depression, drug/alcohol abuse, job issues, living on one's own, relationships (parents/family), relationships (romantic), responsibility issues, separation issues, sexual issues, sexual orientation issues

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College Age Child

I have a 19 year old 3.7 GPA who dropped out of college Jan 08. Does not go any where will not make any attempt to seek a job unless I have it lined up ahead of time and will not discuss his plans for th future.  I do not understand why my son has become so un interested in doing any thing. He does not appear to be depressed.  He says classes at U of M  University Dearborn, Engineering courses (he was commuting 20 min and living at home) was too boring to sit through. Could he really be that ahead of the class?  He took a pre exam that allowed him to enter the highest Calculus class possible for a Freshman last year.  Again he is very intelligent but doesn't apply himself and has no ambition.  I believe he found he could not get thru college like he did in high school by not studying and gettng A's all the time.  Please advise me on what I should do.  Both my husband & I have had every talk emaginable to try to get him to talk to us or to try to get him to get a job or start back to school somewhere else.  Nothing is working and we are almost at our last end with him. I don't want to kick him out of our house because he has no where to go.  This is the advise we get from other people when we explain our sitution.  I believe he shows no ambition and is content with being at home I worry about him.  I know he could be and do so much more. How can I help him please let me know?!!! Thank you, Cheryl  
Tags: college son
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I realize that this situation is nervewracking for you because of his lack of interest or ambition.  I was wondering if you had asked him what he wants to do, right now and in the future.  With that said, there isn't a "right" thing to do in this situation;  I think that for you and your husband, you need to try to figure out the "best" course of action that will feel "most right" for you and your son.  This basically comes down to assessing your son's needs and your own.  Has your son shown difficulty maintaining focus and effort towards goals in the past?  Does he continuously need to be nudged by you or your husband?  Or has he been a self-starter?  How do you and your husband feel about your son living at home at not going to college (or working, unless he is right now)?  Also, Is there anything else going on at home that may seem unrelated but could have led to this reaction?
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Re; College Age Child
by cherann214
Feb 13, 2009 10:50PM
Tags: college son

Nothing different has happened at home. Grandmother who was dying a slow death from a nuerological disorder passed in the summer. Nothing else more than usual. My middle son will be leaving for the Navy in July. But the college student son who dropped out did it last year February 2008. Again he does not seem depressed. I just worry because he does not get much socializing other than our family and friends who come over for my other 2-teens.

Thank you for your help.
Cheryl  
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505460_tn?1221240685
It's hard for me to say too much about your son based on your report of your son's behavior, so I cannot be of much help about what might be going on with him.  Based on what you've told me, he has had a reaction to some aspect of college that motivated him to drop out and return home.  Based on your observation that he does not seem depressed, it seems that he is not "suffering," in fact, it is likely that some aspect of going to college made him suffer a lot more.  It's not clear why exactly.  It could be about becoming more independent and worries about being out in the world on his own; it could also be many other issues.  I am also aware of your concern about him as well as concern that he is not being social.  This leads you and your husband to a dilemma -- is there anything that you can do to motivate him, and if so, will it work?  That is also not an easy question for me to answer but I will instead defer to you and what you know about your son.  Has he been self-motivated in the past, or have you and/or your husband needed to nudge him along?  How has he dealt with change (external or internal (e.g., puberty))?  Also, have you asked him what it was about college that led him to drop out?  And if you think he might be embarassed to tell you, is there another family member who can talk to him (such as his brother)?  I think getting the answers to the questions above will help you begin to figure out how you can be of help, if it is possible.    
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