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#1 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 07:47 AM

I am regretting posting this, so I am deleting it.   I apologize to all those who participated in the conversation.


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#2 swellmomma

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:09 AM

The thing is with her perfectionist tendencies even if she graduated late she would be feeling that pressure.  I worked away a good chunk of my childhood/teen years not at school but actually working, and then had a baby at 21 without really having had that teenaged/young adult travel, explore, be young stage. That is life.  Many many people don't have the luxury of dropping everything and taking off as a young adult.  For some it is early graduation, and moving to college as a teen, others are working right through highschool and beyond just trying to get by.  If you have perfectionistic tendancies it doesn't matter how old you were when you graduated, how old you were in college, heck even if you go to college etc what matters is whether or not you learn balance because even if all you did post high school is tend the house, work fast food and raise your family if you are a perfectionist you will be pushing yourself to be the top at all of those things and can still end up burnt out wondering where the years have gone. 


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#3 Scarlett

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:17 AM

Maybe it is because I just returned from my 41 year old friends funeral, but sounds like she has a first world problem on her hands.

Bitterness is her real enemy.
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#4 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:18 AM

Except as a parent,  I can guide my kids to back off and simply go be a teen.  I have worked with them to learn to say no to taking on more and pushing harder.  


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#5 Heigh Ho

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:19 AM

I have not met anyone whose drive comes from being 'the best' who did not burn out. The goal has to be something they have an interest in, something they can develop excellence in.
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#6 Heigh Ho

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:40 AM

Is part of her regret social? Does she have a significant other, or does she feel that having to put so much time into her academics left her without the normal teen social experiences?



#7 dmmetler

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:45 AM

I also suspect part of the problem was the holding pattern. This is one reason why I'm trying to find outlets for my DD that don't necessarily require going to college early, because what I'm finding in my research is that if she graduates at, say 16, she won't be able to go to grad school in her field or enter a research internship program, because almost all of those require a minimum age of 20 or 21. (Which makes perfect sense to me. Even if you're in the Everglades researching mushrooms for your PhD in Mycology, it doesn't mean you won't meet an Alligator-and DD wants to research the alligator. I can understand the university's lawyers saying "At least make sure she's a legally competent adult first!").

 

Because I think that the situation you described-where a competent, capable student went to college early with one goal,and was then told that this goal wasn't achievable yet, wait a few years, would burn out anyone. It's the same reason why it stinks to be a 50 inch tall kid at the county fair.

 

 

 

 


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#8 alef

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:52 AM

I would be wondering about anxiety/depression/other mental health issues that color a person's perceptions of their life and circumstances. I have seen young adults bitter about their life, upbringing, etc. regardless of the actual circumstances when the real issue was not the circumstances but depression. It can strike anyone, though I do think those with perfectionist tendencies may be at particular risk if only because perfectionism is a likely indication of underlying anxiety, and anxiety and depression so often go hand in hand.
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#9 SarahW

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:52 AM

Another factor may be that she internalized the "wow, doing all this at X age!" praise. Once you're an adult, that doesn't matter anymore. Going to college at 15 is only 3 years younger than most college students, and when you're 21 no one really cares whether you're 21, 25, or 28 (unless you want to rent a car). That could be a rough transition, and would explain why she needs to go "find herself" now.


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#10 SKL

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:54 AM

Personally I think she needs to separate early graduation from early on-campus living.  I graduated at 16 but lived with my parents until I went to law school at 21.  Even then I was very influenced by the opinions of everyone around me, the humanities classes, etc., that make you think all kinds of different ways that a teen might not be ready to evaluate objectively.  When I was still a teen, I went home every day and talked to my parents about what I was hearing at school, and they could guide me with a little more love and wisdom than what is encountered on campus.

 

I remember so many conversations with older students who had all kinds of opinions (usually negative) about how I was raised.  And at the time, I ate up all the attention.  But it was all foolishness.

 

I also think that she's going through what many kids go through regardless of what they've done - the parent blaming/bashing stage.  She will grow up and realize that blaming Mom is just a way to slow down one's own development.  Unless she had no say in the decisions about her education, she needs to own the choices and move on.  She should also learn to be thankful for having a chance to go to college at all, for having parents who give a damn about her, for having a great mind and lots of opportunities that most young people don't have.  All this will probably come with a little time and maturity.


