Avatar universal

My daughter pretended to go to college classes and didn't

My young adult (20 yr. old) daughter who practically had perfect attendance/good grades all through school, is struggling in college. She lives 2 hours away at the University.  What I mean by struggling is, she did fine the first two years, then the whole 3rd year we just found out, she received 0 credits. She would schedule herself for classes every quarter, even ask us for book money for her classes, the eventually drop or just quit going to the classes, resulting in F's  or 0.  Her first two years her grades were good, we saw them. The 3rd year, she always told us everything was going good, her grades were good, we just took her word for it.We  suspected she might not be doing well, since she never actually showed us her grades, but we were going to let her handle it, rather than hover over her, to try and teach her problem solving skills, etc. This summer after she came home, she asked if she could live at the University for the summer, work and take summer classes. Since this is typical for most seniors, we said sure. We asked to see her grades and to make sure she was on track to graduate on time, etc.  In the meantime, we moved her to her new apartment, got new furniture for her, etc. We called her and asked her to let us know about her grades, so she gave us her password to check online to see her grades. Well when we looked, she had 0 credits for the whole junior year. We were so upset, my husband immediately called her and said what is going on??  She said I had a bad year, I was afraid to tell you, I thought I could handle it myself and  I didn't want you to find out, because I promise I will do better now and that won't happen again. And my husband said, of course it won't happen again, if you miss one class, drop one class, or make another F, you are moving back home immediately.
My husband and I have been sick worried over her now.  I am worried about drugs now and all kinds of things. My imagination has gone crazy. I don't know who I can talk to because I am almost embarrassed this happened right under our noses. I am so scared. Please advise me.  Thank you so much.
8 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
Dont get over worried till you have all the Facts from her, has she moved back home with you yet? Have a good talk with her and if she is not receptive see if she will talk to someone else or a counsillor , dont pressure her till you know more or over react, your thoughts are disturbing you and all will probably be well and she will get back on track, this isnt unusual behavior you know. Good luck hope all is okay again soon.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for listening to me. She is such a great girl, and since she went a whole year, misleading us, that just makes me worry. She usually comes home for the summer then goes back to college in the Fall, but this year she asked if she could stay there, get a new apt., try and find a summer job there, and also take summer classes. We said ok, since this is typical of college students going on their senior year.  We found out about last years grades after finals at the end of June 08. It was too late to counsel her, so now we are trying to counsel her for next year. She promises us she is back on track and taking 2 summer classes at the university to help her catch up. I hope she is not lieing again. I have asked her to please seek counseling at the university, they offer it for free. She hasn't yet. I think she is embarrassed maybe. Or doesn't want to admit why she didn't go. Thanks for listening and I hope to hear from others, and their advice too.
13167 tn?1327194124
I'm surprised that after a whole year of earning no credits,  she's still able to enroll at the university.  

REALLY surprised.  First,  I would insist before you pay one more dime of her tuition or rent or books,  that you are given permission to access her academics.  Can you look online and see what she is registered for,  and what her final grades are?  

Where does she work?  Pop in,  and see with your own eyes that she is there.

I completely understand your embarrassment, and wanting to believe what she is saying is true,  but you should be open to something else.  And you sound like you parent like I do - kind of too afraid of finding out the truth so you ignore all the obvious signs.

I was intrigued by your statement that if she doesn't do well she's coming home.  How about,  if she can't get it together in the next six months she doesn't see another penny in help from you,  she's completely on her own to sink or swim?
13167 tn?1327194124
I'm sorry I kind of sounded harsh in the last post.  

