Need Advise regarding my highschool girl mentoree - page 3

Here's the situation: I've been mentoring a highschool girl from my church. She used to babysit for me, and I've more or less known her since she was 4. Her family is very conservative, religious,... Read More

  1. by   EmmaG
    My daughter decided to join the Army shortly after graduation. I was not pleased, but she was an adult and I respected her decision. I did insist that she speak with my brother, my father, and her grandfather before signing. They, like most every man in my family, had served; my father had been Army, my brother was career AF and her grandfather was career navy. My brother and her grandfather had also served during wartime. I asked them not to sugar-coat anything. They were straight with her, and she went into it with her eyes wide open. Once I was satisfied she understood the downside and risks involved and wasn't just swayed by those romantic TV commercials, I was ok with her decision.

    It was probably the best thing she could have done; she came out of that experience an amazingly self-assured, mature young woman. I was so proud of her and what she accomplished. Her schooling was paid for in full. She has her master's and is a social worker for children with special needs. She is also now a vehemently anti-war liberal (more so than I am lol).
  2. by   birdgardner
    My suggestion to the girl is this: if she wants a religious education, to make sure she's actually going to get one at that school. I chose a prestigious, much more expensive Catholic university for my accelerated BSN over a state school and another more prestigious less expensive private school that had close ties with Planned Parenthood (I'm opposed to abortion.)

    It turns out in my program, many of my instructors are opposed to the teachings of the Church, and others are neutral, and none of them have an accurate understanding of the teachings either. Since I'm not getting any Catholic medical/nursing ethics there, I'd just as soon have saved my money and gone to the state school.

    The girl should visit the school extensively, talk to members of the student group for her faith, talk to faculty, talk to nursing students if there are any there, talk to the student pro-life group if that's her belief. Talk to the ROTC students.

    College is a time of huge change. She may change some of her beliefs; she may change her career plans. So not binding herself to a particular future before she starts may be wise. On the other hand, some people, especially those who go into the military, KNOW what they want to do at a young age, are determined on it, feel a call to service and have a realistic understanding of the risks.

    So she should talk to lots of people at the university, her parents, siblings, you, her pastor...a military nurse if she can, and pray for discernment. It's her life and her decision and just as if she were a patient, you can only help her get all the information she should have.
  3. by   birdgardner
    XB9S, of course you can leave the military after you have served your commitment, although if there's a major war on and they need you, they WILL keep you. I have several family members who served in the military. Most career, but my cousin was a chaplain for about eight years, had 3 babies during that time (stay at home husband) and left when they wanted a more settled life and her last commitment was over.
  4. by   MB37
    I hate that 18 year olds are even allowed to sign their lives away by joining the military, in return for the promise of free tuition, signing bonuses and other seemingly lucrative at the time payouts. Teenagers are by nature short-sighted, and they still think of themselves as invincible. Then again, if a youngster is more mature than most, they can at least get a free education out of enlisting in ROTC, go abroad as an officer, and possibly turn this into a career. She needs to explore both her reasons for wanting to attend this particular college and whether or not she actually wants a military career. She's only 18 (17?) and also may change her mind about nursing - most young people change can expect to change careers several times, and she hasn't even started. She won't be hurt by attending a private college for a nursing or any other degree, unless the debt she takes on in the form of military service is too great in terms of risk and sacrificed time and options in life.

    OP though - I'm not sure who is more conservative here - your "arch conservative" family friends, or someone who is opposed to women serving in the military. Also, I would never recommend that anyone get married before at least their mid-20s (not that some people who married young don't have great long-lasting relationships, but it's back to my feeling that people barely out of high school shouldn't really be making lifetime commitments). Maybe it's just me who was immature at 18, but so was everyone else I knew then.
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    Lots of valuable imput here, I'm glad I started this thread! Thanks!
  6. by   XB9S
    Quote from birdgardner
    XB9S, of course you can leave the military after you have served your commitment, although if there's a major war on and they need you, they WILL keep you. I have several family members who served in the military. Most career, but my cousin was a chaplain for about eight years, had 3 babies during that time (stay at home husband) and left when they wanted a more settled life and her last commitment was over.
    Thankyou, the reason I ask is because like you I have family who have served in the UK forces, however if a women falls pregnant or has children then they always have the option to leave in the best interests of the children, I was just trying to gain an understanding of the differences within the US forces
  7. by   TiredMD
    Encourage her to join Navy ROTC. Our nurses are far superior to all the other branches, and the civilian world. :spin:

    Many of them fall in love and have babies. They don't deploy while pregnant or when their kids are infants, and often by then their four years of commitment is up and they can get out, if they so choose. It's far from a bad life.
  8. by   happydays352
    Personally growing up in the military I hated it and I want nothing to do with the armed services. It is a great and honorable sacrifice she is making and I commend her for that. However, until you have lived that life you don't know if it's for you. The best way to learn is through real world experience and she'll learn a lot about life in the armed forces. Hopefully her world will be expanded and she'll gain indepdence from her family, since it sounds like she needs it. This might actually be a way to overcome the "brainwashing" . However I would discuss your concerns with her and provide her with as much information as I could. In the end though it's her own choice.

