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If you hypothetically had a kid with a situation where they will go to community college, or straight into the workforce at some job where they hope to move up the ranks, or they will commute to your state school....They worked hard in high school, are good achievers, good SAT scores,  and COULD have gone away but it's just better financially or logically more feasible (due to whatever factors not just finances), to stay home and save the money and go local.

This may sound like a very First World/Spoiled Middle Class American question BUT :

How do you ensure that kid does not feel disappointed and  more importantly, gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities and force themselves to grow and stretch....

Other than PeaceCorps, Missionary Trips, Enlisting, or just taking vacations....

what is the possibilities as far as getting to be away from mom and dad, having more independence, seeing and going somewhere different and new, etc.? 

I just see my son really growing as an independent young man and a person and taking opportunities and being forced to learn and do things he never would have at home. Not only socially but in so many other ways.  Even just going to the ER alone 🙂 Sad as it was, he grew as a person in a way that never would have happened at home.  

 

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A lot of the homeschoolers in our area move out and share a house or an apartment with a friend or two (whether they are going to college or "just working").

However, whether they move out or live at home, I see new high school grads stepping up into positions of responsibility and learning life lessons and growing as human beings through:
- working at jobs
- volunteering
- taking on responsibilities (paid or volunteer) at church
- organizing their own cottage industry/business
- planning and executing their own "adventures", either solo or with friend(s) -- backpacking, skiing, kayaking, travel, etc.
- summer jobs or short term jobs somewhere else -- another city/state/country
- involved in college honor programs, internships, special programs, and clubs

I have had the privilege of participating with a week-long summer foster kids camp for the past 5 years, and a number of the other staffers are brand new high school grads, or are young commuter college students (live at home, attend the local university). I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY at the maturity, poise, faith, and wisdom of these young adult staffers. I don't see anything* like what you are suggesting -- that they missing out on an opportunity to grow in independence and maturity and in becoming their own person, just because they live at home. 🤔

All the young people I know who are still living at home are doing a great job of stepping out, taking on responsibilities, learning/growing, and becoming their own person. Like what we did with our DSs -- and from what I know in chatting with their moms -- the parents and young adult children work out a new living arrangement of "we're all mutual adults sharing a house," and the adult children make their own plans, are responsible for themselves and their vehicles / jobs / meals / clothes / school / etc. Don't know of any who are being kept in the basement and not allowed to grow up... 😉 [just teasing you]

I guess from the evidence of the young adults I see, they are all thriving and growing in maturity and independence without the need of having to live far away from family of origin for months at a time -- that is just one kind of situation where growth and maturity can happen; it's not the only way.


ETA -- PS
Forgot to add: SO nice to hear your DS is doing so well at Penn State, and that he is both enjoying his studies and growing into a great young man!  Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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10 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

If you hypothetically had a kid with a situation where they will go to community college, or straight into the workforce at some job where they hope to move up the ranks, or they will commute to your state school....They worked hard in high school, are good achievers, good SAT scores,  and COULD have gone away but it's just better financially or logically more feasible (due to whatever factors not just finances), to stay home and save the money and go local.

This may sound like a very First World/Spoiled Middle Class American question BUT :

How do you ensure that kid does not feel disappointed and  more importantly, gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities and force themselves to grow and stretch....

Other than PeaceCorps, Missionary Trips, Enlisting, or just taking vacations....

what is the possibilities as far as getting to be away from mom and dad, having more independence, seeing and going somewhere different and new, etc.? 

I just see my son really growing as an independent young man and a person and taking opportunities and being forced to learn and do things he never would have at home. Not only socially but in so many other ways.  Even just going to the ER alone 🙂 Sad as it was, he grew as a person in a way that never would have happened at home.  

 

Lori"s answer is fantastic, as usual. 🙂

My simple response is you parent them as adults, not children.

Equally, I absolutely disagree with the premise that just bc "They worked hard in high school, are good achievers, good SAT scores,  and COULD have gone away" means we as parents are obligated financially to provide them with a live away college experience. I see that perspective as the essence of the student seeing themselves as entitled children getting to spend someone else's $$ however they want bc "they deserve it." From my perspective, it begs the exact opposite question of what you proposed. 

Our kids know that we spend our $$ in the best way we can to meet the needs of everyone, children and parents. They also know that they are ultimately responsible for providing themselves the lives and opportunities they want as adults. If they want to go away to college, they have very limited funds and have to figure out how to make it work. If they dont want to put in that effort, they self-limit their options. Their choice.

FWIW, we view that as real life and real life consequences.  Work hard for what you want or not. Your choice. It isnt just given to you bc you deserve it or want it.

Most of our kids function fully independently while still in high school. Going to the ER alone doesnt seem like a major life hurdle from my perspective. (But our oldest was married at 20 and a dad of a 28 wk preemie at 21. That wasn't a hurdle for him, more than for any other adult, bc he was raised to be an independent man by that age.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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11 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

 

How do you ensure that kid does not feel disappointed and  more importantly, gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities and force themselves to grow and stretch....

Other than PeaceCorps, Missionary Trips, Enlisting, or just taking vacations....

what is the possibilities as far as getting to be away from mom and dad, having more independence, seeing and going somewhere different and new, etc.? 

 

 

It all depends on how you frame it. Community college is college even if you do commute. This depends on each school, but my local CC has exchange programs, honors research opportunities and contacts for local internships and research opportunities. I've been amazed at all the things open to dd. She's applying for a couple of summer programs locally. They're competitive so I don't know if she'll get one, but there are lots of interesting jobs, research experiences and internships available if you look for them. Of course, Houston is both a big city and not much of a college town, so there may be more opportunities open to CC students than there are in other areas.

Living with your parents as an adult is different than being a kid. As I remind GW and Geezle frequently, you need to treat me as you would any other room mate. If you wouldn't leave a mess for your housemates, don't leave it for mom. Even young adults with disabilities do spread their wings. GW goes to a group home two weekends a month with his autism program. Geezle handles his program's outings on his own. I give him his weekly budget and he has to monitor how he spends it to make sure he has enough to participate in everything he wants to do. His training program treats him as an adult and emphasizes that he must make his own choices and advocate for himself. It's a slower process with them than it is with Trinqueta. Now that she drives and spends two days at CC, she has just naturally started assuming more responsibility for her life and I've stepped back. It helps that she's the youngest and her brothers are also living more independent lives. Next year as she shifts to CC every day I expect that she'll become even more independent. 

