Opinions Needed:

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ITeach4Him, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Jan 3, 2012

    I hope I'm posting in the right forum. Here's the general question I have: How much input should parents have over the choice of their child's college? :confused:

    My son is a senior this year and most likely will be valedictorian. Up until a few weeks ago, he had his college chosen and his major. THEN he meets a girl. :( Suddenly, his choice of college has changed AND his major! He wants to go where she is attending (she is a year older) and change to HER major! We can't help but think he is doing this because of her. His major was engineering and he was set to go to one of the best engineering schools in Texas. He swears he isn't doing it just for her.

    Honestly, he is the most mature, 18 year old I've ever known and really is well thought of. He has never been one to make decisions that weren't good ones. He says he is burned out on math and science because he doubled up on it this year and is sick of it. I think he is making a decision during a time that he is exhausted and just tired of school in general right now.

    Should we as parents just support him and allow him to do this? We've never been parents to just let him do things without first talking through the positives and the negatives before coming to a decision, but when it comes to college, we just don't know how much input we SHOULD give. We will be paying for most of his college, but he probably will have to have some loans as well. I just don't want him to blame us if we don't support him, or keep him from his relationship with this girl. (We've yet to meet her!)

    Any input would be MUCH appreciated! :):thanks:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2012

    It sounds like he is a good kid, and nothing he wants to do is dangerous or illegal. Let him do his own thing. Support his choices. He'll figure out what's best for him.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Who's paying for college?
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Has he visited this college? Could you arrange for a visit together--have him share the highlights with you. Support him in what he wants, and remember that he doesn't have to make a decision right this very second. College is still another 6 or 7 months away, and things with this girl could very well change between now and then, but you need him to see that you support his choices.
     
  6. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Jan 3, 2012


    His dad and I will be paying for most of his college, but he will need some student loans which we intend on helping him pay.
     
  7. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jan 3, 2012

    I think you should support your son. You sound as though he has made you very proud. Trust that.

    And keep in mind that decisions made today can easily change over time. That is, he'll need a year or two to complete general education requirements at any college. If, after a year, he's missing engineering he can easily go back. He can transfer, too. If not, then he made the right choice and you move forward from there.

    I admit I'm a little prejudiced. I met my husband in high school and we're one year away from 20 years together.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Then you get some input...
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2012

    The parents had their chance to go to college and presumably choose their course of study. Now it's the son's time to do those things. He'll never learn to be an adult or a good citizen of the world if his parents make all his life choices for him.

    If the parents are strongly opposed to the choice in college or major, they can pull their financial support. I think that's a bad move but it's up to the parents. If that were to happen, then I'd hope at the very least that they parents wouldn't pull their parental support and would continue to be there for their son.
     
  10. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2012

    I think that you convince him to apply at both colleges. Then help him fill out paperwork for scholarships at both. If you are lucky, this girl will be a distant memory by the time the end of May gets here and he wouldn't have burned any bridges.


    On another note...isn't this hard. My son is a senior. He just went before Christmas to meet with the recruiter and accept his offer for scholarships. I hate that he is growing up. I cry everytime I think about him going to college next year. I have been working on his FFA scrapbook and the tears have rolled. He thinks I am crazy and can't wait to start this new life. I think he is ready, but I am not.
     
  11. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Thanks for your opinions! We would never withdraw our financial or parental support for him. He really is an awesome kid! He has been accepted into both of the colleges. We have not yet toured the one he wants to go to so yes, we will schedule that with him. I'm just concerned that we are running out of time to put down deposits for dorm rooms and I'm tempted to put down deposits at both colleges in case he does change his mind by May! We certainly don't want our son to think we would throw him to the wolves just because he is changing his mind; however, I really hope he isn't doing this just for the girl!

    I agree it is his time to fly...and I'm happy and sad about that!
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 4, 2012

    Let him has some space. He has a couple years before he has to delcare a major. The girls will come and go.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 4, 2012

    I understand your concerns! Your child that was once thinking logically is now thinking below the belt! Ugh.

    I agree with others. Take the tour. Have him create pro/con lists for each major and each university.

    Have hard discussions about when/if the relationship breaks up will he still be at a place doing the things he wants to push his life into a career he is interested.

    Have hard discussions about choosing the original school and major and possibly finding a way to visit the girl.