    In my case my father was absent a great deal. Not by choice but because of his duties as an officer in the US Army. I can't tell you how painful it was to have my father be so far away to have him miss my "big" moments. It made the times he was there even more special.
  9. by   Agnus
    Quote from jlsRN
    Thanks. That's why I've kept my mouth shut up until now. I just want her to think through all her options and get some imput from somewhere other that her parents' arch conservative circle. I have a lot of respect for her family, by the way, but I would like to give this give another perspective.

    I think my biggest worry is that she will meet Mr Right, marry, get pregnant and then not have the freedom to raise her baby herself, but possibly have to endure a harsh separation.

    My second concern is I want to protect her from the horrors of war and the possiblity of being blown to bits by a roadside bomb.
    I understand your concern. You are pretending to have a crystal ball. You do not. You really have no clue what will happen. Stop projecting your own imaginings on to her future. They truly are imaginings. I could easily counter your fantasy with possible positive outcomes for this and very negative outcomes from following a different course. Like you I would just be imagining.

    Military service is not all bad. There is indeed a lot to be said for it. As well as the bad. You do not even know what will happen on her way to entering the service. It might never happen for a variety of reasons.
    You are making an assumption that by the time she has to serve that we will be at war and she will go into a war zone. Not an assumption you can or even should make.
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    My mentoree and her mom came over today to take our picture together for the presentation on Wednesday. I feel really good about the whole thing. Her mom was effusive in her praise, telling me how her daughter just thought I was the best mentor, because I had really told it like it is. My mentoree and I really had had a great time while she job shadowed, we even bonded over a code brown. Also, I had been able to give her a realistic grasp of some end of life issues that she would face, plus a lot of other things.

    I came away from today feeling that Mom is being very supportive and giving her room to make her own decisions.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Interesting thread - glad you had a good experience today with the young lady and her mom.

    As an "arch conservative" I do want to say something about "brainwashing". All parents, regardless of their political viewpoints, teach their children the values that they hold dear. Each child grows up to question that and come to their own conclusions. There was no way in heck that my children were brainwashed.

    My oldest son is also an "arch conservative" (I have to grin at that characterization). He attended a very good private Christian university in So. Cal. My second son believes in God but is on the fence about what else he believes and is doing things I disapprove of (but things I did at his age). My 18 y.o. daughter is agnostic but willing to talk - especially today - she was in a car accident, totaled the car after sliding on black ice and flipping the car. My 6 year old of course believes in God.

    I think joining the military in this instance affords her great opportunity and the training for nurses is extraordinary.

    I do have a question for those more knowledgeable - Marla's daughter and son-in-law were deployed to Iraq shortly after their son was born so soldiers are sent to serve regardless of having infants.

    And I agree with others . . ..that overwhelming feeling of being "in love" can happen anywhere.

  12. by   danissa your wee girl ok? This strikes fear in my heart, we lost a very loved boy at aged 17, not ours, but our daughters darling boyfriend. Now, i fear when our two girls are out driving, cant rest till they are in and safe. Give her a big hug from me, poor wee girl, she must have had such a fright.
    I Know this is off topic, sorry guys, but just had to say this to Steph!
  13. by   Gauge
    I am currently a 1st year BSN student and have served 6 years in the Army reserve. One of those years I was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am 22 and married for 2 years. If you have any questions about the military I would be glad to answer them for you. I have a commitment of 8 years (minimum Reserve contract) and then I will be done. Although the military is not a place that I enjoy or plan on staying in it does have advantages and disadvantages.

    My best advice is if the only reason she is going ROTC is so the army will pay for her schooling is not a good thing. The army treats everyone like crap, bottom line. It might be great while she is in school, but her weekends will be filled with going to FTXs (Field Training Exercises) and summers spent with camp so she can be trained whenever she gets out of school. Not to mention she will have to take military classes and get up at 4am every morning to do physical exercise while she is in college. I'm not an officer, but I am a Staff Sergeant. If this is the route she wants to take she will have to have great time management skills because she will have alot less free time than her fellow students, along with no time off because breaks from school will be filled with menial things the military wants. Like I said, I have first hand (and continue to get) experience with the military and you can pretty much tell my stance from the post. If you need any other information feel free to PM me.