My son is a sophomore at an elite liberal arts college. College started out well, but he has been on a downward trajectory caused mostly by lack of sleep, poor time management, and bad decision-making. (Drugs and alcohol don’t play into this.) He finished this semester with two incompletes. Although he says that he intends to make changes, my son has shown little to no inclination to do anything to improve. He performed superbly in a rigorous high school program, but he sees the students around him sleeping little and being completely overcommitted. My son requires more time to complete his assignments, needs plenty of sleep, and becomes anxious when the work piles up. He has the maturity of a middle-schooler and my wife and I are at our wit’s end. We don’t want to continue funding his college education until he decides to make some meaningful changes. Our son is adamantly opposed to taking a leave of absence, yet his performance has degenerated despite numerous warnings and ultimatums. We think he should get a job, perhaps take a class or two at a local college, and mature a bit before continuing his education. We don’t think he belongs at college, but we don’t think we can survive with a belligerent 19-year-old at home. What are your thoughts?
—To Yank from College or Not?