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BradSalvatore's avatar

How would you handle this sticky situation in 1st year uni?

Asked by BradSalvatore (71 points ) April 29th, 2012

Hello all. I have lurked here often but until now haven’t had too much reason to post.

Well for a bunch of different reasons, I failed two courses and I am 99% sure that I will get into probation once the semester ends. On top of that, without those two courses it will take me 5 years to graduate. I am feeling pretty down right now, so i played a wild card and enrolled in summer class. Problem is, its costing me $4000 and I haven’t told my parents. I plan to pay for it with the eating + recreation money they give me [about 750 a month].

From everyone i talked to they think its a risky idea because summer classes are even harder [a 4 month course becomes 3 months]. And if you fail stuff two semesters in a row, the Uni suspends you for 1 year. But that will cost my parents another $20000 for the last year. All in all I just feel like i have messed up bad and my parents are having to pay for it either way. What would you do in my situation?

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13 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

Since your parents are footing the bill, they need to know the truth. It’s painful to have that discussion (trust me, I’ve been there), but it needs to be done. What I found is that as disappointed as they were, the world didn’t end. They helped me make the right decisions.

marinelife's avatar

OK, first it depends on why you failed the courses. Was the work too difficult for you or did you skip class? If the former, I would hire a tutor to help you through.

You might (if you can still change things) want to get your money back and take the must-have courses one at a time next summer after you have done any prep work to pass them that you can do.

Don’t beat yourself up too much. You can do this. Everyone makes mistakes. I think it would be OK to tell your parents.

BosM's avatar

You have to decide what is important to you and do what it takes to achieve it. For example, if summer classes keep you in school, and that is what you want, then are you willing to work as hard as you need to in order for that to happen?

As I like to tell my kids, “it’s not the mistakes you make, it’s what you do about them that defines your character”. So, my advice to you is decide what you’ve learned from this and what in turn you’re going to do to fix it.

Consider taking one summer class this year and one next as a way to balance out the time and effort needed to get caught up. Also, show your parents that you’re willing to be accountable for your own mistakes by getting a job to pay for these extra classes. That will surely go a long way in showing them you’ve learned something. I also suggest you reach out to your college advisor for advice on how best to fix this. Good luck.

BradSalvatore's avatar

Hi all. Thanks a lot for our input. I am trying to evaluate this from all angles.

Well the reason I failed is mainly twofold – one i was lazy, and i’ve had a gradual increase in eye problems over the years – i see weird things when i look at white, and textbooks are usually[like always] printed on white. I went to see the doctor a few weeks back and he suspects I have a congenital glaucoma.

I want to tell my parents, but I have recently cost them quite a bit of money [I wasn’t expecting this added expense as I thought i would at least scrape by]. My eyedoctor bill has gone up to around $1000 and I bought a new computer last month for $2000. Last thing they need right now is to know that I’m having to cough up 4k. I would get a job, but there is a lot of red tape where jobs are concerned since I am from down south.

But anyway thanks all for the advice. This has at the very least been a wake up call from the post-highschool nonsense.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Tell your parents the truth. As for a suggestion, go to a different college for those courses during the summer and transfer the credits. If you fail it will not affect your current university standing. I know kids do this in Florida, I don’t know where you are.

JLeslie's avatar

@BradSalvatore Tell your parents everything. I see that you care about them and their money, they will see it too. Plus, since it is their money, they should have a say on how this gets handled, Your parents are much better equipped than you to make all the decisions that need to be made right now, simply because they have more life experience. I feel like this is a little overwhelming for you, understandable, and they will be able to evaluate all the different things going on and all the options. Let them help you get back on the right track.

If you cancel your summer classes can you still get all your money back? Summer usually is a little tougher.

josie's avatar

You should do the following in this order.
1. Grow up and tell your parents, or don’t grow up and drop out of school.
2. Assuming the former, start managing your time. If you got admitted to college, you can probably succeed. I would bet plenty you are flunking because you are screwing off instead of being a student.
3. Take out a loan to make it up to your parents who worked plenty hard for the the 20K.

Think about how would feel if somebody stole 20K from you and used it to party.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie Loan? Let the OP’s paremts decide about the money. I would not want my child to take a loan.

gailcalled's avatar

What strikes me as being at the heart of this question is your diagnosis of congenital glaucoma. Are your parents aware of this?

Having severe vision problems might make a pressured uni situation completely wrong now.

Sit down with your parents and sort through things. Your vision is your primary priority and not making more financial and educational mistakes. A competitive and stressful summer school makes no sense at all at present, given what you have described.

Will you get credit for any courses and can you carry them forward, in spite of failing two courses?

Bellatrix's avatar

@BradSalvatore, my daughter failed quite a few courses at university and she didn’t tell me. She didn’t want to let me down and was so ashamed and felt like she had. Like you, she was a bit lazy and didn’t put the work in and then she didn’t have the foundation information she needed and the whole thing just snowballed. I had a feeling something wasn’t right and asked her about it and in the end made her bring out her results. She was terribly upset and had been living with this stress for quite a while.

I can promise you, I wish she had told me straight away. I could have helped her. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in her and I didn’t think badly of her. I was just hurt that I couldn’t have saved her a lot of pain. Your parents love you. They will want to know what is happening. Right now I am sure this feels like an enormous problem and a big weight on your shoulders, share that load with your parents. They might be surprised or even a bit cross with you but that won’t last. Give them the opportunity to help you work out the best options for you.

BradSalvatore's avatar

Hi all. Well i want to tell my parents, but they will then probably want to pay the fees off themselves. I pretty much got into this situation on my own accord so I don’t want them to go hungry for my mistakes. I haven’t actually paid for the summer yet – its still showing up as a deficit in my student account. I have about 6k in the bank right now – this was supposed to last until August. That will just about cover the Summer Fees and my rent. For everything else…well I don’t really know at this point but i suppose I will have to figure it out as I go along. Getting a loan isn’t much of an option either since, well, when they see these grades they will probably laugh at me.

I am considering a transfer to a less rigorous institution but the courses I failed [math and theory of computation] are the prereqs for most transfers into the program I am in.

And about the glaucoma..well, I have got a more specialized diagnosis coming up, but regardless of what the doctors tell me I just don’t think not going to uni is an option since where I am from there are no social institutions for the disabled. Its either graduate and work…or don’t graduate…and starve? All in all its pretty messed up but yeah it is what it is.

annewilliams5's avatar

From a student’s point of view…I can understand your feelings about all of this. But, from a parent’s viewpoint it’s a whole lot easier to handle the situation before it gets so out of hand that you’re kicked out of school. The glaucoma diagnosis is definitely needing to be handled by your parents, as well. It’s time to show them the trust that they should be given. Give them the chance to help you. As a parent, I take my job seriously. Don’t lie. Withholding info is lying. The resulting problems will be worse, than if you just told them the truth.

BradSalvatore's avatar

Hello again guys. Well the majority of you guys have been telling me to tell my parents and I guess it would make things a lot less hectic for me…I’ll let you all know how it goes!

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