In other countries, it's very normal for young adults to live at home for a long time sometimes even staying after they're married. Gradually, their parents let go and adults assume more responsibilities. Since they don't have a choice, they all manage to make it work.

 

Edited by chiguirre
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I don't think parents can "force [their kid] to grow and stretch." I know you didn't mean it that way but I think I do know what you meant. I'd say that the growth, responsibilities, and searching for opportunities doesn't wait until they go to college. You know this, I'm sure.

Some kids will be doing this already; some will never be the type to step out without being nudged or picked out. My first went far away. My next WANTS to live at home & commute to the local state school. 

My older sister lived at home & commuted to college. She started her own business before she graduated & is still a successful small business owner today. It was a way to save money, not a way to hold her back. Personality makes a difference. 

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Agreed, you parent them as adults, not children. 

My son did not want to go away to school, nor was it feasible financially. I'm the one that went away for school and he has stepped into the young adult role quite well. He shares a house with my mom, who is quite healthy in her 80s but doesn't drive. I'm not sure he'll move out when he finishes school. 

He attends a local regional university and has worked with professors as a research assistant, done a study abroad, and is currently looking at local internships. He's the kind of young man that does well, but doesn't like a lot of "disturbance in the force" with his life. We just talked about his long-term job goals and he has no desire to live in a city bigger than where he is now (~80k people). Hopefully he'll be able to find a decent job in our city, I think that would make him happy. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, elegantlion said:

Agreed, you parent them as adults, not children. 

My son did not want to go away to school, nor was it feasible financially. I'm the one that went away for school and he has stepped into the young adult role quite well. He shares a house with my mom, who is quite healthy in her 80s but doesn't drive. I'm not sure he'll move out when he finishes school. 

He attends a local regional university and has worked with professors as a research assistant, done a study abroad, and is currently looking at local internships. He's the kind of young man that does well, but doesn't like a lot of "disturbance in the force" with his life. We just talked about his long-term job goals and he has no desire to live in a city bigger than where he is now (~80k people). Hopefully he'll be able to find a decent job in our city, I think that would make him happy. 

 

 

Your ds sounds very much like our 18 yod. I like your "doesn't like a lot of 'disturbance in the force'" description. That sums up her personality to a T. 🙂

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I used to be a community college snob, but I am no longer.   Now I don't feel that community college stunts a student in any way.  It took one of my students actually going to community college for me to see the light.

Many of the developmental steps are no different at community college than a 4 year school -- you learn to talk with teachers, work on group projects, advocate for yourself,  and figure out how to manage a schedule.

Besides the monetary savings, community college allows a student to take smaller classes with a lot more one-on-one interaction with full professors.   My son, who wants to get a 4-year biology degree,  has had the privilege of taking beginning biology under a full professor who has written a textbook and who supervises her own labs of 20 students each.  The lecture class was only 40 students, instead of several hundred.  She knew her students by name and was so very encouraging.   I feel this one-on-one interaction allows for a lot of personal growth and development. 

My son will graduate with an associate in science degree this May.  Earning that associates allows him to seamlessly transfer to the state university he will attend in the fall, transferring in as a junior. Bang!  Two years of college already paid for, no debt.  Not only that, but he applied to just the one school he wanted to attend, because with a 3.0 or higher in the state's community college system, a transfer student is all but guaranteed admission.  Many of the state's top school are so much easier to get into as a transfer student than as a freshman.

Knowing the admission policy for transfer, my son didn't have to waste time and money studying for and taking the SAT or ACT.  As a junior transfer with an associates, these tests were not required for university admission, nor are they required for community college.

I'm encouraging my younger son to go the transfer route as well.  He wants to go to engineering school, which is very competitive in NC.  If he gets his associates first, he will have less competition getting into the school of his choice. 

ETA:   While my son is anxious to go away to college, I don't think he felt cheated by living at home for a couple of years.  Living at home has been easy for him.  Maybe not quite as easy as living in a dorm with no chores at all, but pretty dang easy with a lot of services offered. 😀

 

Edited by Serenade
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I think many great points have been brought up already.  As I've said many times, I've received an education by having my kid dual enroll at a community college.  There are AMAZING students there with stories that rival those at much higher rated schools and I truly believe the biggest difference between the highest achievers at CC and some of those super star ivy kids is socio-economic.  Our CC has an exchange program, international students, many student orgs, etc.  My kid developed great relationships with several teachers some who also teach at schools mentioned on college boards regularly including published profs.  They successfully launch students to the local public ivy all the time.   

My husband lived at home through his undergrad.  He is first gen and just that was his economic reality - he really had no choice.  He commuted to a flagship U via public transit, worked 30 hours a week, and mostly just slept at home.  He went on to get a masters and is a VP at a fortune 500 software company working with many talented people over the years.  I don't think it stunted him in any way at all.  I do think if you have some financial privilege your road will likely be easier.  But at the end of the day, you do need to be motivated, make connections, do the work, etc.  Those young adult years are more than just knocking off classes.  You need to learn to work with teams, build adult social skills, learn to read a room, prioritize, multi task, etc.  

I actually have a young for grade kid I'm trying to convince to stay home for another year before applying to 4 year schools.  And the reason for that has nothing to do with academic ability.  Both my kids actually have the ability to graduate early in terms of straight up academics.   

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Everyone's personality is different -- you see your son becoming independent because he is so far away, but that might also be personality coming into the mix.  Where some kids are ready to embrace independence, some need a few more years.  I can't remember if your dd is 2e, but for mine with adhd living across the country was more than an uncomfortable stretch that forced her to grow.  We ALL recognized that she's a few years behind in maturity and she would have benefited from staying somewhere closer to home.  

That being said, I try to emphasize to my kids that we don't try to make everything EQUAL, we try to provide for what they need at the time.  And as they are all different kids, their needs are very different as well.

Maybe also have further goals in mind -- like if she goes to CC first and then a four year, maybe make plans for her to study abroad? Or do an internship in DC? If she is still interested in Library Science, they have internships for graduate students at the Library of Congress that are awesome, especially if the student can live in the city with other students. (I commuted by  car and train  1 1/2 each way which wasn't quite as fun, lol).  

