Help please! I have an 18 year old intelligent grandson (As and A*s and 2 Bs at GCSE) who dropped out of college before Christmas last year owing to (1) having chosen the wrong subjects and (2) suffering from anxiety. College was supportive and recommended he came back this September after sorting himself out. He returned as suggested but even tho he claims he is perfectly happy with his new subjects, he gets himself to college (eventually and often late) but most frequently does not go into class. College is becoming exasperated and threatening to ask him to leave as his attendance is "in the red". The work he does give in is marked as very good but he keeps saying he wants to leave because he knows he is messing every one around but he just can't face going in. The GP has suggested he is suffering from acute social anxiety and a level of OCD, so we have arranged for him to see a phsycologist but know that it won't a quick turn round and he is running out of time and rope. At his age if he drops out now we have no idea how he will get A levels in the education system. Suggestions and help urgently needed please!
Its easy to think they'll fail completely if they stop their education at this stage, but I do think its an important developmental time for them and if they can't deal with the pressure at this stage, maybe its time to stop and have a rethink. He could leave college now and take some time out - try to find a job (easier said than done I know) and just bide his time for a while - if he's done well at college so far, he could go back to his studies at any time, its much more flexible now than ever before. His MH has to be the top priority, try to talk to him about it and keep the lines of communication open.
It really pales into insignificance against his health issues. Colleges and universities take people of all ages to study for a levels and degrees. I would imagine the stress of feeling he has to do it now is probably not helping him to feel better. Why not put it all on hold for now?
I had terrible ibs as a teenager and dropped out of a scholarship at private school and missed 2 years. I then went tonnormal college as a 22 year old and did a levels gaining 3 a grades. I applied and got in to 7 different universities including ucl and kings college. In my case I declined the offers and decided not to go as my gran was ill with cancer and I chose to look after her instead but obviously it just shows the possibilities are there.
If he can manage to work part time now in any job he will also be more employable than a lot of the younger graduates than him!
OP Maybe there's a need for you to be less anxious about the need for him to get A levels now, as he must pick up on your anxiety. I know you're trying to help, but if he's ill, he's ill - that's what he needs support with at the moment. Plenty of people don't get their A levels in 6th form (including me). He can do them later, or something else - but he needs to be well first.
He needs to concentrate on getting better first and then he will be able to think clearly about what he wants to do. There are all sorts of options for getting A levels/and or other qualifications such as BTEch etc at college, evening school etc which will help him get to university when he is ready if that is what he wants to do.