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#11 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:56 AM

I would be wondering about anxiety/depression/other mental health issues that color a person's perceptions of their life and circumstances. I have seen young adults bitter about their life, upbringing, etc. regardless of the actual circumstances when the real issue was not the circumstances but depression. It can strike anyone, though I do think those with perfectionist tendencies may be at particular risk if only because perfectionism is a likely indication of underlying anxiety, and anxiety and depression so often go hand in hand.

 

I thought the same thing.  When I graduated from college I was severely depressed.  I had to take medication.  Thankfully I recognized it and got help.  So I got better fairly quickly, Ugh but man yeah when I got to the end of it all I was crispy fried.  I had to work a lot when I was in school so it was very hard sometimes.  "Only" having to work was a hell of a lot easier.


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#12 MomatHWTK

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:59 AM

My personal recommendation for parents with high achiever kids is to make sure they experience and explore lots of career and lifestyle options.  Don't let your kids fall into the "You are so smart, you should be a ..." trap.  Sometimes the child gets pigeon-holed into a career track simply because they lack the maturity and knowledge to find other options.  Help them find what they love to do, not just what they can do well.   And, as I've mentioned before,social and emotional intelligence is very important- probably just as important as academics. 

 

OP, hopefully your young friend will find this time of respite uplifting and help her to find where she wants to be in the world. 


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#13 MinivanMom

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

Another factor may be that she internalized the "wow, doing all this at X age!" praise. Once you're an adult, that doesn't matter anymore. Going to college at 15 is only 3 years younger than most college students, and when you're 21 no one really cares whether you're 21, 25, or 28 (unless you want to rent a car). That could be a rough transition, and would explain why she needs to go "find herself" now.

 

I agree.

 

If she was also encouraged to aim to be that amazing, super-young med-student who then becomes that amazing, super-young doctor, then it must have been a huge blow to be denied admission based on her age and lack of life experience. That would leave any kid questioning their upbringing and choices. Instead of starting college at 15, she could have . . . been a foreign-exchange student for a year . . . backpacked around Europe . . . build medical clinics in Africa . . . etc. And she would still be entering med school at the same age now that she's had to delay her admission. She missed out on a lot as she aimed to be the youngest doctor, and now nobody cares how old she is anyway.

 

This may be a rough period of finding herself, but it's probably not as black as it seems right now. Every teen/young adult has to go through the process of separating their goals from their parents' goals. It's unfortunate that she's making anger & bitterness a part of the process, but I would bet this is the low point. Hopefully, once she has physical and emotional distance from her parents, she will be able to take some time to mature emotionally and sort out what she wants from life. I would expect that the anger will fade with emotional maturity, and eventually she will be able to accept her parents as the loving - yet flawed - people that they are.


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#14 SKL

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

My high achiever wants to be a mounted police officer when she grows up.  ;)  I agree with not pigeon-holing kids based on their apparent academic capabilities.  I do believe in letting them follow their dreams as far as practical.


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#15 dbmamaz

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:27 AM

I never pushed my daughter but at 21 she hated me, everything I ever did or said, and moved away and isnt talking to me.  actually she moved away at 18 and again at 20.  

 

I have spent a lot of time going over what I did and what I should have done.  I think in the end, we all do the best we can and some people have hard struggles and have to find their own paths.  I am not convinced this should be used as a cautionary tale - not unless the mother was pushing the girl and the girl DIDNT want it.  


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#16 Butter

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:33 AM

I've known people who were bitter and angry at their parents for various reasons even if they did the typical graduate high school at 18 and go to college.  Some have claimed their parents forced them into a specific major (that includes my brother, but there are many eyewitnesses that attest to the fast that that is false), some have claimed their parents wouldn't let them go to a certain college (usually that is financial reasons), one claims her parents never bought her a coat (also false by eyewitnesses).  I don't think her story is really extremely unusual in the bitterness.  She just has the early college thing to blame.

 

My sister was an incredible marimba player at a very young age.  She could play with four mallets (two in each hand) beautifully at 14.  Her abilities were well beyond her years.  She got lots of attention not just because she was so talented but because she was young.  As she got older, the adjustment was hard.  She still played incredibly well, but she was no longer so young so the attention lessened and people just weren't so impressed by her skills.  There were others her own age with similar skills.  They may not have played so well at 14, but at 20 they did.  I suspect this girl is going through similar feelings.