 

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46 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

Everyone's personality is different -- you see your son becoming independent because he is so far away, but that might also be personality coming into the mix.  Where some kids are ready to embrace independence, some need a few more years.  I can't remember if your dd is 2e, but for mine with adhd living across the country was more than an uncomfortable stretch that forced her to grow.  We ALL recognized that she's a few years behind in maturity and she would have benefited from staying somewhere closer to home.  

That being said, I try to emphasize to my kids that we don't try to make everything EQUAL, we try to provide for what they need at the time.  And as they are all different kids, their needs are very different as well.

Maybe also have further goals in mind -- like if she goes to CC first and then a four year, maybe make plans for her to study abroad? Or do an internship in DC? If she is still interested in Library Science, they have internships for graduate students at the Library of Congress that are awesome, especially if the student can live in the city with other students. (I commuted by  car and train  1 1/2 each way which wasn't quite as fun, lol).  

 

Thank you for posting your response. Your response made me go back and reread the original post bc you responded in a way that made it sound like the OP was actually asking questions vs commentary posed as questions. When I originally read the OP, I read it through the filter of CT's previous comments about her kids definitely going away to school and not living at home, so I interpreted the questions as formed opinions vs really wanting insightful answers. In rereading, I see now that maybe her dd is possibly considering living at home and the questions might be actual questions??Maybe? 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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No, my dd does not want to live at home 🙂 At all.

Both of my kids did or will spend a lot of time doing CC before graduating, (my son did two entire full years, my dd will start one class and then her whole senior year) and getting to know the ins and outs of community college, driving independently at 16, they both worked all summer starting at age 15, and they both have their own bank accounts, gas cards, budgets and certain expenses for which they are responsible.  They both by age 13 ish their own schedule, choices for when to stay up and go to bed, what to eat etc. (with occasional concerns brought up by me if I see something concerning)

BUT I feel they are too comfy here, socially.  And that in general the living is easy here even with full time community college....Both of them love us, spend time with us, have very little need for outside friend, clubs, interactions, and social activities, etc.  My son had two good friends here which he is still in contact with, and volunteered at church every single week.  That's it.  (and worked all summer)...My dd is pretty much the same way except she only has like one friend and maybe two acquaintances.  They play board games with us, watch movies with us, basically read and hang around the house and enjoy most of our interactions as a family which is great, but to be honest it can actually be overwhelming to me, that they consider me their BFF's all. the. time.  🙂

I really was asking hypothetically, because even if my dd did think it was a good option to stay home and commute to local CC I don't think I'd allow it.  she really needs to stretch her wings socially more, and it'll never happen when she's so comfy here with her BFF's in-house. 🙂 She is an INFP so she will never have a gaggle of friends but at least being involved with one or two, and joining one or two clubs out of necessity would be better than just being at home with us all the time when she's not at school or work. 🙂  

Also she has absolutely zero desire to stay home because she is just ready, for the independence and change. she loves travel 🙂

(As an aside, I don't think I know any young people here other than college graduated high tech engineers) sharing apartments because the COL is so high.  A typical 2 bedroom apartment is about 3.5- 4k per month. 🙂 and Gas is 3.88/gal, taxes are 10% state plus Federal...it goes on and on 🙂 )

 

Edited by Calming Tea
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14 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

No, my dd does not want to live at home 🙂 At all.

Both of my kids did or will spend a lot of time doing CC before graduating, (my son did two entire full years, my dd will start one class and then her whole senior year) and getting to know the ins and outs of community college, driving independently at 16, they both worked all summer starting at age 15, and they both have their own bank accounts, gas cards, budgets and certain expenses for which they are responsible.  They both by age 13 ish their own schedule, choices for when to stay up and go to bed, what to eat etc. (with occasional concerns brought up by me if I see something concerning)

BUT I feel they are too comfy here, socially.  And that in general the living is easy here even with full time community college....Both of them love us, spend time with us, have very little need for outside friend, clubs, interactions, and social activities, etc.  My son had two good friends here which he is still in contact with, and volunteered at church every single week.  That's it.  (and worked all summer)...My dd is pretty much the same way except she only has like one friend and maybe two acquaintances.  They play board games with us, watch movies with us, basically read and hang around the house and enjoy most of our interactions as a family which is great, but to be honest it can actually be overwhelming to me, that they consider me their BFF's all. the. time.  🙂

I really was asking hypothetically, because even if my dd did think it was a good option to stay home and commute to local CC I don't think I'd allow it.  she really needs to stretch her wings socially more, and it'll never happen when she's so comfy here with her BFF's in-house. 🙂 She is an INFP so she will never have a gaggle of friends but at least being involved with one or two, and joining one or two clubs out of necessity would be better than just being at home with us all the time when she's not at school or work. 🙂  

Also she has absolutely zero desire to stay home because she is just ready, for the independence and change. she loves travel 🙂

(As an aside, I don't think I know any young people here other than college graduated high tech engineers) sharing apartments because the COL is so high.  A typical 2 bedroom apartment is about 3.5- 4k per month. 🙂 and Gas is 3.88/gal, taxes are 10% state plus Federal...it goes on and on 🙂 )

 

Thanks for confirming that my original reading was the correct one 

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Just adding that if I had kids that were active "joiners" and leaders, with good friends going in the right direction, as well as the degree they were seeking being available and excellent at the CC, and being part of things as mentioned above, I'd be fine with CC

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Is your DD interested in graphic design? I thought I remembered reading that. If so, one idea is she can look into volunteering locally politically. Even if she's not interested in politics, often at the local level there is a huge need for people with graphic design and social media skills. Beyond that, as far as traveling, with this year being a presidential election year, there are opportunities for teens to travel to a different city to help GOTV. My DD did these things and it really stretched her and helped her to be able to handle a huge variety of situations. There are also mission trips to various third world countries you could consider. 

