Frustrated Mom Explains Why Her Son Wants To Quit College After Only 4 Days

Feeling anxious, lonely, and lost is a rite of passage to starting college.

college student studying while wearing headphones Armin Rimoldi / Pexels

As summer slides into fall, 17- and 18-year-olds across the country are moving out of their parents’ homes and into dorm rooms, taking their next steps along the journey toward adulthood. College is often framed as the best years of a person’s life, yet that narrative leaves out the initial isolation many students feel.

One mom wrote into the r/parenting subreddit after dropping her son at school, only to discover how much he wants to come home.


The frustrated mom explained that her son wants to quit college after only four days of classes.

She said in her post that she and her husband recently moved their son into his dorm at college, two hours away from their home. He made it through 4 days of classes, then decided he wanted to move back home.

The mom explained that her son’s roommate never showed up, so he’s in a room by himself. None of his high school friends attend the college he’s going to. She stated that “he refuses to go to the free health clinic there to seek help, and now he wants to quit and move back home.”

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The mom clarified her feelings of frustration, saying that she doesn't want to make her son’s adjustment to college about herself. Yet she noted the high costs of helping her son leave the nest, stating, “My husband and I have spent money we don't have to move him into the dorms, taken days off work [without] pay for visits and orientation, and co-signed on his student loans.”

mom says son wants to quit college after only 4 daysPhoto: Mikhail Nilov / Pexels

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“I have tried everything I can think of,” the mom exclaimed. “He fights me at every conversation.” She asked other parents if they’ve faced the same challenges with their kids’ transition to college, wondering how they handled that particular conflict.

Parents and students assured the mom that her son’s tough transition is a completely normal part of the college experience. 

“I remember my first year of college over 15 years ago,” one person commented. “I was so lonely and struggled to make connections.”

Another person shared that during their first semester at college, they were so homesick that they went back to their parents' house every weekend. They shared practical advice for the mom to offer her son, suggesting that it might help to encourage your son to go to various clubs or activities on campus "to see if that gives him a chance to bond with classmates.”

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“He needs to make friends,” echoed another person. “It’s not always easy. Tell him to find a group he associates with... There is something there for him. If he has already declared a major, I guarantee the department is hosting student activities.”

The mom came to the comments section to describe the ways she’s offered support from afar, saying, “I have sent care packages and surprised him with his favorite meal. I have had multiple Zoom meetings a day plus we talk and text all through the day.” She told him he could come home on weekends, and has “encouraged him to keep his door open to meet the other students as they walk by.”

In a separate comment, the mom offered an update, explaining that her son revealed he’s experiencing separation anxiety. She mentioned that she was trying to convince him to go to the college's mental health center and speak with a counselor. 

mom says son wants to quit college after only 4 daysPhoto: cottonbro studio / Pexels


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One person offered the mom an empathetic window into just how abrupt the transition to college can be.

“School is scary right now because he's away from familiar surroundings, spending a lot of time alone in a dorm room, separated from his family, and likely feeling pressure to succeed in a challenging academic environment,” they stated. “These are normal growing pains.” 

Feeling anxious, lonely, and lost is a rite of passage to starting college. It’s almost guaranteed that every 18-year-old on campus is going through the same separation process. They’re all in uncharted waters, learning to exist outside of their families, their childhood friends no longer beside them. 


Isolation can be divisive. It can convince us that no one else feels the way we feel. Letting other people see our most tender, vulnerable parts is how connections are made. 

The mom uncovered the roots of her son’s unhappiness. Now, she can help him navigate towards finding a community that lifts him up. The process of finding out where you fit at college can take years, one part of a journey that grows us up.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.