Daughter about to drop out of uni

(53 Posts)
scorpio57 Thu 04-Oct-12 23:03:59

My daughter is a bit of a quiet soul and has just started at Manchester Uni. She's coping with the course but is finding life so difficult in the halls that she's now talking of leaving. She's in a "flat" with three others and whilst the two boys are OK, the girl in the room next door is proving to be a nightmare. She has lots of friends over every night and the noise they make is totally unreasonable in my opinion. It's now 11pm and my daughter has just phoned. The noise from the next room is clearly audible even over the telephone and my daughter is in tears as she has an important presentation to give tomorrow. She says she's been unable to study and unable to sleep for days as the noise goes on into the early hours. She's complained to the halls of residence but they've done nothing.
Any advice on how to handle this one?

ThatAwfulWoman Thu 04-Oct-12 23:07:11

Don't let her drop out. It's inevitable that you get stuck with weirdos in halls during your first year. But the noise should be dealt with by the people running the halls. She should bombard them with complaints, and if no response go to the accommodation office. Unfortunately I think 11pm doesn't count as that late. If it was 1am then it would be a different matter. Has she spoken to the girl in question and asked her to be quieter?

Maybe suggest that she tries to do her work in the library rather than in her room?

margerykemp Thu 04-Oct-12 23:08:18

She should transfer to a quieter flat.

Halls are noisy. Whatdid she/you expect?

scorpio57 Thu 04-Oct-12 23:11:22

She's constantly calling the duty caretaker to complain about the noise and has asked the girl herself to quieten down but although the girl appears pleasant and apologises, nothing seems to change.
She lives about a 30 minute walk from the uni and isn't happy about walking backwards and forwards at night so hasn't been doing much in the library in the evenings. I don't want to interfere too much but I do feel for her. I know 11 isn't late but it is when you've not slept for more than a couple of hours for several days and have a big "event" coming up! I am hoping that she'll eventually get used to it but we live in a very rural area and it's just been me and her at home since her dad died last year so she's just no used to noise!
Thanks for listening

ggirl Thu 04-Oct-12 23:12:36

ear plugs maybe?
halls are renowned for being noisy ..should still be able to transfer to quieter flat...she should definitely speak to accomodatiin bods tomorrow..not worth dropping out over.

ggirl Thu 04-Oct-12 23:14:02

maybe a transfer to a university close to home would suit her then

scorpio57 Thu 04-Oct-12 23:14:42

Any thank you Margery for your comment. Perhaps respect for others is just too much to expect these days

margerykemp Thu 04-Oct-12 23:15:12

She maybe needs to just adapt then. Can she get earplugs? It is only the start of first year- if these other students can't make a bit of noise after 11pm at this stage in their lives when will they ever get to have fun?

She shouldn't get too worked up about her presentation- she is only a first year! Other students will be doing theirs with a raging hangover still drunk

follyfoot Thu 04-Oct-12 23:16:53

Ear plugs might well be a solution for now as I suppose some noise is inevitable. I've got a snoring H, and these are brilliant ear plugs.

Rivercat Thu 04-Oct-12 23:19:38

Definitely ear plugs. And it's still so early in the term, the first weeks students often get over excited at being able to do as they like. They will probably settle down when the courses really get going. Your daughter may be getting the importance of work in the first couple of weeks of a degree a bit out of proportion, you may need to help her with that. It's understandable that she wants to do well, but she doesn't need to be stressing at this stage.

purplewithred Thu 04-Oct-12 23:29:45

She needs to keep complaining until a compromise is reached, and to put in for a transfer to another hall as soon as she can.

Presumably she signed a contract and so did her noisy neighbour. Check the wording of this and start waving it around a bit. There has to be a reasonable compromise.

Ponders Thu 04-Oct-12 23:41:15

I'm not sure noise at 11pm is unacceptable in student accommodation confused

It's early days, & many frenetic freshers are still having a wild time, unfortunately. Tell your DD to get some wax earplugs from Boots & try to grin & bear it for a few more weeks.