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Neat ideas! Yes, that is her first choice major.  She will be applying for GD at some schools (the ones we know will produce connections, internships and marketable degrees) and English at a few safeties (to pursue who knows what probably working in a library but not actually a library science degree)

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22 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

Just adding that if I had kids that were active "joiners" and leaders, with good friends going in the right direction, as well as the degree they were seeking being available and excellent at the CC, and being part of things as mentioned above, I'd be fine with CC

Well, I also think some kids launch across the country and don't join and aren't leaders either.  My son's current freshman roomie is a train wreck.  He's made a series of very poor decisions his first semester. I'm sure he must be on academic probation.  And this is at a school that regularly rejects kids with ACT 30+.  He is part of one campus group, but could have found similar experience volunteering in the community for free.  Not everyone has the financial privilege to say their kid NEEDS to be launched away.  My kid had a friend that graduated a year before him.  He launched to college less than 45 minutes from home.  He came home maybe 2-3 during the academic year.   Like someone said above, not every 18 year old is created equal.  I know 2 different girls (kids my son knows through extracurriculars) that were academic pretty high flyers, launched out of state to college this fall.  And were both home within 8 weeks.  I hope their parents have the budget to absorb that false start because it likely cost thousands of dollars.  

Normal developing young adults that are emotionally healthy will continue to gain adult skills regardless of setting IMO.  If your kid isn't, they may need an eval for mental illness and/or LDs.  And some kids might benefit from additional regular parenting and pushing and encouragement.  Some kids might know themselves well enough that they may not want to launch away.  Age 18 isn't a magical age.  Many neurons are fusing beyond that age.  

Anyway, budgets and kids are unique and not one size fits all.  I do think there is too much push in our society for all high school grads to head right to college immediately.  My freshman is launched to college and doing great.  But doesn't love dorm life and I'm sure would have been fine commuting to our local flagship too.  

 

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15 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

If you hypothetically had a kid with a situation where they will go to community college, or straight into the workforce at some job where they hope to move up the ranks, or they will commute to your state school....They worked hard in high school, are good achievers, good SAT scores,  and COULD have gone away but it's just better financially or logically more feasible (due to whatever factors not just finances), to stay home and save the money and go local.

This may sound like a very First World/Spoiled Middle Class American question BUT :

How do you ensure that kid does not feel disappointed and  more importantly, gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities and force themselves to grow and stretch....

Other than PeaceCorps, Missionary Trips, Enlisting, or just taking vacations....

what is the possibilities as far as getting to be away from mom and dad, having more independence, seeing and going somewhere different and new, etc.? 

I just see my son really growing as an independent young man and a person and taking opportunities and being forced to learn and do things he never would have at home. Not only socially but in so many other ways.  Even just going to the ER alone 🙂 Sad as it was, he grew as a person in a way that never would have happened at home.  

 

I only want to address the bolded. Yes, there are many people at home and abroad who have truly awful lives; who would pay money for your worst days. Who would love to have their kid going to the ER alone because it would mean prompt and appropriate medical care. 

However, you live and interact in the first world. These are your problems. Just because there are people in horrific situations doesn't mean these decisions dont have a significant impact on your life. Just because there are people starving doesn't mean I can give up on cooking for my family and feed them Alpo. I am still responsible for functioning within the system and culture and people I am around. Otherwise, all of my decisions would fall to the lowest common denominator of "at least we are not living in a box". 

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Fuzzy, I usually enjoy your comments and your logical way of viewing the world but I feel like you read something into that that I did not say or ...idk...something seems a little off putting about your last post. 

My kids are leaders in their personalities, at work, healthy responsible and great decision makers. Well thought of EVERYWHERE they go.  At work, at school, at community college, at church... My dd was one of only two 15 year olds on staff with an entire team of college age people, running a big customer service situation and handling up to 5K per day in her till.  They loved her there and she had "work friends" who all greeted her warmly....

They are just too cozy at home with us, to branch out into clubs and activities here, and the opportunities are sparse for the types of things we are seeing my son has opportunities for, at a huge university setting (or even a medium one)...

Maybe I am just not communicating something or maybe I made the mistake of once again sharing specifically when it would have been better to be silent.  

I feel like it's a bit rude, for you to insinuate that we are looking at a total train wreck or a false start just because our kids enjoy being at home and therefore do not branch out as much while here. 

And many kids are super social and all into clubs and activities and also have a total train wreck at college, so I cannot see the correlation there at all.  People are ready to launch into the college world when they have the responsibility to make right decisions, make their own schedule, choose friends wisely, prioritize their time, keep to a budget, and a schedule, interact with maturity when in disagreement, communicate with teachers, doctors, staff, registrar's office, etc. ....

I am fine with not every 18 year old being equal 🙂 Totally agree!! Really we can only do our best to prepare our kids and make the right decisions, and sometimes even the best laid plans have to be reconfigured.  It's part of life!  How do you know that someone may not make whatever decision they think is perfect and still waste thousands of dollars?  It happens. Not the plan, but it happens.

Kids also need the chance to go out and try, and not be held back due to parental fears as well.

 

 

Edited by Calming Tea

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While I don't feel obligated to provide the live away experience for my children, and their choices are very limited by finances, I will admit that it is our strong preference for our dc to go away for college. I do think there is something to going away to take the next steps in maturity and independence for my kids or at least the two that have graduated high school so far. 

We have a local Christian U that my dc attend for de. It is fantastic for de, but would not be a good fit for a four year school. We have a local cc that I am not impressed by. I think having an nice, affordable, nearly open admission local university option perhaps drives down the quality of the cc. With a four year school affordable and commutable those diligent students some see at cc would probably be at the university here in town. Teachers, too, maybe.

