Author Topic: Student Perplexed  (Read 14686 times)

student4life

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2015, 12:38:57 PM »
My first instinct was to dole out some serious face punches, but that's already been done. So I'm going to take a different approach and offer you up some advice from the perspective of a community college professor.

You are not the first college student to screw up or flunk out. It happens. That's not to say that it doesn't suck. It does. But I'm curious, do your parents have college degrees? There are a whole lot of people on this forum who have multiple college degrees (I'm one of them, obviously). It is hard for those of us who successfully earned college degrees (in some cases with minimal academic struggle) to understand what it's like to chase the dream of getting a college degree and to screw it up. So, I say again, you are not the first college student to flunk out. You can recover from this. But first, you need to decide if a college degree is something you really want. You will need to make some serious sacrifices if the answer is yes.

I'm going to assume the answer is yes and give advice accordingly. If the answer is no, then you can skip the rest of my response and go about your life.

Step 1: Accept that you are going to live at home for the next four months (the fall semester) and you are going to follow the household rules.
Step 2: Go to the local community college and meet with an academic advisor or a professor in the engineering department. This assumes you still want to get a degree in engineering. If you've changed your mind about your major, then meet with a professor for the major that you now want to pursue.
Step 3: Get enrolled in courses that will fulfill general education requirements for your chosen major. English, math, social sciences, etc. Take only the MINIMUM number of credits necessary to be a full time student. Assuming you have subsidized student loans, this will insure that they continue to be deferred and do not accrue any interest.
Step 4: Do not take out any additional student loans. Instead, pay the tuition and fees for the fall semester out of the $20k that you have.
Step 5: Research all of the available academic support options at the community college. Use them starting the first week of classes and use them consistently throughout the semester. Earn all As.
Step 6: Keep your $10 an hour job, but work NO MORE THAN 20 hours per week. Your primary focus is school. If at any point in time you risk not earning As in all of your classes, quit the job and put all of your energy into school. You have no real expenses (other than school) because you are living at home.

You have screwed up and your are drowning. You know how to swim, but you are temporarily paralyzed out of fear and uncertainty. Your parents have offered you a life preserver. Accept it. Yes, it turns out this life preserver comes with some strings attached. Don't ignore the life preserver because of those strings, without it, you're pretty fucked. So suck it up, accept that you need their help, thank them profusely for saving your, and follow their rules.

After one semester, you can reassess. If at the end of the semester you decide you'd like to go it alone, then move out and do just that.

Hope that helps!


Thank you for input and response, much appreciated. Only my mom has a degree and going back to school is definitely something I want to continue. At first I was against their restrictions/demands but now I do realize that I'm going to need their help to get through this situation.


I've gotta say I'm with the others. 

You've not only hidden important facts from your parents:  You've flat-out laid plans to deceive them.  You're living beyond your financial means because they are supporting you by allowing you to live at home.  You have been able to save 20K because they are feeding you dinner every night and providing you with a bed.  (By the way, you should send that to the student loan people right away and pay down your debt.)   You owe your parents more respect.  What you're describing are the actions of a child, and you are no longer a child.  It's time to clean up your act. 

You seem capable.  Get yourself back in school -- with a college expulsion, community college is probably the only option open to you.  Go.  Choose a major that will lead to a good job.  Work hard.  Don't hide anything from your parents; if you're not willing to tell what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it.

I am back in school at a cc and doing much better. I really like your last point about if I'm not willing to tell what I'm doing, then I shouldn't be doing it. Thanks.


You came to the wrong forum if you are looking for people to say "yeah, sure, it is fine to lie to your parents and mooch off them while you party it up and spend all your money on toys and booze."

But, since you said you are looking for advice (note the noun is spelled with a "c", advise with an "s" is the verb), here is my two cents.

You need to think  more deeply about a few fundamental questions.  This isn't about who is right or wrong -- though in my opinion your parents are totally justified in both their feelings and their actions.  The situation is what it is and now you both have to deal with is.  So here are some things to ask yourself, with an eye toward resolving the situation and moving forward with your life, since wallowing in self-pity isn't going to get you anywhere:

1)  Are you capable of supporting yourself on a $10 an hour job?  If not, are you able to get a job that will enable you to support yourself?  If the answer to either of these is no, then you pretty much need to suck it up and continue to live with your parents.  Their house, their rules.  You would have to follow rules if you rented a room from somebody, too.  If you want to live without rules, go try living in an squat full of anarchists for awhile and see how you like it.  Will be at least as educational as the college classes you failed.

