Anyone know what happens when a 21-year-old with ADHD decides to give up the college struggle after 1 1/2 years? I am so depressed about this, yet I don't feel I can help him. He refuses to even discuss counseling. He's in a community college transfer program, and if he finishes he'll go on to a state university automatically. But he's sick of living at home, sick of not having spending money or a good car, and believes he'll have this idyllic life if he leaves home & goes to work fulltime.
What can we do or say?
I have read your post several times and have given it some thought. I am an LD specialist who has always worked with adolescents and sometimes it sure can be tough for parents!
College may not be for everyone. Ther may be a vaocational program that suits his needs better and maybe his needs are not being meet at this community college?
I wonder what are his interestes.. what does he envision himself doing in five years.
I know this is a difficult problem and hope this has given you some food for thought.
Coming from a 22-year-old college student, I can understand where he's coming from. In my college experience, my parents were so frustrated with me that all they could do was let me fail. And I think that's what probably needs to happen now. You can't help someone who doesn't want help. And maybe he just needs a break for a year or so. That's what I did when I was his age, I took a break and found a full time job in a placement agency and after a couple of months I realized that the alternative to college was a lot worse than the pain of getting through it. Does he have accomodations for his classes? Is it that he doesn't like what he's studying or is it that he's just tired of fighting with the information he's trying to learn?
At this time in his life, and my life as well, it's all about the pain. You can't grow as a person unless you stretch your wings and do what you want. The only thing you can do is be there when/if he falls back to earth and is ready for someone to help him. I went from the idea that I didn't deserve help because I thought I wasn't smart enough to I demand help because I am. There's not much you can do as a parent after that. Just trust in yourself that you raised him to be a responsible person and if he gets too over his head you can step in and stop him.
The worst thing for you to do right now is to make him distance himself from you. That won't help either of you if he feels that he can't talk to you about what he wants to talk about. If he wants to take a year off or a couple of years off from school and get a full time job, search the want ads with him. But no matter what you do, If he's anything like me, he has to find out the hard way about his idyllic life. I have tons of stories of when my parents told me not to touch the burner when it was on, and I touched it anyway because I had to learn the hard way (I flew to Hawaii for three months on my mastercard out of frustration and depression, talk about one hell of a burner to burn yourself on).
So, in conclusion, 1) don't discourage him in anything that he wants to do, 2) don't let him burn any of his bridges behind him aka don't withdraw completely from school just yet until he decides that that's what he really wants to do. 3) be there when he falls, and don't say I told you so. I hate it when my parents did that.
I know your post was kinda old but hopefully this will help you and other people who might be in the same predicament.
No worries, it's not the worst thing in the world. Eventually we all will find our way in life.