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Dropping Out of College
Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Dropping Out of College
My son has dropped out of college after 2+ years, and after failing multiple classes at UCR. After coming home, he said that he felt like a failure, and will not even discuss his future. He often sleeps during the day, plays video games, does not want to leave the house. He is very resistant to talking about how he feels, what he wants to do, etc. We think he may be depressed and we think he would benefit from some therapy. We would like a therapist who is very familiar with young men, who are not in touch with their feelings, who have lost their way in life. Please send recommendations for therapists in this area. Thanks! Concerned Mom
Many people find UC extremely competitive, and failure is a real possibility. Failure also quickly cascades at UC. Most UC students are top high school students (many 4.0+ GPA, top scores), so going from A's to C's, D's or even F's is traumatic and they don't know what to do. The shame of failure can become so consuming that a student stops going to class, refuses to talk to counselors, friends or professors and spirals deeper into depression. It's tragic.
You don't say how long your son has been home, but he needs to work through these issues, so a therapist is a good idea.
However, you are neglecting the biggest elephant in the room: did he simply ''drop out'' in good standing? Was he on probation? Was he dismissed from the university? Do you even know the true status? As long as this is unresolved, he will feel agonized.
Many students assume the worse, but there are many paths back into the university when a student is ready - even if he has been dismissed. One young man I counseled submitted an appeal letter explaining his medical issues and dismissal was rescinded. He then received a formal leave of absence to pursue work opportunities. In his case, UC advising made it very clear they would love to have him back when he was ready and outlined the procedures through which this could be accomplished. They said they wished more students would come and talk with them instead of running away.
This may be the crux of the agony for your student as well. Find a good college adviser with experience with UC to aid you and your son to deal with his academic issues immediately. Frankly, there is *no* shame in going to UC advising. Even the best of us fail utterly at times in our life - and a few of them are Nobelists.
Your son is *not* stupid. UC doesn't make mistakes like that. But no one is perfect, and at times we all need help. With the careful guidance of a college adviser advocate, UC advising can help your son. Good Luck
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