DD refusing to return to uni(14 Posts)
DD is 20 (not a teenager I know, but this seemed the most appropriate place to post). In her second year and uni which is 3 hours away; should have gone back a few days ago but we'd been away (had a really good time) so she decided to stay home until today, but she didn't pack and announced this morning she's not going back.
She's sometimes not that happy at uni (but doesn't hate it by any means) - doesn't particularly get on with housemates (nothing nasty, just no shared interests); split up with her boyfriend of 2 years about 6 weeks ago (which is most likely the big issue); isn't that into her studies, but generally sees it as a means to an end ie getting a degree; has a few friends but seems to have lost touch with most whilst boyfriend was around.
DD is saying she's not going back. Says she's always unhappy, spoils everything for everyone, hates her life and other depressive talk but don't think she's depressed. We had a really fun shopping trip on Thursday.
I know she likes to be fairly organised and clear about what's happening in her life and with the boyfriend disappearing I know things are less sorted than they were a couple of months ago.
I'm not sure what to do. Thoughts anyone?
if you are happy that this is attention-seeking not depression then the answer is: 'fine, but you won't get another chance and you now need to start job hunting.'
uni is not fun all the time. Nor is life.
Can she transfer?
Imagine living with people you didn't like and felling alone/unhappy a lot of the time. She's an adult so she must feel pretty bad to be saying all that.
I think that all you can do is try to establish what she wants to happen now - change course, change uni, drop out and find a job?
It's miserable to return to work or education after the Christmas break, but if she is genuinely feeling that she's on the wrong path then it is worth looking at the options I think.
Can you talk to her along the lines of 'how does that work? / who do you need to talk to? / what will you do next? / what happens to the finances?'
In other words, remove all the emotion and talk about the practicalities. Neither you nor she know the absolute right answer, but it will help you both to arm yourselves with as many facts as possible.
She is an adult and is responsible for her own choices, but you can help her to see what they are.
the university will have a whole load of student support services / counsellors etc. you can look them up online and talk to them / encourage your DD to talk to them too. they will be able to suggest options, including possibly a year out with the option of coming back to the course later or changing to another course or maybe finding a different place to live.
If she doesn't want to go back she doesn't want to go back to uni. It's as simple as that.
She is 20 years, an adult.
Let her make her own decisions. Most import thing in life is that you're happy. She isn't at uni so where will she be happy?
Finishing uni doesn't mean you'll find a (good) job. There are many who finished university and are just working at some supermarket.
I'd ask her what she would like to do in life. Then support her all I can to make her feel happy again.
Never assume that someone isn't depressed and that it's just attention seeking. That's the most common mistake that people make that are close to someone who's depressed.
That lack of support will make the depression only worse until it gets out of hand. If you want to be sure if she's or isn't ill. Then make her go to a specialist who will have a proper look at her mental state.
Either you'll find out it was all an act. Or she'll get the proper medical help and support from you that she needs at this moment.
Don't think it's attention seeking. Ask yourself:
What if I'm wrong and she really is depressed?
should make it clear I am stressing that the OP needs to find out which it is!
if this was the first big relationship it will feel like the end of the world, especially if she made the classic mistake of friend-dumping. If this is all it is, then she needs to separate head and heart and complete her education.
I rather hope that it is just that.
On a practical note try and get her to contact the university and see if she can take a break from study for a year (a leave of absence). At least that way if she changes her mind she hasn't thrown away all the hard work so far.
She could also investigate transferring to a more local university or a different course or both.
She needs to email/phone her Personal Tutor - all of this stuff is exactly what they are there for. And if she won't do it, you do it.
Lots of students have emotional problems at Uni/feel miserable/get depressed. It really isnt that unusual. Unis are consequently well geared up to cope with it and have all support services needed to help her through all of this.
Dropping out doesn't help. The sense of failure will be devastating and ever-lasting. Keeping going and beating this will give her a much better feeling about herself.
Personal Tutor won't deal with anyone else but the student.
The university will ebe well used to handling wobbly students.
She needs to get in touch with them and start talking. She won't know what her options are until she talks.
Say to her that's fine, but she'll need to get a job and pay rent.
I'd encourage her to get help from the counselling and student support services as others have said. If that doesn't persuade her to change her mind then push for a year out - if she still doesn't want to go back in a year then nothing will have been lost by keeping the place. In the meantime she can have a complete change, maybe work, travel, get a different perspective. She would possibly get more out of her studies on return and you could offer to help her find a new flat or houseshare, or whatever else she needs to start feeling positive.
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