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Moving away for school. (Very long, but optional skippage.)

  1. Nov 7, 2005 #1


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    I'll give a little information about me first.

    I am a 22 year old (attractive) male, who enjoys studying mathematics. I would like to study Pure Mathematics, and possibly go to Graduate School for Pure Mathematics (area of study is still open).

    I completed two years in a Business - Accounting Program at a community college (3 year program). I have one year left to have all the requirements to be a Certified General Accountant (CGA). I can't complete it now because my father will stop paying child support because if I get a diploma, then according to the agreement he's done his job. So, enough about that.

    I transferred to a local university, and I have completed one year, and working on my second year right now. I am in the Mathematics Program.

    It came to my attention that my current school will not prepare me for Graduate School for Pure Mathematics. This is a big disapoint for me because I'm looking to learn rigorous mathematics, which is necessary for a prospective Pure Mathematician. I have talked to one my professors about this last year, during my first year, and he recommended transfering to a very well-known school for Mathematics (Hint: Largest Math Faculty in the World). I decided to go with his recommendation now, but should have last year. I thought things would pick up during the second year, but I was wrong. My prof wrote me a letter of reference, and he's very excited that I am going. He also did his undergrad at that school, as well as his Ph. D. He wants to keep in touch as I go there too, so that's really neat.

    So, I shouldn't have a problem getting accepted for January of 2006. I'm going to transfer half way through the year. I have two reference letters, one from my college, and one from my university, and my admission form is well written. My grades are up to par with what they are looking for, except for one class :uhh: , but that was explained in my Admission Form. My grades as of now are great, and above par.

    Note: I've been working 30-35 hours a week (EVEN DURING EXAM WEEK!) while going to school full-time in college and university, while maintaining a 90% average in college and a 80% average in university. My university marks could have been higher, but lack of motivation brought it down. (I lose motivation and dedication when things are slow and too easy. I feel like nothing is being achieved, therefore I end up never going to class or doing assignments. Also, working lots might not help with motivation and dedication. Long story.)

    I am currently working 40 hours a week so I can make some money and transfer. I don't plan on working any more than 24 hours a week at my new school, less if possible.

    The bottom line is...

    I'm transferring to a great school. My girlfriend is really happy even though that involves seeing each other a little bit less. I'm really excited because they offer advanced courses, and a wide variety of courses. It's also a very reputable school.

    My problem...

    My mom.

    She thinks it's stupid to go to school to study Pure Mathematics with no particular career in mind. I would love to be a professor and do research, but that's not the most practical career. I will reach for that goal until it is reached, but during that time I have to do something else. I have plans to just complete my remaining one year to become an Accountant, or study some statistics to become an Actuary. The catch is... I don't want to go into these careers until I go to Graduate School for Pure Mathematics.

    Anyways, my mom thinks this is all dumb. Waste of money. I get no support to go for my dreams at all. She thinks I'm changing my mind every ten seconds. I changed from Accounting to Mathematics, which is perfectly normal. The school I have chosen for Mathematics turned out to be... not the best, or trustworthy when it comes to academics.

    So, now my mom thinks this is a big joke. I'm moving out in 6 weeks if I get accepted. I bought some groceries (work at a grocery store) at sale prices, and I will continue to do this until I leave. Just buying what's on sale though. Stocking up, like a wise one.

    I don't know what to say.

    I look back and I've never received support academically. I did for Accounting, but only for the local schools. I was initially going to transfer to another school for accounting, but I had to take Calculus first (pre-requisite to the program) and that's when I fell in love with mathematics, and then later Isaac Asimov introduced me to the world of science. :biggrin:

    I had a very low average in high school (D as in 38D :tongue2: ). I had no encouragement to do well, only to pass. I was never informed by my parents to choose a career, and the right school. I didn't even know you can get scholarships for good grades. I didn't know nothing. I wish I did, and I encourage younger students (at work or elsewhere) to do their best, and inform them about their options. I have learned a lot about post-secondary education, and how to succeed at the post-secondary level. I plan on doing some volunteer academic councilling at some local high schools to help students make the right decision, and the wise one.

    What's your take on this?

    I want my mom to be supportive, but like she doesn't understand how I am in school for academic purposes and not for monetary reasons. I don't want to be a millionaire (I wouldn't mind being one), and I certainly won't try. It's just not my goal.