    Don't judge in any of this, just meet it as a way to discuss possiblities along life's path. Let him know it is ultimately his decision and the ramifications of having to transfer if he changes his mind. Who will foot the bill for the added university expenses for the extra semester (courses do not transfer as easily as they used to). How will going to college 2 impact his ability to get into college 1 if he change his mind down the road.

    Then let him decide. Chances are he will still chase the skirt, but at least it is all out there in a non-judgemental way.

    Thing is, as a parent, I would not fund any extra university time needed because he was skirt chasing. This can be done by setting a limit on the number of semesters or type of school you and his father can afford to pay.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 4, 2012

    I think saying he's "thinking below the belt" and "chasing the skirt" is terribly insulting. For whatever that may or not be worth.

    To the OP, would you mind sharing his new intended major? Does it concern you?
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    As a parent, it's difficult watching your "baby" making these major decisions. My daughter has spent the afternoon filling out university applications. Some of these schools are much farther away than I would like, and I'm not convinced that she's pursing the right major. However...for her, these are the right choices for now. I can't close any doors that may be open to her. If, a few years down the road she changes her mind, oh well. We'll adjust and cross that bridge if we get to it.
     
  16. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jan 4, 2012

    I've been through this college decision making process twice. My oldest knew where he wanted to go (when he was 8) and went there. His future plan now is law school (which I predicted when he was 3).
    The youngest reluctantly completed the process and finally chose a great school. His GF was going to be home at a community college and I worried about the transition. I have recently stopped crying btw. Anyway, the GF has been awesomely supportive and it's been great! As long as the colleges are priced similarly, perhaps things will work out well and you'll find that she is a positive influence.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 4, 2012

    You may find it insulting, but sometimes the truth is the truth.

    Everything decided. Meets a girl a FEW WEEKS ago and changes not only the school (one he has never visited) but the major too! Sorry, but there is only one thing driving his thought process, and it isn't the quality of the school or the realization of a completely different major being the right one and happens to be a coincidence that it is the same major as the girl.
     
  18. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Thank you, those terms were shocking to me as well. I appreciate that someone else felt the same way. His original major was Mechanical Engineering and now he is thinking Business Management.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The terms are ridiculous. He very well might have made these changes because he met the girl. And because he likes the girl—you know: who she is, her personality, her soul. "Thinking below the belt" and "skirt-chasing" are inappropriate all things considered.

    But carry on as you wish, of course.
     
  20. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I was also shocked at the language. The description offered by ITeach4Him suggested a smart, thoughtful young man.
     
  21. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Just had a wonderful HOUR LONG conversation with my son! :thumb: I'm actually beginning to understand his thinking and his rationale on the changing of the major. My thoughts are as MrsC said above, these are the right choices for now and his successes and failures will be life lessons, good or bad. I do appreciate your input. I didn't know how much influence a parent should/shouldn't have on the choice of college and major and I think most all on here agree that he needs to make the decisions. I think I have my answer on that. Thanks again! :):thanks:
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    So glad! Best wishes to him and you all. :)
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My parents were very supportive of whatever I decided, emotionally and financially. Most of my school was paid through scholarships, but my parents did pay for the rest. My dad's parents hadn't helped him at all even though they were able, and my parents spent years and years at the beginning of their marriage paying off his loans. They didn't want that to happen to me. Since they both worked full time, I also didn't qualify for financial aide. They told me that they would support me with whatever I decided, but financially they would pay for four years. If I decided to change my major and take extra time, or transfer schools and take extra time (since not all credits generally transer) they would be supportive of my decisions but would not pay for anything past four years. I think that was extremely fair.
     
  24. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Best wishes OP. It sounds like you've raised a fine young man.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree. I'm glad that you were able to have the conversation with your son and that you now feel better about his choices.

    For our son, we paid for his entire first year and since then have paid his tuition fees; he is paying the rest of his expenses. We'll do much the same for our daughter. We have the means to do so, and have been saving money for their education for several years, so this makes sense for us.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jan 5, 2012

    Throughout my college career (all four years), I worked for a bank.

    Anyway, when I was close to finishing my bachelor's degree, I was offered a full-time job at the bank. I was worn out from being a college student and thought I'd take the job offer and forget about entering the teacher credential program.

    Thankfully, my parents talked me through my (hasty) decision. In the end, I decided to pass on the job offer and continue with my lifelong dream of becoming a teacher.

    A few years ago, the bank I worked for "went under." Unfortunately, everyone lost their jobs. I could've been one of those people had I not followed my parents' advice! :eek:
     

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