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Advice needed: My son is screwing up his life

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by beanpole, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    OK, here goes. My oldest son lives with his mother, about six hours away from me. He's a sophomore at a private college because his field of study isn't one that he could get close to home. His mother didn't want him to go to the private school, so I'm paying for everything that loans, grants and scholarships didn't cover (about $6K a year). It's worth it, I figured, so the kid can get out of Appalachia and start his career. (He's also going to need a post-graduate degree, but that's down the road)

    This week, the kid called me to tell me that he's gotten engaged. At 19. To his high school girlfriend, who attends school close to home. He says he's going to finish at the out-of-state school and then they'll get married.

    Both his mother and the girl's parents are conditionally OK with it. Worried, but figure, what the hell. They'll be fine and at least they're finishing school.

    I'm so floored that I can't see straight. This kid is immature -- he's never had a job, even summer work, and he's managed screw around and miss out on work study for two years even though I've been paying for it. He 'forgot' to sign up for classes last semester until winter break when he tried to figure out why he didn't have a list of books. And now he thinks he should be making a decision like this?

    I feel like my battles with his mother for the last 3 years to get him to the school he wanted to go to have been a waste of time and money. I feel like he's never going to finish his education because he's going to get married rather than go to school. I’m sad because he told me what for him is something very exciting and life-altering, and all I can feel is sadness and disappointment.

    I’m tempted to tell him that if he’s going to make adult decisions like this, he can pay for his own tuition. He’s wasting the education anyway if he’s never going to go to graduate school, but if I pull the plug all it will do is force him to go to the cheap in-state school near his home to get a generic degree, and he’ll probably be married by this August.

    I think I’m in a no-win scenario. If anyone has a good suggestion that doesn’t involve me drinking a lot of Crown tonight, please let me know.
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Cut the chord. He is an adult now.

    Have him finish out the semester, then stop throwing money at him. If he bombs out of EKU or Appy State or where ever he lands, hopefully he is smart enough to restart at a community college and move forward from there.

    Sounds like he needs to fall to see if he can get back up. It sucks for you, but I bombed out my first crack at a university, and it took CC to give me the "come to Jesus" moment. Now I have four-year degrees from Arizona State and Slippery Rock and a master's from Mary Washington.

    Hopefully I will be able to get Lil 93 into schools that are a little better than Tosh.0 U and a school some people thought was a joke, but right now you might be enabling.
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    He still has two years to go at a school that his girlfriend isn't at. Plenty of time for some other girl to catch his eye.

    Now, if he was going to quit school to marry the girl, then I'd be worried. But as long as he stays in school for the bachelor's and waits, then I'd be willing to accept that.

    But if he quits school to get married, then he's on his own. And he better grow up in a hurry then.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Oh, is he going to finish the four-year school he is currently attending? If that is the case, I would let him ride that out.

    I would, though, tell him that a 3.0 GPA is required to keep getting money from you.
  6. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    At some point, you have to just let him live his life and learn his own lessons. If he continues to go to school, fine. If he quits school, don't send him another dime.
  7. IllMil

    IllMil Active Member

    I can't judge anyone, but my parents didn't give me shit for school. Pretty much everyone I knew had it paid for by their parents, but I never really felt that was something parents should pay for. I guess because mine didn't.

    I'm going to tell you to relax, even though I know that's impossible, because there's still plenty of time for their relationship to fuck up. It will. At 19, it's totally normal to be in the marrying my HS love shit. They won't last. I'd bet they don't make it another year.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'd let it go as long as he's still going to finish school. My brother got engaged to his h.s. sweetheart in college, and I think she was 19 or 20 at the time and he was probably 21. They got married while he was in law school and he still managed to finish it all, get a job, and so forth. The biggest thing he ever fucked up was his senior season of high school sports, because I think he spent more time being in love than practicing to get better. Oh, and they eventually got divorced. Which happens. But he didn't destroy his education or his career or anything.

    Biggest thing: Make sure they're being careful so no babies show up to really complicate things. That shit you can't just wipe clean and keep going.
  9. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    Yep, he's going to finish his bachelor's. No idea how he's going to do his graduate work now, but that's a long way away, and getting longer. And he has good grades -- 3.5 GPA to keep his scholarships and grants. My cash is the part that puts him over the hump for a $23K-per-year bill.

    I guess I can only just hope for the best, but I don't like how this is playing out. At all.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    A huge percentage of graduate students are married, FWIW. Especially the men, from my observation. A lot of schools even have special married graduate housing that they offer so that students who have moved onto the next stage of their life don't have to live around the undergrad party atmosphere.

    I'm not saying that I agree with getting married that young - I didn't even start dating my wife until we were 24 and we got married well into 28. But it's not inconceivable that being married, if that did happen, would actually focus his graduate work. No social pressure that can derail it can be an advantage.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    And lest I sound like a huge proponent of young love, let me make clear that as I peer into my children's future, among the possibilities of drugs, alcohol, extreme sports, and high school sweethearts, nothing scares me more than a high school sweetheart.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Tell him you'll pay for the weddding if both he and his fiancee graduate from school first.

    Then, just keep your fingers crossed that he meets someone else as they do the long distance thing for two years...
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