Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Major 101

So, Wally's sophomore year of college is underway.  The time to drop/add classes has passed.  As of right now he's in the college of engineering and technology.  Going to get a degree in engineering. As of right now.  I say "as of right now" because as of today, that could change.  He emailed me today......

Just to let you know i've been seriously considering switching my major to something having to do with
health and nutrition that would maybe lead to a career
implementing this with children.

My mind begins to race when I read this.  I try to keep calm.  Try to remember that when we went to orientation they told us - on average - a college student changes their major 6 times.  I DO remember thinking, "Not my Wally".  So I am trying to keep calm, trying not to pick up the phone and call his advisor and tell him Wally's Mother - the one that writes the checks - does not want, under any circumstances, for him to change majors.  But of course, I am his mother and he is 19.  Which means that even though I gave birth to child and write the checks, the advisors don't listen to me.  In fact, due to privacy, they won't even talk to me....

But, given the fact that I am Wally's Mom, and calm is nowhere in my vocabulary, I start to think:
The what?  The who?  You wanna a degree in what?  What the hell are we talking about here?  You want to be a doctor?  What the heck is a degree in health and nutrition?  I appreciate the fact that you used the word "implementing", but what do you really mean?  What the hell are you thinking son?  If you change majors now, how are you going to get all of your classes in?  Good God, you aren't going to be one of those career college students, are you?  I mean, I know I said find something you love - but what I really meant was find something that pays you well enough so I don't have to support you the rest of your life.....even though I love you with all of my heart! 

We've already established the fact that I am not college educated.  I wish I were.  So, having only attended one semester (one semester that I had to pay my dad back for because I failed my classes after I met and fell in love with Ward) I'm not sure how all of this works.  Of course, I don't want to just call my son and ask him what the hell is he thinking....so....help me out here.  Help me out you college educated people.  If he changes majors now, can he still complete his degree in four years - as opposed to 16?  Hmmm?  Help?  And really, how do you talk a 19 year old out of a degree in health and nutrition?  And help me out one more time...I know what an engineering degree can be used for.  But what exactly is he going to use a degree in Health & Nutrition for?  Hmmmm?

And in the meantime, pass me a glass.  I think I'm going to need one.....or two.....


~jill said...

we agreed to pay for our children to obtain their AA/AS at the junior college. It took more than 2 years for all of them, but they did manage to get focused on a major before transferring to the university. I'd suggest agreeing to pay for the first 4 years and let him assume responsibility for any extra time needed due to changing his major.

Tracie said...

Sorry, I have no idea, but health & nutrition doesn't sound bad; I bet that will be one of those up & coming in demand kinda jobs ya'no cuz of the whole obesity issue.

Kat said...

As an experienced mother of students that tried to make a career out of attending college - I noticed that the trend is to keep changing majors when they discover an easier one to get through. My rule of thumb was as long as the classes that you have already taken, passed and were PAID FOR by me would transfer to the new degree plan then they could feel free to change majors as many times as they wished. However, they were given a reasonable deadline to graduate (which by the way is typically 5 years, not 4 as they would have you believe) and if they did not graduate by the deadline then the bank was closed.

C1 made it to the deadline by the little hair of his chiny, chin, chin as far as classes but did not have his internship finishes by said date. So unfortunately for him, he spent that last summer in Lubbock paying his own way.

C2 has dropped in and out so many times that his deadline has passed without his graduating and now pays his own tuition/books when he decides to drop back in, which he did this semester.

Both of them also took out student loans to help with the cost and expenses and our agreement was that if they GRADUATED by said deadline we would pay those student loans for them. C2 is also enjoying the pleasure of paying off his own loans in addition to paying his own way now.

So did that help?

The Lady in Pearls said...

@~jill - it took more than 2? Again, why did anyone not wark me of this nonsense before? 2 yrs for AA & 2 yrs for BS! Because if it takes longer than that - Momma is gonna need AA herself!

@Tracie - I ain't buying it! I don't think a nutrionist is going to be the top job of 2013 - when Wally is SUPPOSED to graduate!

@Kat - 5 years? Oh shit! Oh shit! That puts the little darlings in college AT THE SAME TIME for two years. Yup, Momma is definitely gonna need some AA by the time all of this is over!

The Lady in Pearls said...

Sorry, a little frazzled. Warn, not wark!

DavidShag said...

I think Jill's suggestion is a brilliant one. There IS the eternal student syndrome, and this puts the onus where it belongs. At the same time, it is possible that Wally discovered something that truly interested him. There are few greater gifts in life than a career you love. I speak as one who spent my life in a career I disliked - I know NOW what would have made me much happier, so if this is in play - yay, Wally! Is there a gentle way to probe his new-found interest - what about it attracts him? My niece started out to be a veterinarian and wound up as a biophysicist - she is happy and raking it in. Sometimes there is nothing like being exposed in college to what your career plan actually involves, and getting out in time. Hope it all works out for the best!