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Old 01-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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21 year old son in college majoring in english

My son is 21 years old and a junior in college. He lives at home, drives short distances, works long hours on the weekends as a cashier in a nearby food store. He has very few friends and loves being in his room reviewing video games. Does very well with his academics and is a great writer with much imagination. His major is English with emphasis on creative writing. He is having difficulty deciding what he wants to do with his major (English). Any suggestions?

 
Old 01-14-2012, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

Sorry, no ideas for specific jobs, just wanted to say that it is great to see your son having such great success! My son is a junior in high school and we are just starting the college process. I hope we find the right school for him and that I will be posting a similar question in a few years.

 
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:00 AM   #3
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

Thanks for your response. I hope your son does well. My son attends a university where he is able to commute. The transition from high school to college went relatively well. He receives no special services (he never discusses his diagnosis and doesnt acknowledge it exists.) He does see a private therapist and seems to enjoy their sessions (doesnt share much of what is discussed.) He does well in school, made the dean list and has a 3.5 cume with very little effort. Waits to the last minute for most assignments, whenever he can squeeze it in around his video obsession. Lacks passion in any direction other than reviewing and playing video games. He is an excellent writer and has great concepts. He does speak of creating plots for situation comedies????? since he believes those currently on tv "suck." He is quite opionated and will argue his point, never backing down on his position. He took a debating course over the summer and got an A no surprise....
I'm sure he will be on the 5 year plan at least, he is a young 21 year old...
Any time you would like to compare notes please feel free to respond. This was my first attempt to share on this message board. :

Last edited by jeanbev; 01-15-2012 at 05:37 AM. Reason: spelling error

 
Old 01-15-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

OMG had to crack up at the whole "debate" thing. Sounds just like my son - persistent doesn't begin to cover it!!! I have always wondered if mine would make a good litigator even with the mass overflow of law majors We are hoping to find a school with under 2,000 kids so that son won't get lost in the shuffle and professors will actually miss him if he doesn't show up.

He of course, has no interest whatsoever in planning for college, looking at colleges, or discussing college. Just wants to magically appear somewhere with a dorm room when its time!

I am happy to see your son is getting the grades he is - mine is smart, but also a huge procrastinator. Doing the work, then forgetting to turn it in is another specialty of his. How did you choose his school?

 
Old 01-15-2012, 07:41 AM   #5
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

He needed to be pushed every step of the way. His grades were always good rank high, honor society etc. Only applied to one school, was accepted. Showed no interest in exploring others, this was a safe choice. Went is as an undeclared and finally decided to go with English as a major after some encouragement from me. He does speak with an advisor at college who seems to give him some direction..... I, too, have thought he may pursue law. He doesn't see it in his future, but then again he will disagree with most everything I suggest. .... He speaks of writing reviews, for video games???? In college he has taken several creative writing classes where he has to come up with stories and narratives. His papers have been very well received by professors and classmates. I think it has boosted his confidence level because he needs to present in front of his peers. (He is not declared, and receives no services.) He likes his professors and has no problems speaking with them to discuss grades, assignments, etc. The other students peer edit, discuss, and grade. This helps with his social skills. He has a pretty good attendance record, only missing a few classes. His school has an enrollement of 5,000 students, most classes contain around 30 students.

 
Old 01-15-2012, 03:49 PM   #6
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

This all sounds SO familiar! Mine won't commit to anything - even a road trip to look at a school meets a pretty strong rejection so far. He has looked at one school he really likes, but their graduation rate is pretty dismal.

When you say your son is not "declared" do you mean his diagnosis has never been discussed with the school? Our son has had almost no support in years and does fine (as well as any teenage boy, anyway) so I don't know if it needs to be brought up or not. He's intelligent, funny and very witty - something that I never in a million years would have predicted for him not that many years ago. He seems to be almost "outgrowing" it, other than still being a little socially behind. I used to worry a lot about other kids picking on him or taking advantage, but not as much anymore. Still, we won't be sending him to school in downtown Chicago...

How do you think your son might have handled dorm life? My son is all for it, but has never really been away from home. I'm thinking he should be within a few hours of home, just in case.

So does your son like actually playing the video games? Mine is addicted to several.

