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This question is a bit on the personal note but I'd greatly appreciate any answer. I have been to a different school for the past four years (I'm a Junior in HS) and late last year we came to a town where I thought I'd finally finish my HS years and go to a college near me. (I live in Louisiana) Last night my mother told me our lease was up and we were going to have to move out in July. I have two choices: I can stay with my mom and go to Lake Charles with her, Or, I can move with my dad in Texas and finish my education there including college(I want to become a Registered Nurse). My mom said she won't help me financially if I go to my dads. Please don't tell me that It's up to me because I really don't know, and I am just going to go to my dad's house without knowing if it's the right choice. Any advice is welcome, thanks.

#nursing #RN #college #divorce #nursing school #Texas #LakeCharles

Thank you comment icon Hey Justin, is there an adult in your life you can trust to get some guidance on this? Perhaps a teacher? Wishing you the best! Priya Mathew
Thank you comment icon To me this is the best advice. You really want the opinion of someone that knows you and maybe your parents. That way you can get an outsider perspective and they may have insights you never considered. Hassan Al

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Kim’s Answer

Justin,
Many years ago, as a police officer, I got thrown into the middle of trying to resolve a child custody dispute. A teen's mother had legal guardianship, but, by agreement, he had been staying with his dad, for years! Suddenly, mom shows up and says she wants him back. What a mess! I talked to the teen. He preferred to be with Dad. Why? Because Mom was constantly moving from place to place (because she had no stability, not due to a job or anything like that - sometimes just stayed with friends, etc). and with Dad, his life had stability. By law, I couldn't intervene. But, Mom ended up committing an arrestable offense, so, he ended up with Dad.

Why am I telling you that story?
Because, first, I'm sorry Mom is putting you into this situation. The mature thing for her to do is respect your decision and still offer you financial support, if possible. Some of us adults have a hard time being adults.
Second, because I want to know if you've had the opportunity to spend any length of time with your Dad, other than occasional visits. Visiting is different than living with someone. Has he put down rules you have to follow? Do y'all get along in those situations? Does your Dad recognize you as a young man, or treat you like a kid?

I know this sounds totally crazy, but I'm going to tell you this - do NOT make this decision about the money. You will regret it.

Me? If the relationship with Dad is good, and dad offers stability, then, that's where I'd go. It doesn't mean you don't love your mom. But, honestly, you are at a fragile age. A person doesn't suddenly have all the answers when they turn 18. You need a support network. You need stability. You need to be around friends. What's to keep mom from moving again? The ages from about 16-24 aren't always easy. Have a mature conversation with your Dad. Ask him how long you can stay with him, what his expectations are for you. Will you have to work? Contribute financially to the household? Can he help you with school? Will he require you to move out at some point? Is he remarried, or dating? How will that work out for you? You need to know what you are getting into. Only then can you decide.

The finances will work themselves out. You might need to go to school only part time, you might need loans. RNs make good money, you'll be able to pay it back.

I hope this helps you. What city is your Dad in or near? Texas has lots to offer. . . !!

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Justin
Thank you comment icon First off thanks, My dad lives in Houston, Texas, I lived with him for 6 years before my mom decided to take me when I turned 11. My dad doesn't make the best of salaries but he also hasn't moved from the place he lived at when I lived with him. My dad told me I could move with him whenever I wanted to and he's actually wanted me to ever since I went with mom. I love my mom but she doesn't understand how college and the medical field works. She told me the only way to pay for college is either through scholarships or military aid. My dad told me to never worry about any financial problem, he said that those problems will figure themselves out and that I should only focus on my studies alone. Justin
Thank you comment icon Justin, The decision is yours. I looked at some of your other questions. You seem to possibly be having a hard time making decisions. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. I made plenty, and turned out ok! :-) A word about the military. It will give you cutting edge training. And, much of it is here in San Antonio, only 3 hrs from Houston. It will instill self-confidence in you. It's not a bad option. But, it's not for everyone. Also, if you go Air Force, boot camp will be here as well. Otherwise, Houston has top-notch medical facilities with lots of opportunities! Kim Igleheart
Thank you comment icon This is fantastic advice, Kim! Wholeheartedly agree on all points. Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Justin,

I am glad you reached out for advice from others. And you have some thoughtful and very passionate answers here already.

