My 19 yr Old Son Wants To Transfer To A Different University..Because Of A Girl
Hi Annie, my 19 year old son is a college sophomore who goes to a state university about 2 hours from our home, he has always been a conscientious child, one that would always(since age 2 or 3) observe situations and then decide whether he would participate or not. A generally good student, graduated from a rigorous IB high school program last year, and typically has made good decisions in the past.
He went off to college last year, goofed off a bit too much during the first semester of freshman year and ended up on academic probation, was warned by the school that if he did not bring is GPA up to a 2.0 for the 2nd semester he would not be allowed to continue on as a student. This put the fear in him and he pulled himself together and ended up with a 2.5GPA for the semester.
Over this past summer he met a girl where he worked (in our town) who is 21, 2 years older, is not currently a student and has not gone to college in the past....OK so college is not for everyone, however, not my vision of the perfect girlfriend for my son ( I was picturing a great student, motivated and attending the same university)..but, I have worked through that.
This is his first girlfriend. The problem is that since he has returned to school for the fall semester this year, he has left school every Thursday evening after class to make the 2 hour drive back home...or should I say to the girlfriend's house. He does not have class on Friday or Monday (how convenient). He stays at the girlfriend's apartment until he leaves to go back to school on Tuesday morning ...for his 10:30 class. He is in and out of our home periodically while he is in town.
I am pretty upset that I have paid quite a bit of money for the apartment style dorm on campus that he spends only 2 nights in per week. I've mentioned this fact to him several times and he still comes home every week.
The issue that I am struggling with is that he has informed my husband and I that he wants to transfer to our local community college for the upcoming spring semester, get his GPA up so that he can transfer to the state university that is located in our town, about 20 minutes from our home. He was unable to transfer directly to the home town university because he needs a 3.0 GPA...which he doesn't have. In my conversations with him about this he says that the girlfriend has nothing to do with his decision to transfer, that he misses his guy friends that go the local university...which he hangs out with periodically....but not as much as before the girlfriend.
My husband and I said no, you need to stay where you are through the end of the spring and bring up your GPA at the current university then we can look into transferring. My husband and I believe that it is important to send the message that when things get tough you don't run away from them, you finish what you start. My son argues that he is going to finish...but just at a different school.....OK, true.
So we are worried about what kind of message we are sending him if allow him to transfer. He believes by going to the local community college it will be easier to bring up his GPA (smaller classes) so that he can transfer to the local university next fall. He says he is not happy were he is currently, that he is not happy with his 3 roommates, that they are into drinking (which is not his thing), that they've banged on his door at 3 in the morning (I guess that was one of the 2 nights that he was actually there :) asking him to come out and join them in their drinking festivities, etc.
I would have expected these problems last year, as a freshman not the 2nd year of college. Last year he came home about every 3 to 4 weeks and was very social and involved. The only thing that is different this fall is the girlfriend....which I have only met once...for 30 minutes....2 months ago.
So....with all that said, I am struggling with what is the right thing for my husband and I to do.....allow him to make the decision to transfer...he is 19 yrs old after all or force the issue to make him stay where he says he is not happy, that he is very stressed and worried about his ability to make the 3.0 where he is now. He even shed some tears about this two nights ago during our conversation about it....saying he can't do it. Meaning getting the 3.0 where he is. I feel strongly that he can...with some more effort and more time spent at school utilizing the resources available to him on campus.
Help Annie...I just want to guide my son in the right direction and I'm struggling with my boundaries as a parent.