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What To Do If Your College Freshman Wants To Quit School

Kim Muench September 2023

Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader

“My freshman-in-college son wants to quit school and come home to work for a year.”

“I don’t know if I should let him or if I should make him stay. I think he is intellectually capable of the work but is really disliking the dorm life and hasn’t made many friends yet. Can you give me some direction?”

Recently one of my clients posed this question to me. I know she’s not alone; so I thought what better than to share my response to her with our Kuel Life Community?

Discomfort And Isolation In College:

Understanding and open communication are key when dealing with your son’s feelings of discomfort and isolation in college. These feelings are valid and should not be dismissed lightly. However, it’s equally important to consider the long-term implications of his decision to leave school. 

“These feelings are valid and should not be dismissed lightly.”

Begin by discussing the reasons behind his decision. Is it solely due to social issues, or is he also struggling academically? If social issues are the root cause, encourage him to join clubs or societies where he can meet like-minded individuals. This could potentially alleviate his feelings of isolation. On the other hand, if he’s struggling academically, suggest he take advantage of the academic support resources available on campus. These resources can help him improve his academic performance and overall college experience.

Next, consider the potential benefits of taking a gap year. If your son is genuinely interested in working, a gap year could provide him with valuable real-world experience. This experience could give him a clearer direction for his future career. However, it’s important to ensure that he understands the potential challenges of re-entering academia after taking a break. 

Financial Implications Of Quitting School:

Discuss the financial implications of his decision as well. If he’s reliant on scholarships or financial aid, leaving school might affect these. He needs to be aware of the potential financial consequences of his decision.

“Remember, this decision should ultimately be his.”

Remember, this decision should ultimately be his. Your role as a parent is to guide and support him, providing him with the necessary information to make an informed choice. It’s important to approach this situation with empathy and understanding, but also with a clear view of the potential consequences. This will help him make the best decision for his future. 

Dealing with your son’s feelings of discomfort and isolation in college requires a balanced approach. Understanding his feelings, discussing the reasons behind his decision to quit school, considering the benefits of a gap year, and discussing the financial implications are all crucial steps. Your role is to guide and support him, ensuring he makes an informed decision that is, as far as he can see at the moment, best for his future.

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Kim Muench Becoming Me

About the Author:

Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment. 

You can find out more about her mission and services at www.reallifeparentguide.com. She is on Facebook at Real Life Parent Guide, Instagram, and on LinkedIn as well.