2)  Do you want to maintain a relationship with your parents?  If you are going to continue living in their house, then you pretty much have no choice.  If you decide to move out, you have a bit more control.  The thing to realize is that relationships, especially adult relationships, all require some give and take.  You aren't a toddler or a teenager anymore.  Your parents are not obligated to support you.  You need to lose the sense of entitlement if you are going to have any kind of meaningful relationship with them. 

3)  How can I distinguish needs from wants?  This is a VERY important question to ask and skill to learn if you want to be successful.  The whole phone thing is a sign that you have not developed this skill.  Nobody NEEDS three smartphones.  Especially when they have 40k in student loan debt. 

That's probably enough self-reflection to start with.  Good luck to you, and your parents.  I hope you can find a way to mend the relationship with them and find your way to a successful, financially independent adult status soon.

Thank you for the questions for me to think about, definitely some things to be given deep thought.


I have one other bit of advice. While you are still living with your parents, under their rules, create a fake budget for yourself. Do the actual research to find a local apartment or living situation and find out the cost of rent plus utilities. Add in your phone bill. Add in any transportation costs you would have to school/your job. Add in food, and health insurance. Add in the monthly student loan payment. Then - while still living at home for the safety net - spend the next semester living within that budget. Make a deposit in your bank account monthly that covers all those expenses.

At the end of that, if you find you do have the discipline to budget your money, it doesn't mean you HAVE to move out, but it means you'll be in a better position to decide if it's even an option for you.

Thanks for the great idea to see how living on my own would fair out. A good reality check for me to see how difficult it would be for me to support myself with a $10/hr job.


....

Accountability in general sounds like what you need right now. You need to realize that you are an adult, and you and only you are solely responsible for the actions you take in your life. Stop seeing things as you vs your dad and start seeing this as future you vs past you. Past you made some very bad choices and is giving future you a harder life. How can present-time you help out future you?

Good point on how my past self can affect my future self. I realize and understand that I am the one who has to take responsibility of my actions.


Why on EARTH would you go to ASU for engineering when you would have been in-state for OSU? Honestly, that alone is a very poor choice.

And then following it up with lies and a spoiled attitude? Ridiculous, why are you even on the forum if you're only upset you got caught? I sure as hell hope this is someone trolling.

I didn't get accepted at OSU.

This should have been a sign that you would find it tough the first couple of years....

Realize that your Dad, when told about the expulsion, had to suddenly realize two things...1, that maybe OSU was right and you/ he threw good money away, and that you were in trouble for two years and 2. he could have really helped you, (advice, refocus, new school, support, been on your side, whatever) but you wouldn't let him.  Instead the lying was the worst thing about this post.

I suggest that you make a weekly meeting with you parents, over lunch, to just start talking about what you want to do, what you did that week, ask for their input, discuss school or work or whatever.  As an adult, the nice thing is that it is OK to listen, but not DO things you disagree with. 

Also, realize that unless all the loans are in your name, you are spending your Dad's money.  I would never spend $500 without talking to my DH and that is MY money.

So, some inspiration..

If you can mend your relationship and get on top of financial expenses,


My DH was kicked out of engineering after second year too.  (Grade probation). He spent a year living with parents making up classes at local college, and did very well.  But engineering was going to still be a struggle, so he chose not to go back when reaccepted, but took a 2 year programming tech diploma.  Yes, he only made $30k for first two years, but with his skills and ability ( the ones that a test doesn't measure, like honesty and people skills and keeping solutions simple), he ended up as a software architect for a small company making $100 k within 5yrs.

Today, you may need a full degree, but the college level STEM degree does not hold you back from getting to the top.

But stop hiding and lying...you will go nowhere if you can't transform the way you treat others.  Start by practicing on your parents.

I really think it's a good idea to have a weekly meeting with my parents to just discuss what's going on and how things are going. Glad to hear that even though with my expulsion, I can still become successful in life.

student4life

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2015, 12:59:41 PM »
A first step would be to start wiring your brain towards adult thinking. You are definitely still in the 12 y.o. way of thinking through your problems. Adults (except criminals and sociopaths) think differently. Here are some ways you can practice adult thinking:

1. Life: It isn't ABOUT you. That's why everyone here is just as pissed at you as your parents. You don't live in a vaccuum. That student loan that you aren't even planning on paying back will eventually become OUR problem.