    I pay for my school, and just about everything I do except for food and housing. I will have to pay for that at my other school though since I'm moving, but I also won't be driving (my car), which will save lots of money on gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

    If it continues this way, with my mom being unsupportive, I may not even come back home for the summer or at all. I don't want to be in an environment that puts me down.

    Note: It's so bad that when I first transferred, I didn't want to tell my mom that I was going for mathematics. I was just going to make things up about accounting all the way through, and let her find out on graduation day. Also, if it gets any worse, I might not even tell her when I graduate at this school (if I do, since failing is also possible).

    So, basically she agrees with 50 cent.

    Get Rich or Die Trying.

    I agree with...

    Have fun! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2005 #2
    I agree with you, have fun! College is about finding what you want to do.
  4. Nov 8, 2005 #3
    Which school? Only one I can think of is MIT.

    Don't worry about your mother. Unsupportive parents can be a real weight on the consiouce but I'm sure that every single person here at PF will be behind you 110%. You go Brother!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  5. Nov 8, 2005 #4


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    You're the one who has to live with your decisions, not your mom. If it's what you want to do, and it's what makes you happiest, then go for it. There are careers with mathematics other than academics, though it would be applied rather than pure. It can take longer to find the right academic path when you don't have parents who can guide you with that, but it looks like you've finally found your way to the right one for you.
  6. Nov 8, 2005 #5
    I noticed you threw in 'attractive' to describe yourself. Are you attracted to yourself? Isn't that a word that only others can use to describe you?

    Anyway, good luck.
  7. Nov 8, 2005 #6


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    It was just to add some humour. :biggrin:

    I intended to use more as I go through, but that would have made it difficult and possibly less serious than it actually is.
  8. Nov 8, 2005 #7
    What college is it?

    Also, transfer!

    Don't let your mom keep you from doing what you want to do. If you don't, you will most likely regret it for the rest of your life!

    Good luck :)
  9. Nov 8, 2005 #8


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    6 months ago, I'd have agreed with everything which has been said, and would have said "go for it" and "learn what you want to learn" and "blah blah blah". Having recently graduated in something which has a very clear route into a vocation, I'm seeing lots (almost all!) of my friends who have also graduated this year finding that not only had they not selected a degree course which could potentially lead them onto a related career path, but during their studies had neglected to even consider what they'd do after graduation.

    So, I'm not telling you not to study something which doesn't directly lead into a "proper" job, but if you don't, at least spend some time (throughout your course) having serious thoughts about what you will end up doing, and don't just put it off because it's a scary decision!
  10. Nov 8, 2005 #9
    *just chiming in to figure out which college he's speaking of*
    Waterloo maybe?
  11. Nov 8, 2005 #10
    OMG, I'm going to throw up. I don't believe you had the stones to actually say this and nobody has come down on you like a ton of bricks. When I first read this I started stuttering because I just couldn't believe that you would even accept "child support" at your age. Time to cut the cord dude and give your old man a break. Besides, it sounds like there's no love lost between the two of you. With all the hours you are working you should be able to support yourself well enough and if not you should cut back on your school hours to make ends meet or find a cheaper place to live or SOMETHING! Have you applied for scholarships? With marks like yours I'm sure you're smart enough to find a way to get support. Have you checked out www.fastweb.com ?
    I'm sorry if you feel that what I've said seems harsh but LOT'S of people have it WAY harder than you and could only WISH they were in your shoes. Myself, I could only hope that I could work the hours you do, take the classes you do and still get grades like that. Try taking only one class a semester and see how much fun that can be. I'll graduate sometimes in 2012. You'll get no pity from me.
  12. Nov 8, 2005 #11

    Mothers are wonderful. However, they do not always know what is best for you. They are easily caught up believing that they just want the best for you, and that translates into monetary success (in their view and in modern society).

    Your mother might have experienced some hardships and just wants you to plan for the future and be more financially comfortable then, perhaps, she was. That means going for a career with solid employment potential. Don't fault her for this. Don't hold it against her and try not to punish her (not talking to her, stop visiting them, and so forth)

    You only need the faith and support of one person: yourself. Continue a relationship with your parents but just block out the part you don't want to hear (regarding your academic pursuits).

    I was in a very similar situation and it's okay. Things work out. My relationship with my parents is great. We disagree on a couple things but I don't let it come between us and neither should you.

    Just realize that at the end of the day, you control your own destiny and know what you want from life. If you're truthful to yourself and pursue your goals, you will be happy. And thats what life is about (happiness).