It's hard to even put into words why we really wanted our kids to go. The first one is easier, I guess. He was ready and there just were no opportunities here similar to what he could access if he went away and had scholarships and aid that made it an easy decision. The second ds. Well, he is less mature, and less studious (though still ahead of average kids and his local peers). He just was always kind of a tough, learn the hard way kind of kid. Good kid, no real trouble, but parenting was always more challenging. It just seemed like he really needed to make a change to continue to grow. I think staying here would not have been good for him. He was totally unchallenged by his de coursework  at the local U and had he stayed at home and commuted there or to cc, I think he would have just lost direction and possibly quit. I think he would have been surrounded by peers who were not moving forward in life and that wouldn't have been helpful. He really seemed to need to go somewhere else, do something different, and do something hard. I don't know what personality trait that is that needs to have hard things put in front of him, but that is how he is. The challenge keeps him focused. When things are too easy he flounders. He still has to learn the hard way and he makes his share of mistakes, but he does seem to learn and make different mistakes the next time. LOL

My next ds will go away to college. He wants to, he is ready, and he has the stats to make it work financially. But if he had to stay home I think he would do great anywhere. I think, even, at our cc he would just put his head down and do his best and do everything he had to do to be set to transfer. My oldest likely would have, as well. But that second kid. I don't how to explain it. There is definitely some amount of money it was worth to send him to live away. So, personalities are a factor. I am glad we were able to find an affordable option away for him,

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1 hour ago, Calming Tea said:

She is an INFP so she will never have a gaggle of friends but at least being involved with one or two, and joining one or two clubs out of necessity would be better than just being at home with us all the time when she's not at school or work. 🙂  

My dd is an INFP too. In fact, she suspects she's on the spectrum but is deciding if she wants to pursue a formal diagnosis or not. She has broadened her social life immensely at the CC. As a homeschooler, particularly a secular hser in the land of statements of faith, she didn't have many social opportunities. Now that she's on campus T/Th she can go to lunch time meetings, meet people and hang out. It's made her life so.much.better. I helped her plug in to opportunities by researching and explaining what clubs were available and encouraging her to go to a couple of meetings, but she took it from there. She's active in PTK, the Honors College and the Math, Science and Engineering Club. When she doesn't have a meeting, she eats lunch and hangs out in the Honors Lounge where she's made some friends.

This semester, she's surprised me by taking charge of the search for summer opportunities. Last year, I was the one who looked at camps and suggested the one I thought she'd like best (U of Dallas' Latin in Rome--she loved it and made a couple of friends she still hangs out with electronically). So, even one year can make a huge difference at this age. 

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7 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

While I don't feel obligated to provide the live away experience for my children, and their choices are very limited by finances, I will admit that it is our strong preference for our dc to go away for college. I do think there is something to going away to take the next steps in maturity and independence for my kids or at least the two that have graduated high school so far. 

We have a local Christian U that my dc attend for de. It is fantastic for de, but would not be a good fit for a four year school. We have a local cc that I am not impressed by. I think having an nice, affordable, nearly open admission local university option perhaps drives down the quality of the cc. With a four year school affordable and commutable those diligent students some see at cc would probably be at the university here in town. Teachers, too, maybe.

It's hard to even put into words why we really wanted our kids to go. The first one is easier, I guess. He was ready and there just were no opportunities here similar to what he could access if he went away and had scholarships and aid that made it an easy decision. The second ds. Well, he is less mature, and less studious (though still ahead of average kids and his local peers). He just was always kind of a tough, learn the hard way kind of kid. Good kid, no real trouble, but parenting was always more challenging. It just seemed like he really needed to make a change to continue to grow. I think staying here would not have been good for him. He was totally unchallenged by his de coursework  at the local U and had he stayed at home and commuted there or to cc, I think he would have just lost direction and possibly quit. I think he would have been surrounded by peers who were not moving forward in life and that wouldn't have been helpful. He really seemed to need to go somewhere else, do something different, and do something hard. I don't know what personality trait that is that needs to have hard things put in front of him, but that is how he is. The challenge keeps him focused. When things are too easy he flounders. He still has to learn the hard way and he makes his share of mistakes, but he does seem to learn and make different mistakes the next time. LOL

My next ds will go away to college. He wants to, he is ready, and he has the stats to make it work financially. But if he had to stay home I think he would do great anywhere. I think, even, at our cc he would just put his head down and do his best and do everything he had to do to be set to transfer. My oldest likely would have, as well. But that second kid. I don't how to explain it. There is definitely some amount of money it was worth to send him to live away. So, personalities are a factor. I am glad we were able to find an affordable option away for him,

 

This.  Sometimes there are just reasons.

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29 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

I feel like it's a bit rude, for you to insinuate that we are looking at a total train wreck or a false start just because our kids enjoy being at home and therefore do not branch out as much while here. 

 

Oh my goodness, I was absolutely not insinuating anything about your situation in the least with my post.  I think you know your kids best and you know your finances best, and you are making decisions within that context.  We are in the first world and we are all launching our kids to the best of our ability.  I suspect the parents that post here regularly are probably in the top percentages of understanding their own kids needs and in terms of research and follow through. 

I do think some families just feel like they need to push to college immediately because it's the next thing.  Sometimes taking huge financial risk since it's relatively easy to getting into a risky lending situation to do so.  That is reinforced by school counselors and college marketing materials.  

I'm sorry if I didn't express myself well.  My kid is launched to college out of state and he was ready.  We have very mindfully financially prepared to have that as an option.  But I can also see, it could  have been ok had we not had the financial privilege that we do and he pursued some local options first.  It worked just fine for my spouse.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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21 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

 

Other than PeaceCorps, Missionary Trips, Enlisting, or just taking vacations....

what is the possibilities as far as getting to be away from mom and dad, having more independence, seeing and going somewhere different and new, etc.? 

 

What about working at a summer camp? It can get you to a new part of the country and gets you away from home for a solid chunk of time. 

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5 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

..........

I feel like it's a bit rude, for you to insinuate that we are looking at a total train wreck........

Kids also need the chance to go out and try, and not be held back....

I didnt read Fuzzy's comments that way, but I did read your OP way toward families who make the decision to have kids commute from home.

That is why SDM's post caught me off-guard bc she had read them as someone personally contemplating the decision. 

Reads more like a "see what you havent thought of/realized" post to me.

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I think it’s a different dynamic than students who go away and then it’s like “back to high school” when they are home on breaks their freshman year (and maybe beyond).  That is what I have seen I think.  
 

My niece “stayed home” (she got an apartment) for college and she is very independent and doesn’t live at home in the summer.  I “went away” but lived at home in the summer the first two years.  Between the two of us, she was more independent at a younger age.  

Edit:  my niece is also choosing to work and pay for her own things so her parents can’t be involved in some of her decisions.  She is being very responsible but she is not asking them for advice on a lot of things that we would expect (like finding an apartment, paying the deposit, getting a lease with friends, getting a cat, etc). 

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I hope you don't mind, CT, if I toss something completely the opposite to your OP points.