2. Never burn your bridges. I'm sure you cried and pulled at the heartstrings of Dad to get him to bring you back home. Dad and mom love you and would never truly allow you to be without a safety net and you knew that. This is childish manipulation and if you keep using this tactic you will burn a lot of bridges in your life. The "future you" will be very surprised at how many times you will need a bridge.

3. Accountability: Load your bank account to mint and allow your parents to have "view access". It will help you think about any monies you spend because you will be judged. Let them judge you.

4. Do adult. Look out the window. Is the grass long? Cut it. From here on out don't wait for someone to tell you what you have to do next. Welcome to adulting.

Every one of us here has had to dig in our heels and grow up. If you stick around you'll see many of us have made some tremendous mistakes that we are still paying for. You have the benefit of only being 20 and making some ridiculous decisions that you can EASILY turn around.

Don't allow this last year to define who you are.  Now surprise us and keep us updated.

Definitely will keep you guys updated. A lot of your points hit a nerve and are good things to think about and start doing.


As mentioned the lying was the worst part.
Confessions made, move on, don't lie again.

Also, congrats on the 20K!
I am shocked and you must be doing something right to have saved that.
Now ask your parents for their advise on what to do with the money & quit buying crap.

Your parents do seam a bit controlling but you haven't done anything to earn their trust or independence. Have a talk with them about that.

When I was an adult and living at home for a while my mom didn't care when I went out or came back as long as I woke her up when I arrived so she would know I was safe. I also got free access to her car. Always leave it over 1/2 full and full is best. Her windshield had a few rock chips and I got those fixes as a surprise & thanks. Have you been using it for months? Time for an oil change. Offer to pay the extra insurance it costs by having an irresponsible 20 something male on the car. Do you even know what that costs?

They may not want you to pay anything. But you should at least have a good idea what things cost and offer to pay.

As an adult living for free at home what are you doing to be a good "roomate"? I sure hope you never leave a dirty dish in the sink. Who does the laundry? When did you last vacuum or scrub the tub/toilet? I assume your parents pay for groceries, ok, but do you offer to pick things up as needed? Who cooks? With roomates if one cooks often the other does all the dishes. When was the last time you put your muscle into a house project, painted fence, repaired something, helped with a DIY Reno?
You are an adult now and these are all things adults & home owners need to do. As a potential future engineer if you don't have a knack for fixing, building and creating even at the house level you might want to reconsider.

Engineering is a tough path and I wouldn't go back unless you are sure. I know some who flunked then returned to finish top 10% once more mature so it's possible. A Community college prof. above had some good tips I won't repeat.

Best of luck and keep working at making yourself a better person.

I appreciate your advice. As mentioned in a recent post, I am definitely going to show more appreciation by doing more around the house to help out.



I SINCERELY really want to thank all of you for your time and thoughtful responses. I have realized my mistake and my main problem of lying. I am going to try really hard to be honest and open with my parents and work hard at becoming independent. I won't be able to respond till this evening due to work. Truly a facepunch.

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3717
  • Location: Texas
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2015, 09:33:30 PM »
What precisely were your classes, and grades in each? Include all of your Engineering attempt, and your community college redemption.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2015, 10:59:14 PM »
Thus far everyone has been focused on you, but frankly your parents need some face punches as well.  Many kids aren't motivated simply by saying "go read MMM or Bogleheads".  In your case, a kick in the butt is needed to learn some adult responsibility. 

I wouldn't put it past the OP to paint his parents in a more negative light than what really happened. OP has already deceived his/her parents. And it seems to me the OP wanted a bit of sympathy here


OP I honestly thought wtf are you doing while reading your post. Grow up. Take responsibility for your actions.

The suggestion of joining the military seems pretty good to me. You really need to get some discipline.

What makes you think that your parents are "lower-middle class"? If your dad has "always" been an advocate of financial independence, your parents might well be multimillionaires. I'm guessing you say they are "lower-middle class" because they don't visibly waste money on excessive consumer products. You should probably re-evaluate what "class" means to you.

+1

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4078
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2015, 11:32:23 PM »
There's a sense of deja vu here. Oh, right, it was that 30 yo guy living with his parents in Japan. Similar story, similar setup, even the responses are similar.

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4227
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2015, 01:57:04 AM »
The suggestion of joining the military seems pretty good to me. You really need to get some discipline.

Please stop recommending the military. I'm asking in a most sincere way, without any snark, because each mention of the military helping the OP out is misleading. The military is in a drawdown. The Army alone is dumping 15,000 soldiers in FY15, and 25,000 by 2020. The Marines are separating 5000 per year. It's going to be increasingly difficult to enlist.