 

As for me, I started college early.  I went to nursing school and was the youngest graduate ever from my program (just turned 21).  I got married about a year before I graduated.  I got pregnant with my daughter right as I had planned right around the time I graduated.  And I have been a stay at home mom ever since... just like I planned (nursing degree was a just in case sort of thing).  I have no bitterness whatsoever about early college.  I don't feel like I missed out on my teenage years.  BUT... my life went as I had planned.  I think that makes a big difference.  Perhaps a big problem is life not going as planned and frustration over that and it is easier to blame something that is simpler (and possibly not quite as painful) to explain.


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#17 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:52 AM

nm


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#18 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

I think it is a very real thing and I also don't see this as a spoiled rotten problem.  My 12 year old is in a very big hurry to get on with his life.  I told him not to rush it.  He doesn't want to hear that, but there are some practical difficulties and issues that he just does not know about.  I think there can be a situation of too much too early, but I don't really believe there would be such a thing as waiting until too late. 


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#19 LucyStoner

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:19 AM

A few years kicking around and growing up could do her good. Lots of people start medical school or other professional school at 23-26. She had time. Taking it may be the wisest thing she's done so far.
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#20 LucyStoner

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:24 AM

Maybe it is because I just returned from my 41 year old friends funeral, but sounds like she has a first world problem on her hands.

Bitterness is her real enemy.

First world problems are petty and small. Like what smart phone is the best for your 11 year old. Or there's a crack in your custom backsplash or you want the blue Prius but they only have the white and red available to sell.

Questions of who we are, what we are doing, what our life's purpose is, did we make the right decisions about education? Those are just human problems.

Honestly it is your remark which sounds bitter. I am sorry about your friend, who died so young, but that has nothing to do with the very real problems this young lady is facing.
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#21 Kerileanne99

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:30 AM

I do think that it is very telling that when you hear stories such as these regarding early college, the common theme for ALL-AROUND success is ongoing support from their families. For many kids that might mean choosing to remain at home, but not always. I think some kids are ready for more independence, some not fully. But whilst these kids can mostly function as adults on an academic level I think many will need their parents to be very involved. Even if this means nothing more than an open door, sympathetic ear...or a willingness to tell their kids it is okay to step back and reconsider things.

I graduated HS at 15, just prior to my 16th bday. I immediately started college at a private liberal arts school on a soccer scholarship, and started my life as an adult. I did not have the support of my parents, and it was very rough. The only job I could get was washing dishes in the wee hours at a truck stop/diner. I managed for quite awhile, but eventually the stress to work and perform at a high level, combined with never quite fitting in, got to be too much.
I knew I needed structure and ended up joining the US Army:). I knew I would never make a career out of it, but it was a way to see the world, save for college, and fill a time gap. It did just that. I traveled to other countries (some of which were life-changing), learned a language, and eventually I was able to return to university. It is not a path for everyone, but it did keep me safe, semi-sane, and from burning out.

My dd is just 4 and is accelerated enough already that my hubby and I have already had discussions on early college. Obviously we will need to wait until we see who SHE will be, but my thoughts are not to send her off on her own as a little adult unless she just happens to be one of those few kids whose personality/academic ability/responsibility etc demands it. We are all for letting her get a degree early if she chooses, but plan to make sure she has exposure to travel, volunteer work, and anything else that interests her so that she knows she has lots of options.

OP, I hope that your friend's daughter has a change of heart regarding her parents after she has some time to rest, recouperate, and realize that she is actually is in a very good position with her life. I am sure this is hard for her parents too, as they must feel they did the very best they could for her.
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#22 Scarlett

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

First world problems are petty and small. Like what smart phone is the best for your 11 year old. Or there's a crack in your custom backsplash or you want the blue Prius but they only have the white and red available to sell.

Questions of who we are, what we are doing, what our life's purpose is, did we make the right decisions about education? Those are just human problems.

Honestly it is your remark which sounds bitter. I am sorry about your friend, who died so young, but that has nothing to do with the very real problems this young lady is facing.


She doesn't have a problem. She is 21 and educated and has no responsibility. If she wants to take a few years off to experience life I say go for it. Why does she need to be bitter at her parents over it?

And no I am not bitter. I am rolling my eyes at her.
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#23 Jane in NC

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:44 AM

To be fair, a bitter 21 year old is not unusual. 

 

Further, some graduate/professional programs prefer students who have had a year or two of "real world" experiences under their belts.  While I love the Ivy Tower, it is true that an academic perspective can be different from that of "boots on the ground". My family member who is a doctor spent time teaching in the Peace Corps before going to medical school.  Many of her peers did something similar.

