Look. SOMEONE Has To Do His Homework.

, , , , , , , | Related | August 13, 2020

I do really love my family, and I know that they love me. I am a twenty-year-old woman, and I have a twenty-year-old brother and my mother and father. While my own university life and career has not always been smooth sailing, at this point I’ve settled, and I’m close to graduating, have a plan for after graduation, have a job, and am working an internship.

While my brother might not be at that exact same spot in his life, I would expect him to be reasonably close. However, my parents have always been a little easier on him than me, so he’s still trying to figure things out. To give some context, he was one of the smartest kids at high school and took six advanced placement classes in his junior year, scoring fours and fives — out of five — on the tests for most of them. This is a small snippet of his story.

Year One of University: he passes the first semester with mostly Cs and some Bs, but that’s okay. We all struggle when the environment changes a little. He fails all of the second semester and ends with a GPA of 1.77. We find out he didn’t go to a single class and didn’t do any of his work.

Summer of Year One: my parents find two classes that he could take to redo those classes he failed and boost his GPA. One class is in person at the local community college; in order to make sure he goes, my mom drops him off to each class. The other class is an online class, and my parents expect him to be fine or ask for help if needed. 

Year Two of University: we find out he didn’t complete the online class that summer and is on academic probation. By October, he receives a letter from the university recommending that he withdraw, as he has not been to a single class from the beginning of the semester. His GPA is 0.79. 

He is enrolled in community college for the second semester of that year, so he can try to improve his grades and re-apply to his university.

Semester One at Community College: my dad wakes him up every morning so that he gets to class on time. We get a letter in the mail that he has withdrawn from one of his courses; it turns out, he drives to college and then sleeps in his car in the parking lot until class starts. During one day of an exam, he slept through the test. At the end of this semester, the health crisis hits, and everyone has the option to credit/no-credit the courses, which means that the grade does not factor into the GPA. He no-credits each of his classes without discussing the options with my parents, his counselor, or anyone else, and then gets Ds and Fs on all the classes. 

Summer at Community College: Currently, he is taking four online classes to try and boost his GPA once again, so he can try and apply to university. The due date for all classes is July twenty-third. As of July fifteenth, we learn that he has not started any of the four classes yet. 

So, this is where we are. My mom, dad, and I are sitting in the front room of our house in the morning, and my brother is asleep.

Dad: “Good morning, [My Name]. Listen, I need you to help me out. When I get back from work tonight, your mom, you, and I need to go to [Brother] and help him with his work. I’ll take one class, you take one, Mom will do the other, and [Brother] will do the last one. Let’s try to get this done before the deadline, okay?”

Me: *Pause* “No.”

Dad: “What do you mean, ‘no’?”

Me: “Um, sorry, but I’m not doing his work for him. If he wants my help, I’ll be glad to help him organize or manage his time or check over his work, but there is no way I’m doing his homework for him. I have my own stuff to do.”

Mom: “Come on, [My Name]. Be reasonable.”

Dad: “Listen, he needs to get this done. If he doesn’t get into university this fall, he’ll have to go back to community college, and since he already has the credits, he’ll be taking useless classes that won’t advance his degree and waste a ton of money. If he doesn’t go back to school, the federal loan he signed will be called back and we’ll have to pay a ton of money that we don’t have. The best course of action is to get his GPA up so that he can go to university.”

Me: “No offense, but how is that my problem? He has been messing up; he needs to take responsibility for it. You need to stop shielding him from his mistakes and help him learn to handle it instead of doing everything for him. You should make him get a job, or volunteer, or do something with some accountability!”

Dad: “Don’t you criticize my parenting! You’re only in your twenties; I’m almost sixty. You don’t understand it. Once you have kids, you’ll see things differently. What do you want me to do? Throw him on the road? I can’t do that. We’re family, and in times of crisis, we can’t turn our backs on each other. Now, you have a choice, but know that if you don’t help out, you will break my heart.”

For anyone wondering if my brother is depressed or has some disorder that is affecting him — maybe. He’s vehemently denied it, but if it is true, as much as it sucks, he needs to take the prerogative to ask for help or see a professional. I can’t do anything about that part.

In the end, I did not help out. So far, my dad and mom have set up twelve-hour patrols in my brother’s room to keep track and make sure he’s doing his work. I’ve also caught them working on some of his homework while he’s sleeping.

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