If her noisy neighbour hasn't quieted down by reading week, get DD to go to the accommodation office & see if she can get a transfer to some accom with post-grad/married/foreign students, who all tend to be much quieter

Good luck. It is horrible for the ones who don't want to be partying all the time smile

Copthallresident Thu 04-Oct-12 23:47:06

Perhaps she could try asking around and putting notes up in the hall/SU/course notice board, facebook etc. to see if any party people in a quiet flat or block/hall wants to swap, or alternatively a quiet person in a party flat could swap with the party girl? It is complete pot luck what flatmates you get. DD had three nice boys in her first year flat, that she still shares with, but one of the girls was an attention seeking kleptomaniac compulsive liar who was quite a challenge to live with and the other was too shy to say a word to her flatmates for the entire year. She slipped into the kitchen when noone was there and if you walked in, even me doing my best warm and friendly mummy act, she would bow her head and shuffle out mumbling. How she coped with tutorials I have no idea and she was doing some form of engineering!!

It is to be expected as shown by the comments above that some students will party hard, but equally it is reasonable for someone to want to be able to actually study!! She should not stop at the duty caretaker, they are only going to keep asking the party girl to be quiet and get ignored someone more senior in hall may be able to sort out something more proactive. A letter from you might help get some action. Universities these days have a lot of respect for the fact that parents are often paying the bills and are customers too. She should also go to see her tutor if it is affecting her work, they may be able to engineer a move or put pressure on the hall .

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 23:47:28

Noise at 11pm? confused I lived in a room above a student who'd come in drunk at 1am and play his stereo every night until 5am! Halls of residences are shit, they really are. The guy in the room next door used to wake me at 2am, asking if he could use my video (you can see how old I am). She should be able to move rooms. I suggest she finds someone who is on her course with a spare room and moves in there. If not, and she/you can afford it, what about a one room student flat?

VicarInaTutu Thu 04-Oct-12 23:48:23

what are her options regards accommodation?

ds is quiet and got his own studio flat - just off campus. 2 mins walk away, but he has SEN, that said, the flats were available to all. £108 per week.

i think i would encourage your DD to speak to accomodation services and see if she can move if she is deeply unhappy.

ds said he was in the' party block'.....threshers week was very noisy and he was awoken at 3am each and every day - people kncoked on his door and drunkenly wanted to use his flats toilet.....everyone came over to his block for the parties.

he learnt quickly to not answer the door!

get your dd to speak to someone about the noise.

PickledFanjoCat Thu 04-Oct-12 23:50:42

A house might be better as its more of a family type atmosphere.

It's harder to be that noisy when you live in a house like that as everyone will get annoyed.

Yes, sadly it can be too much to ask an 18 year old let loose for the first time to be quiet, it might not happen. I'd send her to ask about accommodation first...

boomting Fri 05-Oct-12 01:11:13

Hi, I'm at Manchester Uni so I know a fair bit about the university & life in halls. A few points...

- Applications to transfer halls opened on 1st October, so that is an option. She'll need to contact the accommodation office (either online or by going to their offices in University Place, which is the building that looks like a tin can).

- Halls always get gradually quieter over the course of the year as people start to get the wild partying out of their system - and at exam time they are very quiet (and Security do actually enforce the noise ban at that time of year).

- Security are highly unlikely to regard noise at 11pm at this time of year as being unreasonable, so I am unsurprised that they are not doing anything about it. Has your daughter (a) talked nicely to the girl to let her know she's causing a problem (she may not even be aware) and (b) bought a pair of earplugs?

- There are buses 24/7 up and down Oxford / Wilmslow Road (i.e. between the library and her halls). That said, at this time of year the Library is only open until midnight, but fairly soon the new Learning Commons will be open 24hrs.

- From your description of where she lives, it sounds like she's in Fallowfield. If so, then she could try using the computer cluster at Owens Park (above the reception). She may also be able to find a quiet place to study in her halls - for instance, there are study rooms in Carill House (part of Oak House, near what is delicately known as "rapegate" i.e. the slow opening gate out in the direction of Sainsburys) and Ashburne has its own library.