The OP has already been expelled from a school, and he struggles with honesty. He will not be accepted. Besides, there are lots of other programs that build discipline and maturity. Outward Bound, Americorps, Peace Corps, and such like. It would be better for all involved to push him towards one of those.

I'll step off my soapbox now. I get riled when pop culture decides the armed services are a panacea.   

libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1372
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #56 on: August 30, 2015, 04:34:58 AM »
The suggestion of joining the military seems pretty good to me. You really need to get some discipline.

Please stop recommending the military. I'm asking in a most sincere way, without any snark, because each mention of the military helping the OP out is misleading. The military is in a drawdown. The Army alone is dumping 15,000 soldiers in FY15, and 25,000 by 2020. The Marines are separating 5000 per year. It's going to be increasingly difficult to enlist.

The OP has already been expelled from a school, and he struggles with honesty. He will not be accepted. Besides, there are lots of other programs that build discipline and maturity. Outward Bound, Americorps, Peace Corps, and such like. It would be better for all involved to push him towards one of those.

I'll step off my soapbox now. I get riled when pop culture decides the armed services are a panacea.   

A couple of points.  The military is doing a SMALL draw down.  The military will still be hiring hiring hundreds of thousands of people every year.  If this guy went to State U, even if he failed at it, he's probably got better academic credentials than a lot of the guys in the military.   They aren't going to know if he is "honest" or not.  I suspect it would not be all that hard to get it.

If you go military, I recommend joining the Navy.  Minimal chance of getting blown up there- you'll just float around on a massive war ship, with little chance of engaging in combat (the Navy hasn't been heavily engaged since World War 2).

Also, last I checked, "Outward Bound" and the like don't give you a chance to go to college nearly free while earning a full salary and benefits, as you can do in the military (tuition assistance program, to say nothing of the GI Bill and all the other education programs the military offers).

So the military can be a good option.  It's up to the individual to decide.


Ozapftis

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #57 on: August 30, 2015, 06:14:05 AM »
I also have to add that 20 k in  savings, some of it are the student loan that I didn't spend.  My total earned money from hard work is 14k.  My parents provided me with a cheap nokia 521 window smart phone that cost $50 but it didn't do as much as the sony xperia.  My dad told me that I only need a phone that I can use for calling and email.

I just highlighted that. Although it's just one sentence, it's symptomatic of what you've written so far.

I think your problems are deeply rooted. Your whole value and belief system needs an overhaul.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2015, 07:22:34 AM »
I need to know more about this Japanese guy.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8925
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #59 on: August 30, 2015, 08:52:07 AM »
I need to know more about this Japanese guy.

I think everyone pretty much decided he was a troll. 30, never had a job or relationship, was pretty hateful about the success of others and women in particular. Mooched of his widowed mom and resented her for it, etc. Pretty depressing thread all around, if I find it I'll like it.

Jakejake

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
  • FIRE: June 17, 2016
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #60 on: August 30, 2015, 10:38:13 AM »
Also, last I checked, "Outward Bound" and the like don't give you a chance to go to college nearly free while earning a full salary and benefits, as you can do in the military (tuition assistance program, to say nothing of the GI Bill and all the other education programs the military offers).
Couple things to point out about the GI Bill.

* You need to pay into the program ($100 per month when I was in) in order to use it; it's not free.

* About 30% of the people who pay in never use their benefits. I was one of those. I separated from service a whopping two months early, which made me ineligible to use the benefits - or get a refund of what I paid in. This didn't, however, prevent the military from calling me back up for several years of reserve duty afterward. I got screwed on that - my "benefit" consisted of paying a few thousand to fund some other person's college instead of my own.

* Of the remaining 70% who do use the benefits, on average they end up using less than half of the benefits they earned.

A recruiter won't tell you that. They will say "You'll earn XXX amount of tuition money." They won't add "The program will cost you $1200 per year and odds are, you will actually use less than 33 of every dollar we promise you."

Reasons for that range from getting injured & discharged early, and as a result being ineligible for benefits; having PTSD issues that prevent you from being able to handle college, having to work full time to support yourself and not being able to handle that and college simultaneously, general nonambition (which might apply here), etc.


MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #61 on: September 17, 2015, 06:48:18 PM »
As a college student, I'm going to respectively disagree with the majority of people here. While some decisions weren't the best in your past, that doesn't mean you should up and leave for the military without knowing what you're getting yourself into. I'd recommend working full/part time and going to school. Be frugal along the way. I think there is a stigma here that living at home is "leeching" and "immature". I tend to disagree. In many other cultures, particularly Italian and Japanese cultures it is customary to live with family until you are either a) married or b) in a strong financial situation. Work hard, go back to school, and thank your parents for their support.