 

One thing that came as a rude awakening to all of us in my graduate program was that we were no longer special.  In undergrad, we were the smarty pants--which is why we all ended up in a competitive grad program.  In graduate school, no one is on the top in all classes.  One hopes to excel in their specialty, but odds are that most of the students will be at a similar level in their foundational coursework.  This was devastating to some of my peers.  It was not a matter of an easy A (because A's don't come easily in higher level Math courses) but not being top dog equated to failure for some.

 

The point is that I am not sure if it is burnout of the accelerated student here or just reality coming to call.  I will say that this transitional age can be tough for many.

 

 

 

 


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#24 dmmetler

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:50 AM

I think it is a very real thing and I also don't see this as a spoiled rotten problem.  My 12 year old is in a very big hurry to get on with his life.  I told him not to rush it.  He doesn't want to hear that, but there are some practical difficulties and issues that he just does not know about.  I think there can be a situation of too much too early, but I don't really believe there would be such a thing as waiting until too late. 

 

I think there can be-I know quite a few adults who now regret not going on for that grad degree before they were married/had children/got a job because it's just plain harder now.

 

And I also think that if there's not enough outlets available locally, early college may well be the best option available. If a child is wilting on the vine and depressed and frustrated because they simply don't have access to the intellectual stimulation they need, that's a problem, too.


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#25 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:52 AM

She doesn't have a problem. She is 21 and educated and has no responsibility. If she wants to take a few years off to experience life I say go for it. Why does she need to be bitter at her parents over it?

And no I am not bitter. I am rolling my eyes at her.

 

You strike me as being bitter.  I get that.  I know what it is like to have someone close to me die young.  But ya know what?  Dying is nothing special.  We all die and we will all likely know someone we care about who will die.  Why would you even bring that up within this thread?  It has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion.


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#26 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:58 AM

I think there can be-I know quite a few adults who now regret not going on for that grad degree before they were married/had children/got a job because it's just plain harder now.

 

And I also think that if there's not enough outlets available locally, early college may well be the best option available. If a child is wilting on the vine and depressed and frustrated because they simply don't have access to the intellectual stimulation they need, that's a problem, too.

 

Absolutely. 

 

It's hard to know what to do.  I guess my concern is he might actually feel quite lonely if he goes to school too young.  I think it's difficult for some young people to get anyone to take them seriously.  For one thing he looks quite a bit younger than he is. 


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#27 Scarlett

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:08 AM

You strike me as being bitter. I get that. I know what it is like to have someone close to me die young. But ya know what? Dying is nothing special. We all die and we will all likely know someone we care about who will die. Why would you even bring that up within this thread? It has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion.


Well I don't know why I brought it up. Maybe because it is on my mind.

And being 21 and struggling with ones choices is also not special. Being bitter at ones parents at age 21 is not special.

Again, not bitter. Realistic.
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#28 LucyStoner

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

She doesn't have a problem. She is 21 and educated and has no responsibility. If she wants to take a few years off to experience life I say go for it. Why does she need to be bitter at her parents over it?


She does have a dilemma. One that most of us faced and most of our kids will face. Navigating that is real. Dismissing her out of hand is just needlessly...something.
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#29 Queen Goddess of the Deep

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:35 AM

She doesn't have a problem. She is 21 and educated and has no responsibility. If she wants to take a few years off to experience life I say go for it. Why does she need to be bitter at her parents over it?

And no I am not bitter. I am rolling my eyes at her

Wow. Just wow. You really are not showing much compassion. 

 

 

OP thank you for sharing, this is a great reminder to all of us to help our children strike a balance in their pursuits, educational or not. My DS is a sports nut/ wanna be gym rat despite his health issues. He pushes himself physically to an extreme. I limit how much time he is allowed to spend working out and insist that he has a balance between working out and being a normal child. He knows what he wants, is willing to put in the effort but as a parent it is my job to make sure he has a balance between, education, fitness and social. Fitness and sports, just like education, is a healthy thing to pursue, but not when it is all encompassing and done at the expense of a balanced life. 


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#30 Scarlett

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:36 AM

She does have a dilemma. One that most of us faced and most of our kids will face. Navigating that is real. Dismissing her out of hand is just needlessly...something.