Say you have a kid who shined in multiple ways from a young age, overcome personal adversity, and shown incredible leadership & drive in community-changing ways. So, they have multiple different measurable accomplishments that set them apart from most of their peers.

What if they stay at home, go local, and for whatever reason don't leave the area? What if traveling cross-country (or cross-globe for the study abroad types), separating from their family, and attending a university that would (in many minds') offer more job opportunities isn't their desire?

Is that a shame? Is it regrettable? Should that young person be made to accept the idea that staying local is somehow 'less than'? That doing amazing things up until now means they have to leave to fulfill some imagined destiny?

I see this as a sort of reverse image of the could-leave-home-but-has-to-stay hypothetical. It is the wants-to-stay-home-but-everyone-wants-them-to-leave situation. It is the genius kid who goes to the state school instead of an Ivy or prestigious LAC. The star athlete who decides to attend a college that doesn't have their sport. People tsk-tsk, whisper their "what a shames," and talk about the what-could-have-beens.

The situation in the OP is different, but I reject the assumptions in both hypotheticals. If the theoretical teenager in the OP stayed at home (unwillingly), I believe that they could still be stretched, experience novel adventures, and fly if they were encouraged to see the shiny side of their situation. Just as I believe that the second young adult could shine if forced to leave home. But, I accept that letting the first kid leave & the second kid stay are in these hypotheticals, perhaps the better option for them because desire is a powerful motivator.

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54 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I hope you don't mind, CT, if I toss something completely the opposite to your OP points.

Say you have a kid who shined in multiple ways from a young age, overcome personal adversity, and shown incredible leadership & drive in community-changing ways. So, they have multiple different measurable accomplishments that set them apart from most of their peers.

What if they stay at home, go local, and for whatever reason don't leave the area? What if traveling cross-country (or cross-globe for the study abroad types), separating from their family, and attending a university that would (in many minds') offer more job opportunities isn't their desire?

Is that a shame? Is it regrettable? Should that young person be made to accept the idea that staying local is somehow 'less than'? That doing amazing things up until now means they have to leave to fulfill some imagined destiny?

I see this as a sort of reverse image of the could-leave-home-but-has-to-stay hypothetical. It is the wants-to-stay-home-but-everyone-wants-them-to-leave situation. It is the genius kid who goes to the state school instead of an Ivy or prestigious LAC. The star athlete who decides to attend a college that doesn't have their sport. People tsk-tsk, whisper their "what a shames," and talk about the what-could-have-beens.

The situation in the OP is different, but I reject the assumptions in both hypotheticals. If the theoretical teenager in the OP stayed at home (unwillingly), I believe that they could still be stretched, experience novel adventures, and fly if they were encouraged to see the shiny side of their situation. Just as I believe that the second young adult could shine if forced to leave home. But, I accept that letting the first kid leave & the second kid stay are in these hypotheticals, perhaps the better option for them because desire is a powerful motivator.

 

I am confused, because I was not making any point.  At all.  In the OP at least.  I was just asking how people go about it, what their ideas and experiences were, how it works for them etc.  I am a leader in my local community and people come to me with questions about a variety of topics. It's useful for me to really understand all sides of how things can be done, all the options and how that goes about.

As an aside, if something happens to change our situation and my dd were to come home or ds back home, I'd still be glad that I had thought about this topic and have useful answers to people.

I was not "making a point" somehow that kids can't stretch their wings at home, or learn to be independent, etc. I just want to understand the ways to do that, and also how to get a chance to do those life changing things that are especially exciting that do not happen in one's hometown. I just don't have a lot of experience with young people staying at home in my own family.  Myself, brothers, sisters, step brothers and sisters all of my so far grown nieces and nephews on every side, either went to college, enlisted in the military or (what is becoming less and less frequent nowadays due to higher COL), moved out.  My family has always been big on grow up and get out and it's worked pretty well all along, so it was a sincere question.  The few that have not pushed their kids to grow up and get out had pretty bad experiences...so that's also there.  But that was not the crux of my question. It was equally three part.

And by stretched I don't just mean learn independence, I really mean get a chance to do amazing things and not feel left out. That's the question I have.  "gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities "

I just don't know how a question ended up being thought of as a statement shaming people ??

 

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Aside from the fact that I was sincerely asking a question and not making a point...

I agree- every kid should do what feels right to them as long as they are really growing as people and growing towards maturity and independence. I suspect personality and family dynamic has SO MUCH to do with that, that there are many varieties of how that can play out not just two, even. (could go away but stays home, and maybe should stay home but goes away, there are also a thousand other possibilities, such as gap year, Peace Corp, Military, delayed graduation, CC-transfer, etc. etc.) 

🙂

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On 1/22/2020 at 7:03 PM, Calming Tea said:

... It's useful for me to really understand all sides of how things can be done, all the options and how that goes about.
... I just don't have a lot of experience with young people staying at home in my own family...


I think things are very different from place to place.

In my state, due to family finances (so many larger family homeschoolers with a single income that is LOW), and due to having a quality community college and state university here in town, we have the opposite situation as what you see -- not many students go away for college. In order to even afford the in-town university, many of the young people continue to live at home, work like crazy to help pay for school, and are involved in a ton of activities, volunteering, and going out with friends. As someone mentioned upthread, it's more like the family home is just a place for sleeping, because the students are out and busy so much of the time. 😉 

I do think a lot of it depends on what options are available to you in your city/state -- it sounds like your state has fewer options for self-exploration / growing / independence things. And when coupled with your state having a higher percentage of families who have enough $$ -- or who have students with very high test scores to land big scholarships -- I can see how the norm for where you are is to go away to college.
 

On 1/22/2020 at 7:03 PM, Calming Tea said:

....And by stretched I don't just mean learn independence, I really mean get a chance to do amazing things and not feel left out. That's the question I have.  "gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities"...


Hmmm... perhaps that is also a particular perception due to specific location? Because I'm constantly hearing about how the young people I know from our homeschool group are getting to do amazing things. And I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they "feel left out" because they didn't "go out of state for college." 

