The reality was very dark. After the first week, he stopped attending classes. He started smoking weeds all day. He began to drink and play video games all the time, making it impossible to identify the person who spent every few hours.
He did not tell anyone what was really going on in his life.
Over the past seven years or so, up to the epidemic, I have witnessed an increase in the number of 35 colleagues and I across the country – young people of all races and ethnic backgrounds who start college and go a long way in weeks or months. Or two. None of us have ever been in this situation before. It consistently includes male first-year students (except for one or two years) and is getting worse every year. One medical professional describes it as “the fall of a hot man.”
Correcting these failures is exhausting and frustrating for these young people and their families.
Why does this happen to our boys?
Students who begin their first year at each college campus suffer from missed opportunities, social isolation, and academic stress associated with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. And many feel lonely and lonely, often believing that they are alone in difficult situations.
In high school, boys are able to travel successfully because those days are more structured and general freedom is not guaranteed. The supervision of parents, teachers, and coaches often eliminates their need for help on their own.
After entering college, a strong sense of freedom is suddenly needed to grow up in an unstructured environment. Many men have been unable to use their tools effectively. Instead, they exert more power over falsehood than they do.
What about our primary school girls?
We know that college courses vary greatly from high school. Self-sufficiency is especially important for infants struggling in large rooms. They must meet with professors and assistant teachers to achieve academic success.
Boys in the United States do not get up or get used to asking for help even when they need it, and often cannot use their resources on campus. Many of the young people I see tell me that they have excelled academically and that they have chosen their education after the challenge.
Our girls and young women are more likely to seek help from professors, counselors, and other counselors without fear of embarrassment or failure. This is a significant part of what we see happening in this fashion.
Young men tend to overestimate the extent of their academic struggles. Seemingly irrelevant – a few missed lessons or misunderstood concepts – can often be corrected in two meetings with a professor.
Before going too far into that first semester, parents should encourage their academic brothers to arrange meetings with academic counselors, professors, heads, and therapists. If young men are well acquainted with the restrictions on those resources, I find that they are more likely to avoid them.
And press your boys to go to class, each class. This may seem obvious, but this is not the case for many college elementary students. Going to class is the primary solution to academic problems. Otherwise, it is easy to convince a young person that he or she cannot convince himself or herself.
Many young people carry unrealistic expectations for their social life and go to college. They immediately look forward to the happiest years of their lives, make lifelong friends, and meet each other easily.
But they usually arrive on campus. They know a few people and experience more social stress than they are prepared for. Unlike their female counterparts, young men tend to isolate themselves or stay in small groups engaged in active and non-social activities by playing video games for hours in the social class.
Encourage your growing student to participate in social activities, even if they are not initially interested. Have all new students prepare a pizza party on the go as they look for ways to meet each other.
In 2018, I worked with my roommate. He pulls his bag in the morning as if he were going to class. He talked about associating with friends, participating in extracurricular activities, and all the pitfalls of college life.
But my client knew that something was wrong. None of his classmates met, never studied or went out. He spent most of his time in the dorm room smoking weeds and playing video games. He seems emotionally burdensome and short.
On that first semester of Thanksgiving, my client’s roommate packed up his things and headed home. Sadly, when my client first learned that he was not there, the man he was with was not well.
Boys are reluctant to share their emotional lives, especially their struggles. Even in situations where the discussion of mental health is normal, they still feel overwhelmed by depression and anxiety. The more we encourage our children to share their emotions, the better they will be.
By the way, if you have a growing elementary school boy or girl, talk to them about this event. Encourage them to seek help from a college counselor if necessary.
Also, encourage them to spend time with their boyfriends from time to time to see how they work and how they feel. That enrollment process can start an emotional self-management process that can save the semester and pay for a lifetime.