Post # 1
Going anon for this one because I”m sure SO wouldn’t want anyone connecting the dots.
My boyfriend just realized that he can’t graduate this semester. He’s already on his 9th semester that he had to petition for. He’s going to be literally 1 credit away from the # he needs with a certain grade or higher. He’s either going to have to figure out how to petition again and do it next semester or wait and do it over the summer.
He is absolutely devastated. Granted, he has not done so well in the past few semesters. But this happened because he thought he had to just pass a certain class, but he actually has to get a certain grade in it this semester. His dad will be furious and may legitimately disown him. I can’t see that happening, but apparently that’s what he said recently when this was discussed as a possibility.
I’m also kind of freaked. I still have another year till I plan on graduating, but I don’t know what to do. I know it will work out eventually, but he is so emotionally messed up right now, and I don’t know how to help support him. He’s in the denial stage right now, but I know eventually he will get to the self-blame stage and just hate himself. He holds on to negative experiences for WAY too long, and I feel like this is something he won’t ever be able to let go of. It’s going to be a huge deal in his family, and he’s going to be so ashamed to have to tell family and friends when they ask about it, which they inevitably will.
I also don’t know how to tell my parents…they are supportive and won’t hate him or anything, but he’s freaked out about what they will think. I know they will be disappointed.
I am here to support him 100% and to help him figure it out, but I just don’t know what to do. This is going to add a huge negative aspect to our relationship if he is unable to calm down and get past it. He tends to talk about the same things over and over, and I know this will be a constant theme. I don’t know how to deal with that or how to make things better if shit hits the fan with his family. I realize this isn’t the biggest deal to a lot of people, but it is a really huge deal for him.
Anything to help is appreciated.
Post # 3
Graduate undergrad? CC?
How old is he?
What major? Were there any minors that he took up? Why did he have to petition?
Post # 4
@anonbee192: I know he’s disappointed, and upset- but he needs to just keep his chin up- NOT give up, and get it done regardless.
I failed so many nursing classes, retook probably 6 classes, went through three different RN schools, and disappointed every friend and family member. It was heart wrenching, and so painful. After 8 years of being in and out of school, I finished my RN- and everyone is so stoked and completely enthusiastic and has forgotten all about the dissappointment they had.
What you can do- is be there to listen to him, and give never ending encouragement and support. Be his cheerleader. Make him comfort food and shower him with kisses, cute little ‘i love you’ presents like his favorite candy bar, and get him through this.
Keep that drive alive! Don’t give up! This is just one hurdle to the finish line that is SO INCREDIBLY CLOSE!
Post # 5
@anonbee192: Will having to take 1 credit to graduate next semester significantly hold up his plans for a job/life? Could he possibly take a 1 credit mid-session course over winter break?
As for his parents, if he’s not been doing so well, will this really come as a surprise to them? Are they paying for his school and living expenses?
While he’s clearly made a mistake, as you know, this is not uncommon and certainly not the end of the world. He’d be a fool to let this 1 credit hold him up for long. Would he be opposed to seeing a counselor at his school to talk about his negative feelings and how to cope with upsetting his family?
Post # 6
I’ve been in school a long time… So I know it can be REALLY disappointing when things don’t go as planned. However, I’ve been in school a long time. And I know that it’s okay to:
1. take time to complete a degree and complete it well
2. That sometimes the lessons we learn in the process of going to school, good or bad, are more important than always making the grade… I know this course requires a certain grade, but the point remains true
3. It can be really hard not to graduate with everyone you were supposed to graduate with. I’m taking an extra semester of graduate school right now and will hopefully graduate this January but everyone I started with graduated in May. It makes me feel like a slacker in some ways, but I also know that I had to work really hard to be in school: Paid my own way from Undergrad to now, struggled with my internship, bombed a class due to depression. And you know what, it sucks but it isn’t the end of the world. 🙂
As far as what your families think: They will get over it. People make mistakes, it is what it is. Your SO could have dropped out. He could have spent all his time partying this semester. He could have given up and quit. He could have done a million other things but he is still working really hard toward a degree and that is what is important.
I think he probably will need a lot of encouragement and support. But I also think that if he is this hard on himself he may want to try seeing a counselor to help him put things into perspective a little more. It’s easy to beat ourselves up, but sometimes we need a third party to be point out the positives.
Post # 7
Thanks for the replies!
@elliptical2013: It’s undergrad, and he’s just 22. Our school has an 8 semester limit, and you have to petition to get any further semesters.
Taking one credit next semester or the next summer won’t hugely impact anything. I’m not really worried about his ability to graduate, more so his reaction to it. He comes from a family of doctors and lawyers and PhDs, and he already feels like a disappointment. I worry that he won’t be able to get past those feelings and that 1) it will affect our relationship and 2) it will prevent him from finishing as strong as possible. He’s convinced that he will never find a job he likes. He’s insistent that if he hasn’t made something of himself by the time he’s 30 that he will not be happy.
He’s a very intelligent guy, but he has not used his time or resources wisely over the past few semesters. I don’t think his mom knows the extent of it, but his dad does and I’m really worried about how that relationship will fare. He’s so obsessed with the idea that he’s not “that guy” who’s struggling to graduate that I really worry he won’t be able to accept that it was a mistake, that it won’t affect his life in 10 years, and to move on. I worry that this will push him off the deep end or something before he can get it back together.
I will suggest seeing a counselor – if he could get some help with letting go and moving on, it could do him a world of good. As it stands right now, he’s still bitter here and there about something that happened his freshman year (so like 4 years ago now) and will go off about it and I just have to listen or calm him down. It’s frustrating for sure, and he’s going to have to learn how to let go of this or he will never be happy.
