Monday, November 14, 2011

So we can file this under more ways that I feel like my life is falling apart

My daughter has decided to leave college.

She won't give us a real clear and honest reason. She told me that she no longer cares about what she is studying, she no longer cares about linguistics and foreign languages. She hates everyone. She hates the people. She hates being there. She "cannot bear" to spend another semester there.

So she wants to come home at the end of this semester. I asked her if something happened to her, if someone said or did anything? Was it the homesickness? Was it the fear of having 90,000 dollars in student loans to pay off? What. Give me a reason.

Doug isn't hearing it from her. "You're depressed. Everyone gets depressed in college. Work through it, find a counselor or an adviser to talk to, and stay in school. Dropping out now will do you no good. If you think you're going to come home and find a job that pays more than 9 bucks an hour, you're wrong. Just stay there, and get a degree that will make you marketable."

But I have a degree and no one wants me. Does she see that and feel how fucking painfully USELESS everything is?

I think I've got that part of her experience figured out.

I know she had a good summer. She was very happy, and it was so good to see. She enjoyed working at our church, she loved working at the cooking school. She did a week of volunteer work at a christian rock concert up in New Hampshire and at one point I remembered she posted "I'm surrounded by people who care about things. I wish I cared about things."

Part of me agrees with Doug and the other part of me says to her, "come home, regroup. Take some classes at Salem State to stay on track. Change your major. Maybe we'll buy you a plane ticket and you can go to South Africa and go visit the women who visited us this summer from East London RSA. Go there for a while. They said they need teachers, they need smart women with big hearts. Go. And maybe you'll fall in love with something to care about. Or, just come home and wallow in it with me. Lord knows I'm not the chipperest happy person on the planet of late. Lord knows I prefer to watch 11 episodes of South Park back to back and work on stuff on my computer for Jo and then email it to her. Lord knows that mustering up the energy to go to a football game or to the freaking Grocery Store is a half day battle. Maybe if you're here, we can both yell at each other until we do things. Or watch another episode of South Park."

I don't know.

She told me today she didn't register for any spring semester classes (enrollment was 2 weeks ago) and that "by now, everything that I would maybe want to take is full. So it is pointless."

I honestly just don't even know what to do.


  1. Anonymous4:08 PM

    Sometimes I think we live in a time warp. So many similar things happen. We went through this a year and a half ago. Jake was away at school, after 3 years he started hinting about things, maybe it wash't the right fit etc. He lost his roommate a week after they signed a lease, so we had to pay the full rent. Lots of things I can go into more detail if you want. But eventually I found out hat his grades were awful, he was on academic probation and had lied about lots of stuff. I pushed him to stay in school, to finish to get it done. He flunked out on purpose so he could come home. It was a waste of 4 years and lots of money. He is now in JR college here, on the deans list and is thriving. He should have come home along time ago. My lesson was I should have let him come home when he wanted to. He needed his family, what little of it there is, and his friends.

  2. I think if she can go to school while she lives at home and she wants to, maybe she should. At this point she's mature enough to know what she wants. I went to an expensive liberal arts college and worried about money and my future and disappointing everyone for two miserable semesters. Once I went home and got grounded I was able to really excel academically at a local college and finally transferred to a good university to finish my degree.

  3. Smitty9:53 AM

    Hey Chris -- I wish her and all of you luck. I remember what a confusing and frustrating time that was for me -- I was always transferring out of Shippensburg. And where's my degree from? Keep us posted. You guys are -- always -- in our prayers.

  4. thanks guys. i agree with you, and i'm willing to give her the latitude to figure out what she wants to do. doug feels that right NOW is not the time to leave college. his parents paid in full for school, he worked for fun and folding money, not because he had to or was stressed out about money.

    it took me 6 years and a near suicide attempt to finish college. a little therapy and grounding was really all i needed.

    i also worked near to full time while taking classes full time. i think my GPA was 2.7

    Jess' gpa is much better, but she's not working at all so... it's all relative.

    i would like her to return to Pitt. it's a great school. I didn't like the program at Umass, and UNH. and those are the only linguistics programs around at state schools (she could go to a private school but it would cost 2x plus over the cost of pitt!).

    doug calmed down and it's like it never happened almost... this fight.

    he does want her to get a job, work, and figure out what she wants for fall 12.

  5. I think if she feels it's really not the right place in her sophomore year, it probably isn't. So why spend the money? I was sure I was in the wrong place first semester freshmen year, but that passed and then I loved my school. But I think she's given it enough time. BUT here's what I'd do - I don't know if living at home is going to help you or her. I definitely think she needs to start driving, because though it might feel great to have her need you to drive her places, it serves to keep her in the same place emotionally. That's my two cents! It'll work out.

  6. Anonymous11:23 AM

    I know of plenty of positions in the government that what people with exactly those job skills. There are also linguistic speech therapists that work with children to overcome issues like speech impediments.

    Maybe your daughter is just a little homesick. Either way, best wishes to you and your family.

  7. Anonymous8:15 PM

    hey chris, can't believe I didn't read this before you guys stayed here. I had no idea. Hang in there. Jess will find what she loves. I started in a degree I hated, switched to one after my first year to one I hated even more. found no job i really liked, until eventually I found what I love. You know Chris's story. Took him 10 years to find what he loves. She will too. xoxo

  8. Anonymous6:59 PM

    We're approaching the college-going years and we honestly don't really know what to tell Jake. He has ideas and we don't want to crush them, but reality is - well, pretty crushing right now. You and Doug are so well-grounded, and I've never heard/read you say that Jess did something recklessly or not-thought-out. Grace & peace to you all, especially in this brand-new Advent season. Much love, Dawn