- I'm reading between the lines somewhat, but it sounds like she's a bit lonely and feeling like she's struggling to make friends. She might have missed freshers fair, but encourage her to join a society. All societies are still accepting (positively welcoming!) new members, and they're a great way to get to know others, do something that isn't your degree and have something extra to put on your CV down the line.

And finally, don't let her forget that this is first year. She's meant to be having fun, and at this stage no presentation is actually important. Very few degrees actually count the first year marks towards the final degree classification, and if they do then it counts for a maximum of 10% of the final classification.

piprabbit Fri 05-Oct-12 01:20:52

Has she tried making friends with the girl?
That sounds weird, but the first few weeks of uni life are such an odd bubble, making friendships with the sorts of people you've never even met before.

Your DD might feel differently if she felt that it was a friend making the noise, knowing that she could join in if she wanted to, instead of listening to it from the outside, feeling left out.

boomting Fri 05-Oct-12 01:22:26

Forgot to add - she will have a pastoral tutor in halls (who will have introduced themselves by now... although I remember having an extremely pompous medical student!) who can be an additional source of advice and support.

Also, if she wants to swap accommodation, then there's no need to find someone to swap with, she can just move into another room so long as she organises it via the accommodation office. Manchester has a vast quantity (and variety) of accommodation so there is the spare capacity to be able to do that. I'd suggest having a look at somewhere in Victoria Park, which often seems to attract the quieter ones compared to Fallowfield.

FairPhyllis Fri 05-Oct-12 01:44:53

I think it would be a terrible shame for her to drop out, as Manchester is a great university and I'm sure she will eventually have a fantastic time if she sticks with it.

I went from a rural village to Oxford (so not exactly a heaving metropolis) and had huge difficulty just getting used to having the sound of people around and street noise etc. So you could tell her that it's very common, but you do eventually adjust. And the noise will die down as the term goes on - keep complaining and/or try to get moved. Definitely not worth dropping out for.

Could it be that loneliness, or missing her dad, is making the noise problem feel worse? There must be some sort of pastoral support available, and I second the advice about trying to get out and meet new people, get involved in drama or music etc.

It might also be worth telling her that, in your first term, although everyone around you seems to have adjusted to uni life overnight and is having a fantastic time, privately lots of people are struggling with loneliness and homesickness - they just don't admit it at the time. So don't get down if you feel like you're the only person not having fun - it does all work out if you stick with it. I was a bit of a quiet soul too and had a miserable Freshers week and not a spectacularly fun first term, but I ended up loving it.

wordfactory Fri 05-Oct-12 07:56:11

Sorry Op but noise at 11pm in student accommodation is simply part of life at university. There's usually cut off point around midnight.

Maybe encourage your DD to realx and have some fun herself. Getting worried about course work so early in the year is counter productive. A degree is a long process and requires a slow burn. Ramping up the anxiety so soon doesn't bode well.

LadyMargolotta Fri 05-Oct-12 08:00:06

I had this same problem while studying for a vocational course. My neighbour had loud music on until 2am, and I would have to get up at 5.30am to be on time for my shift.

I bought some very good ear plugs, hard wax that moulds inside your ears.

LadyMargolotta Fri 05-Oct-12 08:01:18

Also, she could use the university library to study in for peace and quiet.

nameuschangeus Fri 05-Oct-12 08:06:19

Apologies if you've already covered this OP but I haven't had time to read the whole thread but didn't want to read and run.
Tell your dd to go to the accommodation office and ask for a transfer to a quiet hall - most places do have such things. If she not getting anywhere refer her to her STudent union or uni student support team who will a) reassure her and give her someone to vent her worries on and more importantly be able to assert some leverage on the accommodation team to find her an alternative.
Uni's are desperate not to lose students at the best of times but currently they ate extra concerned do they should go out of the way to keep her.
Hope she's ok.

upinthehills Fri 05-Oct-12 08:08:25

I agree she should think about transferring - I did after a few weeks. My original room was right above the front doors of the halls - you can only imagine.

I transferred to another block with view of the hills and on the 3rd floor.

I was a bit weird getting to know a whole new set of people, but the original room was making me totally miserable so it was worth it.

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