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my 18yo son failed 2 courses in first year university

(8 Posts)
stressedtothemax1 Wed 31-Dec-14 05:11:29

hello - this is my first time on your forum - i am from canada however while looking for answers stumbled across this site... my son has failed 2 courses in his first year of university - he is away from home for the first time and although i know it is salvageable - i am so worried that he will not put forth the effort and work required to do so... i am trying desperately not to over react as i don't want him to get down on himself - but i am not sure if he understands the seriousness of the situation - at the start of the semester he was doing well -calling and texting home his success and about 5weeks into the semester - when i would ask if he received any results he would say no, not yet etc. he admitted to me last week that he just stopped doing the work and thought he would be able to salvage his grades with the exams - he is able to retake one of the courses this coming semester and he has already registered for that - but i guess what i am looking for is advise/and or suggestions on how to get him to stay organized and focused so that he will be successful this coming semester so that he can remain in school for next year...he says he wants to remain in school but perhaps in a different program

wundawoman Wed 31-Dec-14 05:22:56

Sorry to hear this - it is very stressful when our kids struggle at school/college/uni. However I think you have several options....

Firstly, your son may just have had the wake up call he needs - he failed 2 subjects that he can retake and maybe he will learn from that. Speak to the coordinator about your son's options.

Is your son studying the right course? Many first year students swap courses and find something more suitable for them. It is sometimes hard for young people to decide the correct course straight out of school.

Maybe he could take a gap year? And then reassess the situation after 6 months? There could be options of internships/training on the job? Or maybe he will decide on returning to university after a break..

Try and take a step back from the situation and discuss options with your son. What does he want to do?

Higheredserf Wed 31-Dec-14 14:02:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Wed 31-Dec-14 14:11:39

Is it like the American system where they can just up and change major any time in 1st 2 yrs?
In which case he needs to talk to the careers advice people at his Uni. For instance if he was trying to go pre-med he could downshift to simple biology or chemistry. If he's struggling with biology he could switch to something like geography with a bio minor, or he could switch from math to engineering, etc.

I didn't fail but I did have a year away from Uni (called a gap year in Uk) between 1st & 2nd yr coz I couldn't figure out what to major in. Was great, boosted my confidence. I worked as a temp in all sorts of environments to get a much better feel for what working life could be like.

stressedtothemax1 Wed 31-Dec-14 14:41:52

thank you for your responses - he will finish the course he is in this year however he needs to do the work the get the desired marks so that he can return to school next september... he is currently in business economics ( he is not really enjoying the course - he says he finds it boring)
i hope you are right wundawoman and this was the wake up call he needed...

Sammy3 Wed 31-Dec-14 15:03:25

If he's really not enjoying the course, it might be best if he switches majors as others have said. I'm guessing he's on a 4 year course as you're in North America so it would be awful to have to struggle on for 3 more years. I did that & regret it. I should have switched but thought it might mean 1 more (expensive) year at uni, as I was in the US then. I did get my degree but it was when the economy failed in the early 90s so didn't get a job in my field. I eventually wound up in an unrelated career so, if I could go backing time, I'd change major to something I actually enjoyed since doing it with the aim of an almost assured career path was a flawed idea.

stressedtothemax1 Wed 31-Dec-14 15:45:34

thank you sammy3 yes he is currently in a 4year honours program.. he will meet with an academic advisor next week to review his options for next year - he will have to stay in his current courses this year (to make up the 2 courses he failed) he is a good kid, however part of me feels that his introverted personality has contributed as well - he would not seek out help when he needed it - the school offers many programs through peer study groups, tutors, academic counseling etc but he did not engage in any of those options - when i asked him why he simply responds " i don't know" i feel like i am walking a fine line of trying to help him and possibly disengaging him further... my husband keeps saying "it is up to him" and i know that he is right - however i don't want him to let these 8weeks of not doing any work shape his future

Musicaltheatremum Thu 01-Jan-15 18:24:43

My son started studying neuroscience in 2013. Did very well in it but in April admitted he hated the subject. (He had wanted to do medicine but his dad died 8 weeks before his exams so he had to drop one and then thought neuroscience would be interesting. His dad had had a brain tumour) anyway he asked if I would mind if he changed, of course I said yes and he sorted out everything with the university and is now doing applied computing and finding it fantastic. Keeps saying it is the best decision he has ever made. Hope he can sort himself out but no point on keeping going on a course you hate.

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