Post # 8
Aw, I’m sorry you two are going through this stress! A lot of people take longer than the traditional four years for an undergrad degree. The important thing for him to do is to keep his eye on the prize and know that he *will* graduate. In the grand scheme of life, needing extra time to do it won’t mean anything. My dad was a huge party animal in school and got kicked out because of low grades due to not focusing on his studies. But after he and my mom married, he put himself through night school and graduated top of the class. No one remembers that it took longer to do it, just that he did it.
It sounds like he has a supportive family (I’m sure they will undersatnd) and an extemely supportive girlfriend. My one bit of advice is that he sits down with his advisor and makes sure exactly how many more credits he needs to graduate and has a plan to get them.
This is just a little hiccup! Best of luck to both of you–I’m sure it will turn out well! 🙂
Post # 9
@anonbee192: I DIED inside when I realized I was going to graduate a year behind everyone else in my class. I felt like a HUGE loser for a VERY long time, and it didn’t matter what DH or my family said (I lost a year of schooling to depression thanks to working full-time overnight while attending school full-time during the day)
The only thing that helped me was a LOT of counseling. Every other week for almost a year. I based my entire self-worth on my education, and suddenly I was “worthless” in my eyes!
But now I’m closer than ever to graduate, and I am SO excited and SO ready!
Post # 10
@BrandNewBride: How did your DH handle it? This is my biggest worry. He’s the kind of person who will let it get to him so much. I can easily picture it coming up in like half our conversations, and he will be so negative and get off track and just be upset. I just can’t see him accepting this and moving on.
I will definitely encourage therapy as much as possible if it gets to be an issue, but if he won’t try to be positive about it, then I don’t know how long I can handle it. I’m giving him a lot of time and space right now because it’ll be another few weeks of limbo until he’s 100% sure it’s not happening. But if he isn’t willing to try to let it go I don’t know what to do because I can’t deal with all the negativity all the time.
Post # 11
Do you guys have winter session? Or have another school (community college, other) nearby where he can take a class over winter? Those are usually only 4 week courses, so he really wouldn’t even be behind.
Post # 12
@QueenieB: Unfortunately we don’t have a winter session. And he has to take it at our school in order to get his diploma from here – that’s part of the reason. We have a certain number of credits you must get a C or above in from this university. He was a transfer student, so if he was here his first year this wouldn’t be a problem. But the classes he took at his first school that count toward his major that he got As in don’t count here in that requirement. It’s kind of confusing.
Post # 13
@BrandNewBride: I didn’t know that! You’re keeping secrets from me. Some bestie 😛
I am sorry for your situation, OP but it sounds like you two know what the options are and you just need to see how they play out. You can’t control the situation so I would try my best not to stress about it if I were you.
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn
I am working on my last semester of pre reqs before applying to the RN program. Would you like to know how long it’s taken me to do all these pre reqs and general ed? 9 years. Not semesters, 9 years! Why? Because I work full time so I can’t take a full course load. Because I got divorced and moved out of state. But I haven’t given up, that’s what matters. One of these days I will graduate with my RN and I will sob like a baby. I don’t know anyone else who has taken this long. I have friends who started after me who have been nurses for 5 years now. But, they didn’t have to work, they lived at home and their parents paid for everything. That was their journey and this is mine. Tell him to be proud that he hasn’t given up, many people would have. That is what I am most proud of.
Post # 15
@anonbee192: Graduating late is definitely a super common thing. Let him know that there are so many people like him!
I switched majors really late, and I’m having to stay an entire extra year, not just 1 credit. It took me awhile to really get over that, especially because my friends will all be graduating this spring, and my boyfriend graduated last spring so I would have to face 2 years of long distance…
But its not too hard to put a positive spin on things. Everything will work out. I realized as all my friends were seniors they were all sad that they have a limited time to finish their college bucket lists. I have an entire year to learn from everyone elses mistakes and make the most of everything. I’m also allowing myself to take my classes slow, focus on each one and keep my grades up instead of rushing and failing. My boyfriend also has a rotational job for 2 years, so it ended up working out because I wouldn’t have been able to live with him anyways.
Try to find the positives in your situation and spell it out to him. 1 credit is nothing, he could find a job/internship/co-op and finish that credit online, or in the summer, that way it wouldn’t really be hindering him. Really its just about breaking the preconceived notion that college has to be completed in 4 years otherwise YOUR OUT. Colleges have differing degrees of difficulty, and its better to be a productive member of society than to just speed through likes its a race.
I hope this gives you some inspiration for a pep talk. I have to give many of these to my boyfriend because he’s not adjusting to his full time job well away from home.
Post # 16
@anonbee192: Basically the same thing happened to me (except we don’t have to petition for extra semesters).
I already had to take an extra year of school so that was bad enough, until my last semester I failed ONE class by like 0.6% and I was devastated. I was on track to graduate with my class, I already had a post grad job lined up, AND [not bad just weird] I had already taken the picture with the grad class lol. I also still had to attend my graduation party my mom planned.
I was embarrassed, devastated, and felt like I was losing everything I worked for. I was also worried that the company that just hired me would let me go.
But, after I got the chance to sulk for a while, I just figured out what I had to do to make it happen. I signed up for the summer class I needed, told my employer (who was amazingly flexible with me) and I told my closest people like my mom an my SO.
I didn’t necessarily lie to anyone, but no one else really knew I was taking a class all summer. I still worked part time and went to class 3 nights a week. It really sucked but it was eventually over and life went on!
Now I sometimes still refer to it as “that class I had to take for work” (because technically my job was contingent on me graduating lol) but such is life! It sucked at the time but you just do what you have to and move forward!