Yeesh. Is going away to college really this way?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. I can't stop Jumper from going away to school, but her experience this weekend was kind of a jolt to my sensitive nervous system.



    Jumper and three school friends drove to Oshkosh Wisconsin to visit a college friend who played basketball with Jumper. It was for her birthday. She lives in a dorm. I was a little nevous, but the kids she was going with are such straight arrow kids I figured, it made no sense to stop her. The girl she was going to visit is also a straight walker, even though she's in college. Jumper texted me often and they went out to eat at Red Robin one day and then had a talk session, but went to bed early then they went to a mall in Appleton the next day then s he came home. Jumper came in looking normal and when I asked if she saw any drug use or drinking, etc. she said, "Oh, yeah, but we stayed away." Then she said something that gave me the creeps, especially since I read about a lot of kids who start drug use in college.

    She told me Oshkosh was boring and that if you don't like to party there is absolutely nothing to do. I asked her wh at K. did and she just said, "Oh, there are a few kids who hang out together and don't party, but there were kids going out in an ice storm just to walk to some party." She said K. was in the minority. She said she had no interest in going to college there.

    At least the LaCrosse dorm in the tech school has supervision and rules!!!!

    Jumper has always been trusthworthy, but hearing this stuff scares me. I have to let her go, but it still scares me, even though Jumper is pretty scornful of people who drink or smoke pot, and that's pretty tame. She knows people who does it, but thinks it's "dumb." She does seem attracted to the kids who don't party and don't do anything. She never goes to parties at all.

    Of course I still have PTSD from Julie :) But Julie didn't have to go to college to use drugs. But college seems just one partyfest where there is no adult to answer to and a lot of irresponsible teens getting into trouble.

    Howeever, I do know not all kids get into trouble. I have twin nieces who have been at a school in Iowa for almost four years already and they have never been in any trouble and are mostly just getting really good grades an d studying hard.

    Thanks God Jumper has no interest in a sorority. Not only do I personally find the exclusionism offensive, but I do know there is a lot of drinking and unprotected sex going on in the house they YOU have to pay a ton for your daughter to live in.

    I am not really THAT worried about Jumper. She doesn't have that wild, rebellious personality. But it does sort of give me the creeps. Makes me wish she'd go to STevens Point, if she could get in, and live at home...lol. The first thing she said when she got home was, "I'll be terrible when I go away. I'll miss you all so badly." So I guess for now it's a good thing :) :sochildish:
     
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It is what it is, MWM. The scary part is that you have no control and have to trust your kid to make healthy choices. It can be stressful for parents but it is part of "growing up". Hugs DDD
     
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hear you MWM, my 17 year old granddaughter is now in that zone. The school she wants to go to has a coastal campus, the housing she wants to live in is right on the ocean. Just last night at dinner she was telling us how this was the last year students at this particular school did this kind of ocean ritual event, because so many students got hammered they stopped it. Later last night, I said to my SO, "I hope by next year when she's 18 I am more used to her independence", because I started feeling that familiar tug of having to let go.............and at the same time, as DDD said, we have to let go and trust them to make healthy choices. Sigh. It is what it is......parenting can really be a heart stopper sometimes, can't it?
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes. And I'm almost sixty. What was I thinking adopting a child at 43??????

    Well, I wouldn't trade her, and I basically think she is level-headed, but yeesh...most people are done parenting by my age. I should be just free as a bird, able to do what I like, no worries :) (tongue in cheek...as if we ever stop worrying)!
     
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I would worry more if Jumper hadn't already demonstrated how level headed she is. I'm one of those people who is hard wired to worry about those I love.
    I would worry less about Jumper's decision making abilities or peer pressure susceptibility. If she is involved with team sports in college, she will be very busy, very content, and won't even be affected by the party culture. I remember when easy child was freshman in college and was hanging out with a girl who was really nice, but who binge drank every weekend. easy child drank moderately, the usual college stuff, but stopped hanging out with that girl because she was always on the floor, or puking, blind drunk and easy child was always playing nursemaid to her. Jumper is smart enough to not even get herself in that position. She clearly has a very strong sense of herself and doesn't cave. Just make sure you tell her (if you haven't already) to never leave her glass of soda, or anything unattended in a room full of college kids. If she does, and forgets, tell her to get a new glass. People put stuff in unsuspecting kids' drinks, even if they're just drinking soda.
    Jumper is a great kid - enjoy every moment!
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Jane. You know, I've already told her that even in high school sometimes sick people put stuff in your drinks, even just plain soda. But it probably bears a reminder...over and over again.

    Jumper isn't attracted to drama or partying, but she can only play one sport in college. I'm just crossing my fingers that her common sense stays with her in college. She already has a lot of "friends" who are doing things like using pot and having sex and one is pregnant and she won't desert her "friends" but none of them are her choice as to who to hang out with. Right now I trust her implicitly.

    I hope she remains like s he is while at college. If she goes to LaCrosse Tech, which is MY first choice for her and a school she did like, the dorms are supervised and there are less kids and I think she'll be fine. There are two big colleges right down the road, the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse and some Catholic school. But I know Jumper and, aside from visiting friends who already go to those colleges, she will probably get very into the college she is at. Because of her Learning Disability (LD)'s I much prefer she start out at a GOOD tech school and transfer to a four year college when the time comes. She will do much better academically if she goes slower and I don't care if it takes her six years to become a social worker. I just want her to attain her dream and not mess up and start to party badly in college.
     
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I think it is - and always has been. Thing is, at least there I live, could of course be different in NA but i doubt it, statistically going to college is the best way to prevent future substance abuse issues. And also in my own experience while kids party a lot while in college or university, most do calm down after it and those years are mostly just nice memories.