What is the problem? Honestly I don't see a problem. She is burned out? Ok, take some time, knock around, mull things over. I am not exactly dismissing it, I am saying the solutions are easy. IMO.
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#31 La Texican

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:47 AM

I tend to agree that it's a priveledged people problem to have. I don't think it's heartless to say so, and everybody has their own problems to deal with. Right now she's dealing with the feeling of dissapointment. I think the cautionary tale is not about burn out or an accelerated pace, but about telling your children "if you do this you can end up there" when you don't know for sure. The only way it's safe to say that is if your family has generations of people that go into the same line of work, then it's safe to say "you can definitely do this. If she still wants to be a doctor then her upbringing has set her up to pursue that. If she wants to do anything else at this point, even wander the world in search for herself, to me it sounds like she has a great place to start from, a college education, no family to support, no responsibilities. Not everybody gets to take time for themselves like that. I think it might help to call it what it is, disappointment instead of bitterness. When you call a problem what it is, it's easier to process through it. There's a saying "be here now", live in the moment. If she could find that, then she would see she has her whole life to live. She might have missed out on something as a teenager, but when reach for one thing you have to let go of another. She reached for an education and got it. It would be sadder if she tried and failed to finish college, but she got her degree. It's her accomplishment now. She owns it. She owns her 20's, 30's, 40's etc. People suffer longer, more years, in their retirement if they don't. There's disappointment to process, but this is not a sad situation.
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#32 La Texican

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:53 AM

I agree with the idea that if she could be persuaded and sponsored to go on a humanitarian mission overseas that would be rewarding and help her find her identity.

#33 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:09 PM

nm


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#34 idnib

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:19 PM

I walked away from a full ride to medical school for similar reasons as this girl, although I was on a normal age-track. The funny thing is I don't regret it at all now. 

 

I did get burned out trying to maintain my image of what people thought I should be like.

 

If you can influence her at all, try and get her to read "Mindset" by Carol Dweck. It saved my sanity and I wish I'd read it when I was her age.


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#35 dmmetler

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:26 PM

I'm guessing that it was disappointment 2 years ago, when it was "Nope, do a master's first and then we'll talk about med school". After 2 years of jumping hoops (and seeing less capable people, probably, be allowed to move on when she was stuck in a holding pattern that, for her, wasn't even on her radar), she's done.
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#36 ashleysf

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:30 PM

I don't see this as a problem related to accelerating or perfectionism or early college entrance. What seems to have happened is that this young lady has suddenly woken up to a whole world of possibilities while so far she has been focused entirely on achieving one goal. This is very normal for many people (most high profile people with this problem are child stars, olympic athelets). All she needs to do is to take a step back, evaluate all the possibilities - like travel, picking up another subject to study, taking a gap year etc. and follow all these leads to see if they make her happy. It is also natural to blame the parents - most of us did that at some time or the other. But, she will eventually learn that her parents are no longer running her life and that she has the freedom now to make her own decisions and live by them. What I see is that they calculated her career path/education based on some assumptions and those assumptions did not hold true. Instead of seeking out the next best medical school immediately and continuing her medical education, she decided to stick around and wait for a chance to continue her medical education at the top medical school of her choice. She seems disillusioned that after all her hard work, she did not get to achieve her goal of getting into a particular program at a particular college by a particular age. In my opinion, in life and in one's career, one will encounter these things all the time (atleast, I do).

 

If she is as good academically as the OP suggests, decompressing for a couple of years will not close the avenues of higher medical education for her. Maybe it will give her a break emotionally and time to recharge her batteries.


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#37 La Texican

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:46 PM

Regret means you wish you made better choices, disappointment means you wish there had been better circumstances. It sounds like she's disappointed that she didn't get to go right into medical school, and the extra years of school this will cost her if she continues. The regret only covers her regret for deciding to focus on achievement, disappointment covers what she feels about her mothers choices. Who knows if she would feel regret if she had been able to do what she wanted and go right into medical school. It's a loss of control to be held back by circumstances. It definitely took the wind out of her sails when she had a goal and was working for it and hit a barrier. It is frustrating.
You know the situation and the girl, I only read a small post about a situation. It may be burn out, she over extended and spread herself too thin for too many years. I guess that's the point of the post. It's like the three blind men describing an elephant, the way this post was answered. One person sees an external locus of control, one sees a developmentally appropriate setback or hurdle for that stage of life, I commented on dealing with frustration and disappointment when things don't turn out how you planned and the steps to get through that. Best wishes for the girl anyway. She sounds like a beautiful person.