My son,  who is a college student,  had a roommate last year who didn't attend one single class all year.  He was kicked out,  can't re-enroll.  His parents,  also,  didn't know this was happening although I heard the story from my son whenever I talked to him.   So your post struck a cord with me and I was kind of thinking,  I would like to see my son's roommate read the riot act by his parents.  In retrospect,  maybe antidepressants would be a better option.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your input. Her first two years she had a good GPA, so luckily that carried over to her 3rd year. The GPA stayed above a 2.0 because she "withdrew" from the class right before grades were given out, if you do this sometimes you get 0 credit instead of an F, like you never actually attempted it.  She did recieve F's also in some classes where she did not withdraw she just quit going. Since she had a good GPA the previous year, it did come down with the F's, but not below a 2.0 so she was not kicked out or put on probation. But you do not get reimbursed for class you withdraw from when you wait so late in the quarter to drop it. So all that tuition down the drain.
If I were to hear of someone doing this in another family I would probably think what a jerk to do that to his mom and dad. And I think it with my own child, and I wonder where I went wrong. She says she was afraid to tell us. I think mostly because she actually did not want help, that would have been too much work to catch up once she got so behind, so she kept thinking ok, next quarter I will make it up, then got back in the same mess. It got so out of hand, now she is a year behind. My husband blames himself for not insisting on seeing her grades every single quarter, he believes this would have been eliminated. So that is what we are doing from now on, insisting on seeing her grades, and like you suggested or she will not receive another dime from us. So far, we have not sent her any money at all. I am sure this has cramped her style alot.  But you have to earn it I believe. I never had money handed to me as a child or young adult from my parents, they didn't have it. And I always did fine. My husband and I are lucky enough to be able to do that, but if she doesn't appreciate it or wastes it, and doesn't invest it into her future, we are stopping it. So I am praying she has no other option now but to get back on track. I hope so anyway. I have suggested to her about 4 or 5 times to seek counseling at the university. They offer it free to the students. She hasn't gone, I think she is probably too embarrassed. But maybe she will change her mind and go. Thanks for listening. Maybe I have helped someone else out there, know they aren't the only one that has gone through this.It's kind of scary now days with kids and the temptations nowadays. Parenting is very hard. You can only do so much.
535822 tn?1443976780
You are doing your best and show you are a caring parent and yes it is tough. How about giving her some slack and the benefit of knowing what she is doing sometimes if we pressure too much it can make it all worse I have found in life a step back helps.Its her life let her know you are there for her and let her get on with it.I dont think threats work either , a good empathetic chat might though.
Avatar universal
I am a 22 year old college student and your story about your daughter is very similar to mine.  My mother lives in Idaho, my father lives in the same state as me--actually only about 5 minutes away- but we don't talk much.  

My first year of college was great-- I had friends and was open with my parents.  The second year was ok--and I began having issues with roomates and relationships and also stress from work.  How was I going to pay the bills?  I had to work more and focus on school less.

Then, first semester of third year, I promised myself that I would get all As and Bs!  In the middle of the semester I couldn't do it anymore.  I withdrew from my classes and got all "W"s and was completely isolated from everyone.  I had an eating disorder, so I was focusing on that and going to counseling, getting on meds, and pretending everything is ok with school, life, and family.  I didn't tell my parents until much later.

It is great that your daughter can depend on you for an apartment, tuition, and books.  I had to do that all on my own and it wasn't easy working 60/hours a week and taking 14 credits a semester with 2 lab classes and an orchestra class (oh man what a tough year that was...).

Since your daughter and I are similar in age, and if I was your daughter, I wouldn't want my parents hovering over me and threatening to take me ho me.  Your daughter is learning to be independent now, and she must have made a mistake or judged poorly about a school situation.  When the situation became out of hand she withdrew of got Fs.  I think your daughter would appreciate it if you tried to be on her level.  Try to think of the things she'd be going through as a newly independent adult.  If drugs and alcohol are involved, then of course step in and be a parent, but if not, I would say she is just learning how to grow.  We all make mistakes, and I think she will easly rectify hers by perhaps taking a lighter course load.  

These days, it takes people longer than 4 years to graduate--why press her?  Perhaps that pressure caused her to drop some classes and get 0s.  I'm on my 4th year because I had to retake a bunch of things, but I like going at my own pace and not feeling like yanking my hair out from stress.

Anyway, something to think about from someone who went through it too.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
We thought my son graduated from college this past December. The family came from far and wide to attend graduation. It was a big deal because he wasted scholarship opportunity and money throughout his 4 1/2 years. He marched. We had the big party, everything. I didn't understand why we didn't get the diploma in the mail. I found out he had a balance on his account. I insisted he give me the password to pay the balance online. I paid it and then looked at his transcript, only to find out he had not met all the requirements in his final semester. His grades were too low in his major classes to count. For 3 months, we have been celebrating his graduation and even supported his failed soccer attempts because we believed he had kept his promise to graduate. We are devastated.  My husband can't bring himself to talk to my son yet. We are so hurt.
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