    And when I said that it has always been that, I kind of believe that. I have had an opportunity to read some letters my great(add few greats)granddad wrote during his university years closer to 200 years ago. Letters to his brother tell quite a story of drinking, partying and who**houses. And true to the generations before and after him, letters to his mom tell quite a different story ;) Of course we can assume he was a difficult child, after all, he is my ancestor and he ended up dying for neurosyphilis in the end (really horrible way to die by the way), but that was so much later he most likely caught syphilis years and years after his university days. And what I know about history, he certainly wasn't only university kid engaging drinking, partying and unprotected sex in those times.
     
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Having grown up in a college town, I can tell you that partying is pervasive in most colleges. It always has been though. Social media has had a HUGE effect on paryting during college. Parties can get out of hand far faster because someone has posted it on facebook or tweeted about it. More people are posting party photos than ever before so more people are seeing the partying way too up close and personal. The party lifestyle has been thrust into people's faces via social media so more kids than ever think that it is normal and everyone does it.

    Of course few people post about how awful they feel, or the bad trip they had on whatever drug, and they make it all look like the most fun ever. They don' tweet about the hours spent on a project or paper or studying. It gives a very unrealistic view of college life and it is a very seductive. It very much seems like EVERYONE does it and those who don't are not just boring or bookworms, but are very very abnormal. We know it isn't true, and that lots of kids don't party all the time and do work hard in school and at jobs so they cannot party all the time like facebook shows.

    You have to talk about this iwth Jumper. And about how social media gives very wrong impressions that other people all have perfect lives and no problems ever. She needs to really think before she posts anything because no matter how invincible she thinks she is, what she posts is out there forever. So many kids are incredibly shocked to be turned down for jobs they are qualified for because they have posted about parties, drugs, promiscuity etc... and companies are doing social media searches before hiring. Many companies have morals clauses and will fire you for certain things that you might post online, so the social media problems do NOT end after you are hired. They NEVER end.

    Creative kids with interesting minds like Jumper can always find something to do and iwth some coaching can find things that are not wild partying/substance using. It is one of the gifts that a good mind gives you. Talk with her regularly and trust her. She will make mistakes,and will triumph over them.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sus, thanks a lot.

    Jumper is really a very conventional kid who doesn't give into peer pressure. She reminds me of myself a lot, because, although I had mental health issues, I was way too logical and cautious to take drugs, even when all my friends were doing that. Ditto for drinking. And she did say there are groups that simply shun that and hang out together. If she goes to the tech school, there is far less partying there because the dorms are supervised and dope/stumbling in drunk equals getting tossed out of the dorm. Of course, with U. of W. so near there are opportunities too, but Jumper has never been a risk taker and has always had confidence and strong goals. Does this guarantee anything? Of course not. But it's better odds than if Julie would have gone away to college. Honestly, she probably would have died with all the drugs and alcohol around. She was wild enough here at home when we tried to watch her and curtail her a little bit. Julie wanted people to like her and this was one way to get the "bad" kids to like her. With jumper, people just like her. She doesn't have to do anything to get approval. I hope she stays in touch with her friends from high school in college. Many are going to one of the three schools in LaCrosse. We're not too far from there, but far enough that one can say, "I'm away from home."

    Sus, I'd love to live in a college town! We're thinking of moving close to Stevens Point, which is about a half hour from us now and is very unique due to all the college stuff there. In spite of the drugs, which you can find everywhere, we like young people (helps us stay young) and there are so many interesting things to do in Stevens Point for a relatively small town.
     
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    MWM - I think it's universal. Was certainly that way 30 years ago when I went to college. I expect it's still that way now (though I shudder over the whole internet thing, and thank my lucky stars that my antics couldn't be posted for the whole world to see).

    I was talking to Diva today, and she was telling me that today they were discussing some party that happened over spring break and how the kids apparently just got trashed (Diva did not attend the party). The teacher said something along the lines of you only get X number of drinks in a lifetime before you're an alcoholic and it's a shame to use them all up freshman year of HS (don't ask - theology teacher, of all things, but she's actually been a real blessing for Diva, though she's obviously a tad unorthodox, LOL). Diva made the comment that she's never going to drink and the teacher asked if she was going to smoke weed - Diva said absolutely not.

    I think we can only teach our kids well and then we have to trust. But I *totally* hear you about the worry. Weeburt is heading off this fall to college and while he's been about as easy child as a kid can be, I do worry that he's going to just cut lose and start doing really stupid things at college. Not that I *really* think he will, because he's a really good kid and has no patience for drugs/alcohol, etc, but.... at the same time.... you never know. I was always a pretty good kid, but I did do some really stupid stuff. I guess at the end of the day I hope that they will escape unscathed, make minimally bone-headed moves, and keep their eye on the ball. Rationally, I suspect Jumper and Weeburt and Diva will all be okay, but I sure am right there with you, worrying.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Makes me wonder then why parents send their kids away to college. That's not the sort of education I want for Jumper, even if she doesn't participate in it. I'm surprised more parents wouldn't rather pay for their kids to go to the local colleges. If you are always high or drunk, how can you make the grades? They used to, back in the dinosaur ages, have dorm moms and rules and boys and girls didn't even share dorms. I don't like this new "anything ya wanna do" bit. I never did get used to the concept. Hear of too many kids get screwed up in college that did not seem to be going in that direction when they were at home.

    Never had this experience. Sportsfan dropped out of college (where he lived at home) due to mental health issues. Julie went back to school at 25 and lived in her house. Sonic isn't interested in college.
     
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's a matter of control. You either pass it on or your hold on. been there done that. It's stressful but part of life. Hugs DDD
     
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