#38 La Texican

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:01 PM

I just realized I'm definitely bringing my own bias to the conversation. The girl is a worker. Workers I know don't seem to regret being workers, they often run into frustration, but not regret that trait. They may go and look for something completely different, looking for change, but wherever you go, there you are.

#39 LucyStoner

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:01 PM

I tend to agree that it's a priveledged people problem to have.

I think we are all more alike than not. I think struggling with where to go next is a problem for young people that transcends class.

When I was 21 I was anything but privileged and had been working and supporting my brother while scratching out my own college education. I was definitely adrift though and I navigated through real decisions and, yes, problems figuring out who and what mattered to me. One needn't be privileged or affluent to just have a bit of pondering to do. Maybe the privileged ones are the ones that breezed though that adulthood transition and not those who need to stop and think about it.
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#40 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:06 PM

At 16, I decided to live in a bright green van with a boy and go to high school instead of an fast track doctoral program full ride at CalTech. I didn't talk to my parents for two years, and until my son was born, had virtually no contact with them. At 30, both sides are trying to mend things, but it is strained.

I will openly admit the boy was a mistake. I still hate being PG. There needs to be a stronger word than hate to express it.

There is a reason I live in a shack in the middle of the woods homeschooling my freakishly smart child away from my parents.

#41 Alte Veste Academy

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:23 PM

This young lady was graduated early from high school when she was 15. She earned a full-ride scholarship to a regional instate school that was about 45-60 mins from home. She moved on campus right away, became extremely active in on-campus activities, volunteered at the local hospital, etc. Her dream was to become a dr. She maintained a 4.0 GPA and had professors pulling strings behind the scenes when she applied to medical school bc they all loved her.

She really wanted to attend a top medical school. I am not sure what happened at couple (she didn't share with me and if I was told last yr, I have now forgotten), but one very top medical school did not want to admit her directly into their med school. They suggested that she complete one of their public health graduate programs and they would re-evaluate.

Right now she is finishing up that program and doing very well. Happy ending, right? Unfortunately no. Right now she is bitterly angry at her mom, life, and full of regrets. She will be 21 in May and told my 20 yod that she wasted her childhood. She is angry that she has worked so hard from a young age and is bitter that she was never just a teenager. She is angry that that her mom graduated her early and let her move on campus. She is burned out and resentful from pushing herself to be at the top all of the time.

She has decided to walk away from the opportunity to attend this med school. She is moving all the way across the country to get away from everyone and everything. She wants a couple of yrs to decompress, travel, and figure out who she really is since she feels like she is really just who she was expected to be and not her.

I have worried about her over the yrs. She is a perfectionist and put immense pressure on herself to always be the best. She was in some very mature situations at an age where when I have watched my own older children, I have been glad that they were at home with support and not left dealing with them independently.

Hindsight has both mom and dd regretting early graduation. Unfortunately, their relationship is very strained. It just makes me so sad for them both.

I have kids that really push themselves with perfectionist tendencies. I can definitely see where burn-out is a very real threat.

Just a Jiminy Cricket whisper in the ear.

 

What strikes me is that it seems like the DD was pushing, pushing, pushing...herself at the very least. But who was ultimately the pusher? I hear the passiveness of "was graduated" and "mom graduated her early," but then that the DD "put immense pressure on herself" and is "burned out and resentful from pushing herself."

 

I feel bad for both mom and DD. Not knowing them, I have no idea if mom was pushing or just being dragged along where her DD was pushing herself. Was it pushing or supporting? Was mom being dragged along? Did she lay awake at night wondering what was best for her DD, not wanting her to push herself so hard but unable to stop her? My first thought after reading the OP this morning was how much potential there would have been for resentment years ago if mom had not allowed her DD to graduate early, move on campus, etc. I think hindsight is not always 20/20. If she had refused these things (wishes, goals of her DD's?) years ago, would her DD be happy as a clam now, with no regrets? Maybe. Maybe not. It is absolutely impossible to say. Life is imperfect.

 

I used to have a friend whose favorite words of wisdom were, "Do you want to suffer now, or do you want to suffer later?" Seems to me that it is obvious that the girl is suffering now, but it's also possible that she would have suffered earlier if her plans, goals, and dreams were impeded (in her view) by her mother. Her relationship with her mom might have been just as damaged. But who knows.

