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Welp, it's official -- He's taking "a break" from school.


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Just figured I'd share, given how often I've come to folks here for advice and pity and commiseration. After a few months of back and forth discussions, promises and procrastinations, plans and back-up plans and fallback back-up plans and a complete lack of enthusiasm or interest from the supposed student, my husband and I insisted that our son sit down with us tonight for a heart-to-heart about the situation. We told him -- again -- that we would be willing to entertain literally ANY viable alternate plan besides trudging miserably along the current path.

I came prepared to hand over a list of five ideas, beginning with the aforementioned continued trudging, with brief notes and links to websites so he could go do his own research. However, I didn't need it, because he immediately said he had an idea.

He has recently started a new job (working and supervising in the theatre shop at the community college), and he has been tentatively offered another, as well as an opportunity to teach a couple of dance classes a week at his old studio. He was thinking he could not juggle all three and school, but has now decided, with our blessing, to go ahead and focus on work for at least the upcoming year. 

We hashed out some general agreements about the fact that adults who live here and aren't full-time students are required to contribute to the household both financially and in sweat labor.  

As long as he lives at home and is meeting his commitments here, my husband and I have agreed to subsidize his dance training, within certain limits. (He's a happier, healthier person when he's dancing regularly, and my gut still tells me that his long-term career path is likely to involve owning or running a dance school or company. So I am willing to work with him to keep him connected.)

He still says he plans to go back and finish the B.A. in the not-to-distant future, and I hope he does. But, at least for right now, I feel more or less at peace with letting this go.

It's nice to see him feeling genuinely excited about his life, instead of knowing he's dreading it.

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I'm glad he finally had a plan and that you both followed through on your promised support when he admitted school was not in his picture of the near future. While this likely means the BA might not happen soon or ever, I hope he is able to manage his future successfully.

I wish you peace as you all move forward.

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11 hours ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Just figured I'd share, given how often I've come to folks here for advice and pity and commiseration. After a few months of back and forth discussions, promises and procrastinations, plans and back-up plans and fallback back-up plans and a complete lack of enthusiasm or interest from the supposed student, my husband and I insisted that our son sit down with us tonight for a heart-to-heart about the situation. We told him -- again -- that we would be willing to entertain literally ANY viable alternate plan besides trudging miserably along the current path.

I came prepared to hand over a list of five ideas, beginning with the aforementioned continued trudging, with brief notes and links to websites so he could go do his own research. However, I didn't need it, because he immediately said he had an idea.

He has recently started a new job (working and supervising in the theatre shop at the community college), and he has been tentatively offered another, as well as an opportunity to teach a couple of dance classes a week at his old studio. He was thinking he could not juggle all three and school, but has now decided, with our blessing, to go ahead and focus on work for at least the upcoming year. 

We hashed out some general agreements about the fact that adults who live here and aren't full-time students are required to contribute to the household both financially and in sweat labor.  

As long as he lives at home and is meeting his commitments here, my husband and I have agreed to subsidize his dance training, within certain limits. (He's a happier, healthier person when he's dancing regularly, and my gut still tells me that his long-term career path is likely to involve owning or running a dance school or company. So I am willing to work with him to keep him connected.)

He still says he plans to go back and finish the B.A. in the not-to-distant future, and I hope he does. But, at least for right now, I feel more or less at peace with letting this go.

It's nice to see him feeling genuinely excited about his life, instead of knowing he's dreading it.



Jenny,

I really think you guys made a solid decision.  He's a young adult and needs to do what he loves, make his own choices, and contribute.  I think this fits the bill on so many levels.

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I think that's fine, you did all you could to support him staying in school. 

One thing you might want to clarify with him, if you haven't already, is whether you will help him with expenses if he does return to school at some point, what level you will help him at, and how long that offer is good for. If the answer is "we're done, it's on you" that's absolutely fine but you need to be on the same page. 

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13 hours ago, Jenny in Florida said:

he immediately said he had an idea.

 

I think the fact that _he_ came up with a path for himself for the next year is so wonderful!  There seem to be so many young men, especially, nowadays who are drifting aimlessly, content to eat, sleep, sit in front of a screen, live off whatever their parents are willing to give them financially. A friend has a son in this situation. I don't know what could possibly move him out of it.

So, it may not be the path you imagined for him, but it sounds like he is genuinely interested in pursuing something and that he has the motivation and energy to do so! Good for him! He'll learn something about himself over the next year and that may help him focus/refocus his longer term goals.

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it is great that he had plans for what he wanted to do!  I also think it is great that you have agreed to continue to help support his dance training.  He may choose a career path that the dance training is more of an investment in his career than college classes would be.  It is great that he is working at the community college; it will give him some insight into what the situation would be if he decided to continue on his academic career.

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14 hours ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Thanks, everyone.

I went to bed last night feeling sort of light and relieved, but woke up this morning feeling kind of sad about the whole thing. I'm sure things will work out okay . . . eventually. 

 

Sunday I had a conversation like this with one of the fathers. He was observing that the majority of the young adults in our congregation are not following the B.A./B.S. in four years path. Some worked and then went to school, one is starting trade school after working for a year, some did co-ops, some took a year off of school, and my son took a semester off for military training. 

I think that being self-directed and happy with his choices are big positives. 

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9 hours ago, Crimson Wife said:

He finished the associates, correct? I think it is perfectly reasonable to take a "gap year" between finishing the AA and starting upper division courses to work & pursue the dance training. 

 

He did finish the A.A. and a technical certificate. He's not talking about really diving into dance training as an academic alternative, though. Mostly, he wants to work.

I'm resisting the urge to think of this as a "gap year," because my gut tells me the odds are good he won't go back to school any time soon, if at all. I'm trying to retain some optimism that it may happen eventually, but also working on accepting the idea that continued formal academics may not be his path.

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An AA is great!  It may not be the path envisioned, but he did complete this.  My eldest did not finish his B.A., and I'm still a little bitter over it.  I've learned that once they realize they are adults, no pushing them if they aren't on fire for it.  2nd ds worked for two years after high school, is now in his second year of cc.  He's enjoying it, but would have hated it if he had gone straight away from high school.  He just wasn't ready.  It sounds like your ds has a definite interest in dance/theater, and as he gets more experience/exposure, he'll know what he wants to do.  

Don't fret!  He has a job, and he'll figure it out.  

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