What I do see is young people keeping their eyes open and grabbing on to opportunities of high interest to them as they see them. Just off the top of my head from our homeschool group:

- One young lady who did not go on to college has twice spent summers working in Africa at a deaf school.
- Another young lady who is currently going to the local university just signed a contract and is getting her first book published.
- Another young lady got her Associate's degree in Photography and is currently running her own photography business, and travels to do shoots.
- Two of the students who were in the Youth & Gov't program when I was an advisor applied for and landed a short-term internship in Washington D.C. the summer after they graduated.
- One young man is working at a local restaurant, and then spends 6 months at a time traveling the world by working as an entertainer on a cruise ship.
- Another young man is currently spending a year in Amsterdam through an international program through our local university.
- One young man (well, over 30 now, lol) went to the local university joined the Astronomy Club and got to go to Cape Canaveral to watch the final space shuttle launch. He is now a software engineer on the world's largest telescope that's in process of being built and has traveled to Peru several times for work-related trips.

Maybe those are not the kinds of things you are thinking of though...?? 
 

On 1/22/2020 at 7:03 PM, Calming Tea said:

....


DELETED...

Meaning you all the best! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Lori D said it better!

Edited by RootAnn
Lori D to the rescue!

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Thank you to those who answered the (sincere) question (from a place of true lack of knowledge and wanting to know).  I love the ideas.  Lots of things I had never considered or heard about at all! 

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On 1/21/2020 at 7:49 PM, Calming Tea said:

:How do you ensure that kid does not feel disappointed

 

For us, this really wasn’t a big concern. I expect my kids to make out of life what they will and to make opportunities for themselves or not. I think it’s easy to think opportunities are “out there” somewhere, but in reality they are everywhere—they are just different. 

On 1/21/2020 at 7:49 PM, Calming Tea said:

and  more importantly, gets a chance to spread their wings and experience new opportunities and force themselves to grow and stretch....

 

 

Sometimes I suggest or encourage things. One did a three week Bible camp. One took a trip to another state to take care of Grandma when she broke her leg. Both were opportunities for growth. I think in a lot of ways though that they do things when they are ready.  I did find that even cc here at home provided a lot of opportunities for independence. Not the same as going away, but then we also had opportunities for togetherness that we would not have had if they were away. I think it’s what a family makes of the circumstance and how one views it.  

 

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2 hours ago, ................... said:

... I am a leader in my local community and people come to me with questions about a variety of topics. It's useful for me to really understand all sides of how things can be done, all the options and how that goes about...

Thank you to those who answered the (sincere) question (from a place of true lack of knowledge and wanting to know).  I love the ideas.  Lots of things I had never considered or heard about at all! 


What a very gracious and humble response. I know you must be a great help to those in your local community.

I'm very sorry if I contributed to your sudden board name change. 😢 I hope you will feel you can return to your cheerful name and avatar. You are an important and kind member of this community! Warmest regards, Lori D.
 

Edited by Lori D.
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20 hours ago, ................... said:

No, my dd does not want to live at home 🙂 At all.

Both of my kids did or will spend a lot of time doing CC before graduating, (my son did two entire full years, my dd will start one class and then her whole senior year) and getting to know the ins and outs of community college, driving independently at 16, they both worked all summer starting at age 15, and they both have their own bank accounts, gas cards, budgets and certain expenses for which they are responsible.  They both by age 13 ish their own schedule, choices for when to stay up and go to bed, what to eat etc. (with occasional concerns brought up by me if I see something concerning)

BUT I feel they are too comfy here, socially.  And that in general the living is easy here even with full time community college....Both of them love us, spend time with us, have very little need for outside friend, clubs, interactions, and social activities, etc.  My son had two good friends here which he is still in contact with, and volunteered at church every single week.  That's it.  (and worked all summer)...My dd is pretty much the same way except she only has like one friend and maybe two acquaintances.  They play board games with us, watch movies with us, basically read and hang around the house and enjoy most of our interactions as a family which is great, but to be honest it can actually be overwhelming to me, that they consider me their BFF's all. the. time.  🙂

I really was asking hypothetically, because even if my dd did think it was a good option to stay home and commute to local CC I don't think I'd allow it.  she really needs to stretch her wings socially more, and it'll never happen when she's so comfy here with her BFF's in-house. 🙂 She is an INFP so she will never have a gaggle of friends but at least being involved with one or two, and joining one or two clubs out of necessity would be better than just being at home with us all the time when she's not at school or work. 🙂  

Also she has absolutely zero desire to stay home because she is just ready, for the independence and change. she loves travel 🙂

(As an aside, I don't think I know any young people here other than college graduated high tech engineers) sharing apartments because the COL is so high.  A typical 2 bedroom apartment is about 3.5- 4k per month. 🙂 and Gas is 3.88/gal, taxes are 10% state plus Federal...it goes on and on 🙂 )

 

I'm wondering why you're so sure she's going to go out there and be involved in clubs?   That's not really a necessity and I know quite a few students (and was one myself) who just went from sitting at home reading in their rooms, to returning to their dorm rooms after class and sitting reading by themselves.     For a lot of introverts, the 24/7 being around people, large class sizes, roommates, neighbors in a dorm, meals in a crowd, etc.  can be EXTREMELY exhausting.  Especially if that's a marked contrast to how they lived before that.   Going from having your own space and doing things with family and close friends, to having no place to get away from other people is a big switch, unless you manage a private room or apartment. 

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29 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

I'm wondering why you're so sure she's going to go out there and be involved in clubs?   That's not really a necessity and I know quite a few students (and was one myself) who just went from sitting at home reading in their rooms, to returning to their dorm rooms after class and sitting reading by themselves.     For a lot of introverts, the 24/7 being around people, large class sizes, roommates, neighbors in a dorm, meals in a crowd, etc.  can be EXTREMELY exhausting.  Especially if that's a marked contrast to how they lived before that.   Going from having your own space and doing things with family and close friends, to having no place to get away from other people is a big switch, unless you manage a private room or apartment. 

 

Thank you for posting this.  My daughter is an introvert with social anxiety and will be starting college in the fall (OOS).  In my mind, I thought it would be best for her to join a club right away to meet people but this reminds me that she is going to have so much to adjust to being with so many people all day that this is not something I should push.  She's used to a very quiet home and a small community college.  When we go anywhere with "too many people" it's exhausting and overwhelming for her.  She will definitely need time to decompress.  Her dorm has single bedrooms in a suite sharing a bathroom with two other girls so I think that having her own space will help a lot.  