 

For the record, I do not want my kids graduating early. I feel pretty strongly about it. They have their whole lives past 18 to be adults and a finite time to be young and (relatively) carefree. And I am absolutely not a pusher. But I don't think that the cause and effect here is as cut and dry as it seems. 


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#42 SKL

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:39 PM

I would rather my kid get upset about having done too much education than not enough at some point.  Kind of like having too much toilet paper vs. not enough.

 

In my case, I built up $85K of student loans (not including interest) and then, being extremely introverted, I wasn't confident of getting the sort of job that would pay the bills.  I wondered if I should regret my choices.  (Note:  *my* choices, since *I* was the person who applied for early graduation, college, and grad school.  I could have stayed in school longer and then gone down the street to work at the Diner like so many others.  Nobody dragged me by the ear, nobody sent in my applications behind my back.)  Anyhoo, I remember literally banging my head against a brick wall because I had no idea how I was going to make it work, and $85K in debt (plus interest) is not something you can walk away from.  It was a hard time in my life for sure.  It isn't really unusual for young people to hit a brick wall (literally or figuratively) and figure out how to get around it.  I really agree with Scarlett because the only thing unusual about this girl's dilemma is that so many doors were open to her in the first place.  And so many still are.

 

More choices = good thing.  And this girl has no shortage of meaningful choices.  She just needs to chill out, get brave, and make a decision.  Like everyone else at that age.



#43 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

nm



#44 SKL

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:46 PM

When people look questioningly at something I do that won't thrill my kids, I jokingly say:  heck, they are going to hate me someday anyway, I might as well choose the reason.  I was an unreasonable offspring at some point, as were all my siblings.  I fully expect my kids to go through this.  Forcing them into an educational path that is too slow for them isn't going to prevent it.

 

FTR my kids are on track to graduate at 17, which is a little young, partly because I want the pre-college stuff to be done before they are 18.  One of my kids is gifted, but I follow her lead.  Right now she does not seem particularly ambitious.  It doesn't even look like she'll get into the school's gifted program.  That's fine with me.  But if she were one to push herself, I'd still follow her lead.  And when she comes to me between 18 and 21 whining that I was a lousy parent, I'm going to remind her of the facts and move on.



#45 snowbeltmom

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:48 PM

The idea around early graduation did not originate with the young lady initially.   After it being repeatedly recommended, she was for it.

This is a sad situation. Why was the early graduation suggested? 



#46 La Texican

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:03 PM

As a mother of young children I hear all kinds of stories about what parents regret doing wrong when their children were growing up. As a parent, though, I realize childhood is only a tiny part of the mother/child relationship. I look at the 80 yr old woman whose 50 yr. old sons are happy to call and visit whenever they can. I look at people in their 20's and 30's who are close with their mother and their family. One huge difference I see is that the mothers who are loved for life never act like martyrs and are not self-righteous. They may have made mistakes or could have done some things better while raising their kids, but they have close families now that the kids are grown. What do you think, in your opinion, would the mother have to change about herself now to have a close relationship with her grown daughter?
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#47 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:04 PM

nm


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#48 Alte Veste Academy

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:07 PM

The idea around early graduation did not originate with the young lady initially.   After it being repeatedly recommended, she was for it.

 

Thanks. That changes my POV significantly. It's one thing for kids to push themselves and drag their parents, another entirely for them to be pushed and, somewhere along the way, become convinced it is their own idea.


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#49 Queen Goddess of the Deep

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:12 PM

Thanks. That changes my POV significantly. It's one thing for kids to push themselves and drag their parents, another entirely for them to be pushed and, somewhere along the way, become convinced it is their own idea.

:iagree:



#50 snowbeltmom

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:23 PM

It is a long story and I am trying to not reveal too much, but she took the SAT in 7th grade and scored well for the talent search.   Her mother was over the moon about how well she had done and decided that she was farther ahead than she was in reality.   (The young lady stayed with me for a while during that school yr and I was helping her with her alg and she didn't have a solid understanding about what she was doing unless it replicated the concepts the way that they had been taught in her textbook.)  I mentioned to her mom that she might want to consider having her take alg again the following yr with a harder textbook.   She was indignant at the suggestion.   Her dd was gifted and accelerated and slowing down for any reason was hampering her future.  After a while, it became very clear that I needed to step out of the situation and keep my opinions about homeschooling, advanced kids, etc to myself.  

 

This does shed more light on the situation.  What a shame.
 




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