Precipice of Adulthood

Beetle had a meltdown this morning. She is stressing about college. She sees money issues regarding college. I think it is good that she is aware of the cost. I had no clue when I attended college as to how much it actually was. I knew the dollar figure, but I didn’t know just how much of a commitment that was.

I recall interviewing for my second masters program. The dean highlighted my undergraduate GPA and the GPA for my first masters. She asked why I thought there was a discrepancy in the two numbers. “Oh, that’s easy. My parents paid for my undergraduate degree; I paid for my masters.”

Beetle has heard me speak of avoiding debt. Because she did not heed my guidance to go for a college she could afford, she is stretching her budget. She didn’t understand that the way the school presented the budget to her to get to a number she thought she could afford included a $5,000 annual loan.

Now she’s stressed about having loan payments after college.

Her first plan (have me pick up the tab) did not go so well. I said, “No.”

Her second plan was to have her parents split the $5,000. I said, “No.”

I had had thoughts of coming through with the money. But then the other side of my daughter presented itself. It was a reminder to me that she has never had to be responsible. Because of that, she has quit everything she has ever been involved in. Yeah, I am not tossing any more money into the pot at this point.

There is enough money for Beetle to go to college. She has done what she has always done: pushed the limits. She’s going to end up with debt, I suppose. Despite that, I think it will be good for her. Having firsthand experience with this I hope will provide the lesson early that carrying debt is a burden.

Given the way our country is being run, it is likely the government will excuse Beetle from the debt obligation. I am also open to helping out more in the future, but I want to see results first. Go to college. Earn good grades. Want to return for your sophomore year. Then we’ll talk. I already have lots of money invested in her education. Use that before I put more in.

And if I understand what Beetle is being told, it’s quite possible her mother will pick up the difference. But that is where the meltdown ensued.

She knows she has to rely on her mother and Beetle is not comfortable with that. “She doesn’t follow through” was one of the many things Beetle whined about. Yeah, I know.

Beetle absolutely pegged Gert. Beetle sees what I spent two decades experiencing. I am basically free of that these days, but Beetle (and Fritz) are in the throes of it at this point. It’s frustrating for them and it’s frustrating for me to witness.

I counseled Beetle, as she is on the precipice of adulthood, that she is responsible for herself. If you are reliant on another, then you are at the mercy of their flaws. I reminded Beetle that with a driver’s license Beetle would have more freedom than what she perceives to have. With a college degree, she can do as she pleases.

In all this, I received a most welcomed compliment. Beetle asked about getting an apartment and how it works. She said it must have cost a lot of money. Then she whined about the stuff at the house. She said she wants things to match and look nice like my apartment. 🙂 Yeah, I did that!

I then walked Beetle through how almost everything she sees at my place was purchased since the divorce. I took little from the house. Most of what I took has been replaced. I control what my living situation looks like. I make it clean, organized, and matching. I am beholden to no one. Likewise, her mother does the same. And when Beetle pays for her own roof, she will be able to determine what her living space looks like.

Welcome to adulthood, little one. You’re learning isn’t over . . . it’s just beginning.

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