    Good luck with Waterloo admissions.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  13. Nov 8, 2005 #12


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    I get nothing from my father. NOTHING. The child support goes straight to my mom.

    Even after paying all the child support, he still manages to go on trips, buy new vehicles, buy multiple motorcycles, buy a custom made house, and more! You want me to give him a BREAK!

    To top it off, he still has the nerves to say that if the separation never took place, he would be paying for my education.

    You don't even know what I'm going through, or what I have been through.

    And yes, I do understand people have life harder than I do. My life is even harder than I even display it. (I've probably had more major surgeries than the number of times most people even went to the doctor.)

    Also, to see my father to use a lawyer to continually fight so he doesn't have to help at all, is just ridiculous. He still has the nerves to call me his son. What a dink... I'll show him at the next family diner.

    Note: If I end up having to have surgery again, I'm even more screwed than I could ever even imagine. Note: I can take the whole degree process slower like you, but it would be nice to get my degree before I become deaf.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  14. Nov 8, 2005 #13


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    I see what you mean. I'll try not to block them out, but I already have the feeling that she will try and humiliate me during the family diners when Christmas comes around. I'll just go for it, and if I fail, I get back up and try again.

    I hope the admissions goes well too. :biggrin:
  15. Nov 8, 2005 #14


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    Whoah! What do you think she then uses it for? You. At least that's how it's supposed to work. If she isn't spending it on you, then she's cheating both you and your father out of the money; as long as he's paying, it's not your father's fault if you don't see the money. Doesn't child support end when you turn 18, as in when you're not a child any more? In my family, parents don't support adult children; if you're an adult and still living at home, you chip in on groceries, and pay some nominal rent.

    On a related note, financial independence brings a lot of other independence. If your mother is still paying for your education, that gives her more say on how you spend her money than if you're paying for it yourself. If the two of you really disagree, and if you aren't already doing so, it's time to offer to pay your own way to continue your education. It's great if your parents can and are willing to pay for higher education, but they shouldn't be obligated.
  16. Nov 8, 2005 #15
    Child support, in my case, includes college: My mom, I live with my dad, is supposed to pay for half of my college as part of the child support deal. I am not sure if this is a standard or not.
  17. Nov 8, 2005 #16
    Most major changes in our life's have some conflict attached to them. And from the looks of things you really want this. Years from now there maybe regrets, yet also, there may not be any. None of us can tell the future.
    Do what you must, but don't burn the bridges behind you. I wish you all the best, cause we all know you'll give it your best!
  18. Nov 8, 2005 #17


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    Wow! To me, college tuition is something your parents offer as a gift if they can afford it, not something you're entitled to as is implied by a court order that requires they each pay half. Things sure have changed.

    This is very true. Of course, the regrets can come as much from the things we wanted to do that we didn't as from the things we did that we shouldn't have.

    Jason, since this is a big decision, take the time to really think through all your options before leaping in. You've gotten a lot of different perspectives in this thread, and it's worth taking them all into consideration before you decide one way or the other. The most important thing is to really think about your goals in life. Where do you envision yourself in 5, 10 and 20 years? And then what's your back-up plan if that doesn't work out? Then make sure both your primary goals and your back-up plan are achievable with the path you're taking and if they aren't, figure out what you need to do to make it happen.
  19. Nov 8, 2005 #18
    I think college tuition is generally considered a standard cost of raising a child now, so if the child goes to college the courts mandate that the parents split the cost, a la child support payments.
  20. Nov 9, 2005 #19


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    I acknowledge that my mom supports me a lot at home. I totally acknowledge that. I guess that came out wrong.

    I pay for my tuition, books, car, insurance, gas, clothes, and whatever else. So, I guess I have my say when it comes to school.

    All I want is academic support. I'm not too worried about things financially.
  21. Nov 9, 2005 #20


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    I've thought about this for about a year now, and I believe this is the best decision for me and my career that I wish to pursue.

    My back up plan, which I believe was discussed, is to work in the Accounting field, or quite possibly become an Actuary.

    I apoligize if I sound like a jerk or something, but I guess everything came out wrong.

    Like some others have said, it is now customary that parents pay for college, but that is if it reasonable to do so. If the courts find it reasonable that the parents can afford, then it is a done deal. Considering my father makes $100k, and tuition is only $5k, I think it is reasonable on his part.

    Note: When I first started school, I asked whether or not he can co-sign my student loan, he said no. Then he said "tough love". Nice guy.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
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