Reply To: My 19 y/o son dropped out of college and now his only "goal" is to be waiter.

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September 17, 2019 at 10:59 am #852494

I am in the exact spot right now. My son just told me last night that he wants to withdraw. He attends a school about an hour away so I offered to go pick him up despite the late hour. I knew he’d been struggling with emotional issues since last year and he’s been seeing a therapist for the last 7 months. I suspect he’s depressed, definitely has anxiety and is most likely self medicating with pot, although he claims he hadn’t touched any for a while. He has a full ride scholarship which he would most likely lose. I believe his drug use started when he began working at a restaurant in the kitchen in his he year of high school. If anyone is familiar st all with Anthony Boursin then you know that restaurant kitchens are rife with drug use. I am angry that my fon allowed himself to fall prey to such stupid actions. Especially since I’ve raised my kids to be keenly aware of their genetic predisposition to addiction issues on both sides of the family tree. I never sugar coated and I modeled healthy attitudes toward alcohol and any kind of medication, OTC or prescribed. Anyhow, I totally get the original poster’s rant. I doubt and hope that she didn’t actually talk to her son like that. The sacrifices she made were considerable and came from a place of love. When love is betrayed anger is a powerful and instant reaction. What is anger if not fear expressed differently. She is scared for her son. I am scared for my son. Therapy for both her and him is a great start. I started seeing a therapist when my son first started going off the rails at the end of his freshman year. It has helped. I think his therapist has helped him avoid inflicting more damage to himself. If he does come home I will set up family counseling for us. I think we’ll need guidance for sure. Right now I’m balancing between being supportive and loving and avoiding being an enabler or a doormat or financing his foolish choices (like hanging around homeless drug addicts.) I had started the process of joking a support group for parents if addicted children but I never followed up by actually going. I will now if only to gain perspective from other parents who’ve been there it are also going tutu it. The original poster might want to consider the possibility of illegal drug use or an undiagnosed mental health issue. Both often manifest side by side. One last item, since this episode in our lives began I have become aware of SO many college age kids struggling to find their way. To this end I’ve been reading “The Stressed Years of Their Lives” which came out in April. The authors are both psych professionals with kids that also struggled. Statistics seem to indicate that these crises are becoming the norm. Maybe we need to rethink the whole college right after high school track. Maybe that model works for fewer people than ever before. Considering the cost with a relatively low guaranteed ROI, I wish we’d considered it sooner instead of being swept up in the whole perfect ACT score and subsequent scholarship offers. I hope these cautionary tales reach more parents and students before it’s too late. I don’t know what the answer is but if you at least know that a problem is more likely than college admissions staff would have you believe in college visits, maybe better supports could be prepared. Knowledge is power ,right?