 
Old 01-18-2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

Hi, I think that's wonderful your son is all for living away. I would have liked to see my son go away, but he was not for it at all. He teases ( I hope) us and says he will be with us forever!!!! He was only classified upon entering preschool. He qualified for a preschool handicapped class in our local school district when he was three years old. Upon entering his speech was somewhat unintelligibe and difficult to understand. With therapy and development he totally has no articulation weaknesses and stopped speech therapy when exiting 4th grade. He was declassified when entering 3rd grade because he no longer required services...... He was not diagnosed untill he was a sophmore in high school. I still have my doubts as to whether he has full blown aspergers. He was seen by one neurologist. I may have put the seed in his brain by asking could he have aspergers. We were told he is high functioning and therapy could involve social skills training. That was it and away we went. He never discusses his diagnosis and I believe chooses to dismiss it. I explained to him his brain processess differently in certain situations and made very light of it. When I told him this was on the autistic spectrum he seemed to be somewhat upset and never really acknowledged much. I did share his diagnosis with his guidance counselor and some teachers (only those I felt should know.) Our family recognizes his issues and the characteristics he does possess of the syndrome. He has always been reserved and shy in the classroom setting..I felt very strongly that he declare his diagnosis upon entering college. His therapist felt it was not necessary and my son agreed. He did go with me to the director of special services on campus but decided not to declare. He has never had modifications applied to his workload. He has experience some meltdowns as he approaches the end of some semesters. He carries 12 credits which is perect and still considered full time status. He needs to carry this load to continure receiving his scholarship. I believe college has brought new experiences and more confidence. He seems to be taking more risks and experiencing less anxiety. ... As far as video games go, totally addicted. It's what seems to bring him the most happiness????

 
Old 01-18-2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

My son also doesn't really discuss the aspergers/autism at all, ever. He was diagnosed in kindergarden but we had been seeking help since he was about 2. He was completely oblivious to people, no eye contact, no speech until later on, but once he started talking his vocabulary was astounding. It seems he just took everything in while it appeared he wasn't even on the same planet. Some of the behaviors were really out there. I'm sure you've been there too. He has talked recently about volunteering with autistic kids, so I'm looking into that.

I went into a pretty big panic once he was diagnosed, went through everything in our library system and ordered every other book or video I could get my hands on. At his first diagnosis/IEP meeting, we were told that an aide would be a waste really, as the best we could ever hope for was to not have to institutionalize him once he hit puberty... not a pretty scene.

I am glad that your son and mine are proving them wrong a little more every single day! I truly do not think that anyone, anywhere, would ever suspect where he started. They are miracle kids!

We are trying to master driving now, and having a difficult time with that, but I'm really hopeful that he will be driving on his own soon. Did your son have any difficulty with that? Judging distance seems to be the problem here.

So anyway, did your son look at other schools or just know at the first one that was where he wanted to go?

Mine doesn't like to work in teams either, is that a problem for your son? Although it would be really hard for me to figure out that much about a school anyway

 
Old 01-18-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

My son failed his first attempt to get his driver's license. He was 17 a junior in high school when he took his first driving test, failed at parallel parking. He wasn't all that upset. Retook the test a few weeks later and passed. He does not drive long distances; to school, work, and local stores. He is not interested in venturing far, lacks confidence and good judgement... Spatial judgement does seem to be an issue too.... I've attended ASPEN support group meetings and conferences. The people whom I have met are very knowlegable and informed regarding services which are out there. It seems to me that every situation is so individual and unique among itself. You cannot categorize, only accept. I, too, was very upset when told his diagnosis. I have come to realize aspergers is merely a label, (which I myself still question it's validity in regards to my son.) I know it will never completely define my son.....There is no question that he fits the profile in many areas, but he is so on the edge of typically developing that it's sometimes difficult to accept and understand..... In high school he often chose to work independently as opposed to peer grouping on various projects and assignments. He was a member of the high school marching band and part of a very accepting group of students. He was not judged by that population. I think that basically they thought of him as being shy and quiet (never really knowing his aspergers.) I shared his history with the bandleader so that he understood why it was difficult in the beginning to master the marching band routines and numbers....The college choice was never an issue. He did not want to go away, and this school was local but highly rated. My daughter graduated from the same school and did well. She completed an internship in medical technology at a teaching medical center, worked part time at the hospital, received top honors and was offered a fulltime position upon graduation. I think he thought it was an easy fit. Yesterday was the first day of his new semester at school. I misspoke, he is taking 15 credits and getting a little nervous about all the course requirements. He always stresses but manages to do well....I think it is wonderul that your son has shown an interest in working with the autistic, that shows empathy on his part. He sounds very caring. Good luck.

 
Old 01-21-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanbev View Post
He needed to be pushed every step of the way. His grades were always good rank high, honor society etc. Only applied to one school, was accepted. Showed no interest in exploring others, this was a safe choice. Went is as an undeclared and finally decided to go with English as a major after some encouragement from me. He does speak with an advisor at college who seems to give him some direction..... I, too, have thought he may pursue law. He doesn't see it in his future, but then again he will disagree with most everything I suggest. .... He speaks of writing reviews, for video games???? In college he has taken several creative writing classes where he has to come up with stories and narratives. His papers have been very well received by professors and classmates.
My best friend (who has aspergers and is in her late 20s) basically had to fight her parents tooth and nail in order to follow her passion, which is baking, because they didn't think she could make a legit career out of it. Now she's acing pastry school and really doing her thing and it makes her so happy, that I love listening to her talk about it.