CS
Yes, if the OP was actively making progress towards his degree, I don't think he'd be getting so much flack about taking advantage of his parents. 

I didn't notice the OP's screen name 'til now.  Student4Life.  Is this the plan? 
I also have to add that 20 k in  savings, some of it are the student loan that I didn't spend.  My total earned money from hard work is 14k.  My parents provided me with a cheap nokia 521 window smart phone that cost $50 but it didn't do as much as the sony xperia.  My dad told me that I only need a phone that I can use for calling and email.
Wait, wait -- you took the loan money but didn't need it?  Now you're going to have to pay interest on that money, and it's just sitting in your account?  This makes no sense!  Pay it back to the loan people! 

What do you NEED a phone to do?  Note that I'm not asking what you WANT a phone to do -- what are your actual NEEDS? 
I am here to see if I can get advice regardless of the harsh replies.  I need a unbiased opinion.  I am just very confused.  I feel like my parents are unreasonable.
You've received advice, and it's almost all the same. 
What action do you intend to take? 

No, your parents aren't unreasonable:  They expect you to be truthful with them and to work towards a degree.  What part do you think is unreasonable? 
Step 1: Accept that you are going to live at home for the next four months (the fall semester) and you are going to follow the household rules.
Step 2: Go to the local community college and meet with an academic advisor or a professor in the engineering department. This assumes you still want to get a degree in engineering. If you've changed your mind about your major, then meet with a professor for the major that you now want to pursue.
Step 3: Get enrolled in courses that will fulfill general education requirements for your chosen major. English, math, social sciences, etc. Take only the MINIMUM number of credits necessary to be a full time student. Assuming you have subsidized student loans, this will insure that they continue to be deferred and do not accrue any interest.
Step 4: Do not take out any additional student loans. Instead, pay the tuition and fees for the fall semester out of the $20k that you have.
Step 5: Research all of the available academic support options at the community college. Use them starting the first week of classes and use them consistently throughout the semester. Earn all As.
Step 6: Keep your $10 an hour job, but work NO MORE THAN 20 hours per week. Your primary focus is school. If at any point in time you risk not earning As in all of your classes, quit the job and put all of your energy into school. You have no real expenses (other than school) because you are living at home.
Excellent advice.  I'd only change one detail:  You have 20K in the bank; spend half of it now towards loan repayment.  The remaining half will be enough to pay your community college expenses.  As you work, you'll build this amount back up.  Do not splurge on phones or anything else.  It's time to knuckle down and work -- it is not time to reward yourself. 
What makes you think that your parents are "lower-middle class"? If your dad has "always" been an advocate of financial independence, your parents might well be multimillionaires. I'm guessing you say they are "lower-middle class" because they don't visibly waste money on excessive consumer products. You should probably re-evaluate what "class" means to you.
Yeah, lots of people -- even adults -- seem to think that a person's level of consumption is an indication of how much he earns, and for quite a few people, that's true.  However, if the OP's dad is pushing him to read financial information, I do suspect Dad's frugal.  Perhaps a millionaire next door type.

thd7t

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1315
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #62 on: September 18, 2015, 10:08:23 AM »
You say that you have $20k in savings, but a lot of it is loan money.  You should pay that back.  You should start to focus on this, because you are easily distracted.  You've demonstrated that by thinking you need three $500 phones and purchasing a laptop with borrowed money.

You have a job making $10/hour.  Are you saving money from this?  You are currently in CC, so you might not be.  For the time being, it's fine for you to be earning a low wage, but you have to focus on finishing your CC course, if you're serious about it.  Think about this.  Are you serious about it? 

Your parents are worried about you.  I'm sure that they wouldn't have been happy about your poor performance in college, but finding out about lying as well as poor performance is worse.  You should consider their feelings, because they are supporting you.  You've entered adulthood and it's time to be grateful. 

You are not in an impossible situation.  However, you need to be honest with yourself.  How would you feel if you had a boyfriend/girlfriend who was lying to you and throwing money away?  It is hurtful behavior.

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 713
Re: Student Perplexed
« Reply #63 on: September 18, 2015, 10:54:01 AM »
You say that you have $20k in savings, but a lot of it is loan money.  You should pay that back.

This is an easy win that you can achieve today!