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6 hours ago, Lori D. said:


What a very gracious and humble response. I know you must be a great help to those in your local community.

I'm very sorry if I contributed to your sudden board name change. 😢 I hope you will feel you can return to your cheerful name and avatar. You are an important and kind member of this community! Warmest regards, Lori D.
 

I hope so, too. I apologize if my posts caused you to change your forum name.   

10 hours ago, ................... said:

The few that have not pushed their kids to grow up and get out had pretty bad experiences...so that's also there. 

Reading this makes me think you are equating personal situations with general outcomes. It is sort of like someone who doesn't homeschool but knows a family who homeschools whose kid flunked out of college assuming that homeschoolers flunk out of college. 

I'm guessing you have never witnessed the opposite, kids who went away to college and had pretty bad experiences and returned home with all sorts of problems they didnt have prior to going away to college.

There is no utopian answer. Kids and families are all unique. Going away to school or staying home and commuting....neither scenario is a path toward success or failure or anywhere in between.  Outcomes are going to really come down to individuals, their internal motivation/drive to succeed, and whether there are personal or health issues or relationship issues or a whole host of issues thrown in. 

Reality is complicated. Kids going away can fail to thrive just as much  kids living at home may fail to grow up. One scenario isnt the sure answer to a positive outcome.

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11 minutes ago, Kassia said:

 

Thank you for posting this.  My daughter is an introvert with social anxiety and will be starting college in the fall (OOS).  In my mind, I thought it would be best for her to join a club right away to meet people but this reminds me that she is going to have so much to adjust to being with so many people all day that this is not something I should push.  She's used to a very quiet home and a small community college.  When we go anywhere with "too many people" it's exhausting and overwhelming for her.  She will definitely need time to decompress.  Her dorm has single bedrooms in a suite sharing a bathroom with two other girls so I think that having her own space will help a lot.  

My college jr is an extreme introvert. I dont think she would have survived on campus without a private room.  She needs a place to retreat and recharge when she is peopled out. She also tends to go to the library and settles down in a remote spot when she finds her room claustrophobic. 

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2 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

My college jr is an extreme introvert. I dont think she would have survived on campus without a private room.  She needs a place to retreat and recharge when she is peopled out. She also tends to go to the library and settles down in a remote spot when she finds her room claustrophobic. 

 

Yes, I have a son on the spectrum who graduated from a huge university - also an extreme introvert. He did have a private room and I don't think he would have made it without it.  

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This thread has me thinking in so many different directions and tangents. @..................., none of this is directed towards you (meaning it isn't personal), merely a jumping off point. I think the original post in touching on a lot of these things and the comments are circling around some of them.

1. Young adults having increased agency for difficult things, like going to the ER by oneself. This involves knowing when to go and how to get oneself there. This also can include traveling by oneself because of the multitude of small decisions that must be made, including navigating public transit.

2. Young adults having increased agency in the small areas of day-to-day life that might be "easier" to achieve when living on one's own vs with parents (paying bills, grocery shopping, etc).

3. The role of boredom and how that has changed in our society. On one hand, bored people can waste loads of time on screens, etc, and young adulthood is a scandalous thing to waste. On the other hand, boredom is the mother of invention. It is good to experience boredom. I find it tragic that screens allow us to fulfill our boredom with something passive. 

4. Having interesting and self-actualizing opportunities (the "first world problems" part of it). Here is the sticky wicket. The experiences that I find to be deeply satisfying are not those that society (or myself) value at first glance. For instance, caregiving is neither glamorous nor "fun." Much more enjoyable is stuff centered around my preferences being met and fulfilling my inherent selfishness. My assumption is that this is the most controversial piece. 

5. Working towards moving into adulthood through work or continuing education. This can include the other 4 points. 

In an age of distraction, how can we use our time well? It is our most precious resource. Youth is wasted on the young, and all that. How do we help our kids navigate these choices to become interesting and functioning full members of society giving our limitations and theirs?

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My college freshman is more of an ambivert than an introvert, but having her own room with a door to close has been important.

From the perspective of having new experiences/opportunities:  my oldest found our tiny, rural area to have few opportunities. She realized if she wanted them, she would have to create them herself, so she organized a homeschool summer baseball program (since she didn't like fast pitch softball & girls aren't allowed to play baseball in our town) and an annual art contest for homeschoolers -- including arranging for a public display & letting the public vote for their favorite pieces in different age groups. Now that she is in a bigger environment  (the U she attends has three times the number of students as people in our town), she can be a joiner or a leader. My next kid is an introvert, but she finds strength in being surrounded by family. She might be one to sit in her room, overwhelmed by people, but she felt supported enough to start an animal welfare non-profit before she was 16. She runs the board of director's meetings & has been asked to speak to multiple groups about the group's work. It is terrifying for her (another social anxiety sufferer) but she tries her best to overcome her personal issues so she can make a difference. She sought out a mentor, solicits donations, interacts with the media, goes to training to learn to do these things better, and takes care of paperwork (with some help from me) that other adults admit to hiring out to paid 'experts'. All while living at home & still in high school

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16 hours ago, Kassia said:

 

Thank you for posting this.  My daughter is an introvert with social anxiety and will be starting college in the fall (OOS).  In my mind, I thought it would be best for her to join a club right away to meet people but this reminds me that she is going to have so much to adjust to being with so many people all day that this is not something I should push.  She's used to a very quiet home and a small community college.  When we go anywhere with "too many people" it's exhausting and overwhelming for her.  She will definitely need time to decompress.  Her dorm has single bedrooms in a suite sharing a bathroom with two other girls so I think that having her own space will help a lot.  

My son has a single—no way would he be able to handle having a roommate! However, joining a campus Christian group has been really helpful for making friends, and he can go when he’s up to it. So you never know, she may surprise you!

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Mine both were high achievers and did community college and are now at a highly ranked four-year as commuter students. No regrets about that at all.

You said "no enlisting" but the National Guard and Reserves have a lot of advantages for kids who want a little more than just college for one weekend a month and two weeks (generally) in the summer. My oldest is in the Army National Guard, and it has been such a positive thing for him. They pay for his college, he got a government clearance, and really enjoys the speciality he chose. His unit supports the entire state in a specialized area, so he is unlikely to get deployed, although you never know. 

Edited by G5052

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