Which brings me to my point - video games may seem like a weird way to spend your time to the older folks (indeed, I have VERY little interest in them myself) but all my siblings, my aformentioned bestie and my boyfriend's family are all into video games. Like, REALLY INTO THEM. So, like it or not, I'm surrounded by video game culture and talk from all fronts. And it hasn't escaped my notice that video games are a fast growing, multi-million dollar, creative industry - they're really going somewhere, even if some of us (myself included) are left totally baffled by them. There's tons of respected and up-to-date video game magazines, websites and indeed, video game reviewers, who make a tidy penny for themselves, even if they're almost never going to be big features in the traditional job market.

I would encourage him to follow his passion - if he likes video games and writing video games reviews, encourage him to think about ways he can set himself apart from other game reviewers (There's one guy who does animated cartoon reviews of video games that are absolutely hilarious - even to me, even though I don't even play the game that's being reviewed -, plus tons of others, who all have things/gimmicks/styles/commentary that set their reviews apart from the rest, who get thousands of hits per day, racking up lots of money, especially from ad deals on their websites, due to those high hit counts).

Suggest he set up a website for it. Ask him how he plans to get noticed or bring in video game fans so that they respect his opinions - and they should, since you're telling us he's a pretty darn good writer. Or ask him if he's planning to submit game plots to any of the big companies- a lot of THOSE companies pay good game writers well - and writing games can be just as challenging as writing TV shows, as often, the game's plot has to have the capability to realistically evolve in different directions, depending on the decisions of the player.

If he can make a legitimate income from it and he loves doing it, well.... I'd tell him to go for it. And hang traditional job expectations.

Last edited by Linnia; 01-21-2012 at 12:44 AM.

 
Old 02-12-2012, 06:07 PM   #11
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Re: 21 year old son in college majoring in english

I'm 21 years old and am also attending University. It has 6000 students and I only lived in the dorms for one term my Junior year (my first year here) before moving into an apartment. I've lived in the same apartment for almost three years and it's been pretty good.

This is my fifth year in college and I'll be graduating this spring. Pretty much every teacher and doctor in my life has always said that I was "just fine" despite several odd habits I've always had--humming to concentrate, talking to myself, disconnection, trouble communicating emotions, concentration problems, impatience, empathy shortcomings, problems making eye contact, no talent for auditory or visual learning--so it blew my mind away when I came to this University and a counselor suggested that I take some tests and see if anything came up.

I had been going to community college for two years, driving a 60+ mile commute every day (until I started taking the bus and sleeping) and doing just fine, then my GPA bombed my very first term here at University. They suggested counseling and I gave it a try. The ADD wasn't too terribly much of a surprise, but the Aspberger's was. When I saw it in the letter he wrote to the school telling them I was getting help and my grades would get up, I was like--what's this?

I didn't declare it, other than letting Financial Aid see the letter so that I could keep my aid. I'm not documented with Disabilities and for a while I didn't say anything to anyone.

But I'm a writer. I'm an English Writing major and day-to-day-to-day I have to communicate with people and talk with people and relate to people in order to talk shop and improve my writing. So I have to admit my difficulties in order for people to be aware that sometimes I just can't process what to say. I think my writing's pretty good anyways. In fact, since I have to observe other peoples' emotions very closer in order to catch them and try to understand them, I see a lot and am able to write more effectively.

I wanted to be a book editor for the longest time, but the publishing industry is a pain to get into at the moment, so there are several options for your son.

Technical Writing--
You would be surprised how often this is needed, all the way from writing how-to manuals to communications in the workplace. Microsoft uses technical writing for just about everything. Reports, communications, manuals, designing... It's extremely useful and I'd advise him learning about it just in case (looks really good on job applications). It's also good for grant writing (which is good freelancing)

Newspapers
Online newspapers REALLY want people to write reviews. Websites, too. It's perfectly acceptable to write gamereviews, and in fact, they are very popular to read and if you are good at them, you could possibly make a career from it. My school offered a Review Writing class last school year and it was a blast (we didn't cover games, though we did talk about them). If his school doesn't, he could suggest it to a professor--these things are usually heard in a smaller school.

Magazines
Short stories, well-written short-stories, are always wanted for some magazine or another. A lot of them don't charge to submit, so it never hurts to send one off (just always read the fine print and make sure you retain writes to publish it at a later time. But it's okay if they say they don't want you simultaneously submitting it).

Freelance writing of any kind is much more common nowadays with the computer. Tell him to keep an eye out (and do so yourself)

Good luck!

 
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