Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Conflicting Signals

Today I attended the Parent Orientation at my son's college. While it was very informative and very well-organized, it was also very - well - scary!

After hearing the general presentations on how to help our child transition into adulthood and to watch out for the two most common causes of academic problems - stress and lack of sleep - the representative for the architecture program dropped a bombshell.

During the five year program, students are expected to work seven days a week (in order to complete group projects on the weekends) and they will frequently need to pull all-nighters to keep up with their work. When I asked her if these students had procrastinated, she said no. The workload is simply that difficult and demanding. They also have a dropout rate of 30-40% after the first year and 10-20% after the second.

Having always urged our children to find a balance in their lives, this was a bit hard to swallow. But I'll keep an open mind. We'll see how things go. Maybe she was exaggerating; maybe he'll rise to the challenge and thrive on the work. Only time will tell.


Carma said...

Hi Theresa,
Maybe the rep was trying to shock everyone so they would not expect anything to be easy. I have found that sometimes things are exaggerated just for this reason. The drop out rate is pretty hefty though.

In a way I understand this. When I enrolled as an adult learner in an accelerate course for my degree they (reps) also told us that we would have to put some of our life on hold. They were not wrong.

For eighteen months the only social life I had was with other students. That is good too because you form a camaradie of sorts and maybe this will be the case with your son. There is strength in numbers.


Lisa Kirby said...


If you've always encouraged your children to find a balance in their lives, I imagine your son won't forget those teachings.

Good luck to all of you as he ventures into the college world.

Lisa Kirby