To echo Christina, whenever I am faced with a tough decision, I have literally written out a list of PROS & CON in a journal or notebook with one side being the PROS and the other side of the page being the CONS. Sometimes, when you see it listed it out on paper, it becomes very clear which choice is the best one. And it may even surprise you.

Whatever you decide, once you decide and take action, do what you can to make the most of it and fully embrace the decision you made. You can't change the past, but you can keep moving forward and do what is best for yourself. Once you get situated, find a mentor or adult you trust who can also provide you with good guidance, as Priya mentioned.

I wish you much strength and knowledge in your educational and life goals.
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Christina’s Answer

Even though your question is personal, I think you are really asking a question that a lot of people can identify with. How do I make BIG life decisions? How do I choose between two really different options? How do I make the RIGHT decision? How do I know that I'll turn out okay?
So...my advice is about these bigger questions.

I'll start by telling you that you will find your way. Sometimes you'll make mistakes, including sometimes making a wrong decision, but we also get the chance to change our mind, to change our plan, and to dig out and start again.

You will find your way to your goal of becoming a Registered Nurse no matter which path you choose, if you keep your eyes on your goal. The paths will be different and one path might be harder or more interesting or better or longer than the other, but it is the overall ride that makes life interesting. You will learn from either decision. You don't have to make a perfect decision. Just make the very best decision you can with the information you have available to you at the moment, and know that you can change your mind when needed.

For a moment, think past the unfairness of the decision. You thought you'd be in one place and now you have to move again...NOT fair. Your parents are separated and money is being used as a weapon by your mother...NOT fair. Your parents might be using you as the pawn in their relationship games, as if you choosing where to live to reach your goals is somehow a sign of who you love more...NOT fair.

So, look past the unfairness and pull out all your most mature decision making skills. You are a Junior in high school, but you have wisdom enough to come to this forum and ask for advice. You have what it takes to make this hard decision--I promise. Here are some things you can do to help you make a good decision:

Christina recommends the following next steps:

Literally write out a list of PROS & CONS for each location. Keep adding to it over the next few months if you think of something.
If you have not been to Texas, then go visit (if possible), so you have an actual comparison of what you are choosing between.
Look at the schools you might like to attend in either place. Look at cost, learning environment, resources, housing, etc.
Consider the location and who your supports will be in either location. Choosing the best place to have a good learning experience is part of the decision.
*No matter what you choose, surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.* Good luck! I'm cheering you on!!!
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Briana’s Answer

Hey Justin,

Texas has a lot of schools and affordable options. Also remember financial aid and scholarships are a reliable option, you could even join the army reserves and only do drill once a month and 2 weeks a year (REQUEST TO BE STABILIZED TO AVOID DEPLOYMENT) and if you enlist in the military in Texas you are entitled to the Hazelwood Act, which is 150hrs of tuition covered for public universities in Texas. You would also get the MGIB or Post 9/11. There are so many options for you. A parent refusing to support their child for a reason like this is financial and emotional abuse. Lay out your options and look at all the pros and cons. \

Hang in there.
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Bailey’s Answer

Beat advice I can give is talk to your dad and see if living with him is an option. If you are with your dad, do you need your mother to be financially stable or can you get a part time job after high school? Education is very important, along with stability. You should try to get into nursing school as soon as you can. Once you become an adult, it is your turn to create a life you want for yourself. It is extremely hard to work while going to nursing school (it is possible but makes things very challenging). When you are in nursing school it will be good to have a stable place to stay and study. Stay out of trouble! Don’t have children yet, don’t get DUI, and keep pushing forward.
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Sandra’s Answer

Hi Justin,
First, I'm sorry to read about your mother's decision to not help you pay for tuition if you stay with your father; it seems that you love both of your parents but if they require a condition before they pay your tuition, the concern is that other conditions may need to be met before your tuition is paid. You should consider not staying with someone, even your parent if he/she requires a condition before you can move on. Good luck with your journey as a nurse.
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Megan’s Answer

The biggest thing to remember is most schools go by in state tuition and out of state tuition by where you have lived for the last two years. That’s a huge difference in tuition costs. Also you have to use your parents income on your fasfa as well. Not sure how that works out if your parents are divorced. That being said I believe you would have much more nursing school opportunities in Texas and a lot of schools have in state tuition “scholarships” for people that would need to pay out of state prices. That’s a little disheartening your moms comments at your age stay with the parent that is the most supportive you’ll need it. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Justin
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