DS/DD off to Uni? - Empty nest support thread

(1000 Posts)
rustybear Thu 31-Aug-06 20:09:19

DS is off to Warwick in October - anyone else feeling old? Or are there any old hands with advice ?

sandripples Sun 14-Oct-12 18:41:34

Crikey Ladyday -just let her be for a while I guess.

I have been lurking on here as my DS (second and last DC) left for uni 2 weeks ago. I've been doing really well as have been very busy but today was quiet and I missed him. I think he's doing the 'needing to separate out and show he's independent' thing and I'm sure that's healthy - but the house is so quiet and boring! A group of mums are going out on Friday to compare notes so I'm looking forward to that. DS has gone to Imperial and is happy there so far. It was all very festive when we took him down which made a good impression, and there have been lots of social events, although I suspect the work-load will pick up now. Its a heavy time-table so at least I feel we're getting good value for the fees.

outtolunchagain Tue 30-Oct-12 18:24:04

Off to visit ds tomorrow , two younger boys very excited to see him , cake in oven!

Hopefully all will be as expected , certainlyhe spunds as if he has settled really well , and his first couple of pieces of work have had good marks .smile

fussychica Wed 31-Oct-12 13:50:28

Enjoy your visit - unfortunately won't see my DS until the Xmas hols - actually I'm strangely pleased about that as last year he missed half the first term due to being hospitalised for a collapsed lung during Freshers week!

Tressy Wed 31-Oct-12 14:07:52

I've really struggled with DD being away. It's been mainly just the two of us for 18 years and has hit me hard. Does it get easier? On the plus side she is home this weekend grin.

Yellowtip Mon 12-Nov-12 21:55:56

How was it Tressy? Is she happy where she is? Course ok? People ok?

Tressy Mon 12-Nov-12 22:21:18

Hi, we had a great weekend, much needed and it's not long until the Christmas break.

She is loving it, she has made lots of friends and is fitting in and really happy. She is enjoying the course and it was the right thing for her to do. Thanks very much for asking.

How is your DS getting on?

Yellowtip Tue 13-Nov-12 09:59:11

That's great Tressy smile. A good ending then to a new beginning. DS also completely fine and seems very happy indeed. Quite a lot of work clearly but lots of other stuff too. He's a bit monosyllabic on the phone (always has been, unlike the girls), but I went to see them for a day at half-term and he was very chirpy then. Hadn't changed his duvet since the first day of term when I stuck it on for him, but apart from that....

fussychica Tue 13-Nov-12 15:00:42

DS Skype'd last night for the first time since he started Uni - he usually phones but was slightly shocked by an enormous bill after going over his call limit after a long chat! Been telling him to do this for ages but you know what they're like.
Anyway, it was really lovely to see him rather than just talk but it has actually made me miss him more confused

gelo Wed 14-Nov-12 15:49:02

fussy, I had a long skype with ds on monday too, which was lovely as he's been rather uncommunicative so far this term. He's decided to stay up an extra 2 weeks at the end of term and is going for a week away in Spain with his sports team before the start of next term, so I feel like I'm hardly going to see him at xmas, and I'm missing him a lot. He does seem very happy though.

fussychica Wed 14-Nov-12 18:21:09

gelo that will be hard for you. Is this his first year? If so, great he feels that involved already. Is he far from you?
DS is 2nd year and too far away to come home anytime other than term ends. This is the longest term so far as this time last year he had only just returned after an emergency op! Year abroad next year so am being eased in for that!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 14-Nov-12 18:25:39

My DD is in her third year at Uni 200 miles away. I miss her a lot - DS has graduated and is now living back at home for a while while he saves up his deposit to move out. I think I miss DD more - even though she is much better and keeping in contact and was also gone for 10 months in Australia on a gap year before she went off to univeristy! We had a fab day girly shopping and doing lunch when she was home last weekend.

gelo Wed 14-Nov-12 23:38:18

It's his first year fussy, so yes, I should be (and am) pleased he's settled in so well. It's about a 3 hr drive away (neither near nor very far), but an awkward journey via London for public transport, so while he could come home for a weekend if he really wanted to, it's unlikely. We did go and visit briefly at half term, so I shouldn't really complain. A year abroad next year for your ds though - that will be fantastic for him and very tough for you. Might you be able to visit him? Skype was good, and we are getting an improved internet this week, so it should be better next time - hopefully there will be a next time as it seems like a good way to keep up.

sandripples Sat 17-Nov-12 18:58:07

Fussy, I found when my DD wet for her 3rd year abroad, she was in more frequent contact for the first few months (on Skype) as she didn't know anyone at first so was quite happy to spend time with us on Skype. Things picked up and she had a great year, but the first term was rather quiet so we benefitted!

sandripples Sat 17-Nov-12 19:01:27

PS I am still finding our house too quiet without any DCs around. Am looking forward to CHristmas as DS back for 3 weeks and DD for one week.

DH and I have been going out a bit more than we did - cinema mainly as we both enjoy the movies. But I do find myself wondering about the point of life - not in a seriously depressed way - don't worry - but after all those years bringin them up it does feel suddenly very odd. It must have been even worse for my mum when I left as she had no job - mine at least means I'm still professionally busy - too much so really. I need a new balance in life but can't afford to reduce my hours due to the costs of uni!!

fussychica Mon 19-Nov-12 15:14:27

sandripples where did your DD go for her YA? DS going to France. I think it's the lack of support that worries me - finding accommodation on your own in a country where you aren't fluent in the language, that sort of thing. Everyone says the French aren't terribly forgiving if you struggle language wise. DS is used to Spain where he's fluent and people are just delighted if you try to speak Spanish anyway!
Sorry you're feeling a bit low - I'm sure you'll get back on keel when you see them at Xmas.
gelo hope we'll be able to visit - he thought about choosing some of the French territories which would have been out of the question but mainland makes it doable.
amother I'm sure you'll get plenty of girly days over Xmas
Well girls it's only 4 weeks until they are home!!!!!

sandripples Wed 21-Nov-12 19:52:49

Hi Fussy, My DD went to Germany (Hanover) as a student through Erasmus scheme - getting accommodation was rather daunting as uni let her down very late so as I'd gone out for a w/e we had to just focus on finding her a room. We looked in a student book which said look at notice boards. So with help from restaurant staff we tracked down boards - then by chance a woman saw us there looking a bit desperate and asked if she might be able to help as she and a group of friends were buying a house and planned to let out a room!! It seemed a long shot as they didn't actually own the property at that pioint - but we went and had a look and DD moved there about a week later. It worked out well - amazing really.

However if that hadn't worked we also found an International Student Office which had an Accommodation Officer and I guess that should normally be the starting point.

Has your DS got any framework such as Erasmus or an Assistant job? Withough those yes It might be difficult to know where to start but their uni's should really make sone suggestions eg putting them in touch with students in the same town the year before.

I did 2 YAs (many years ago)in France but was given accommodation each time . A niece did an Assistante job in France recently and was again offered a room. Another niece is in Bologna and somehow found a place. So fear not, it can be done! I think students use FB a huge amount to find people in in similar situations and get tips. I also think they have to be quite flexible about what sort of accommodation they will accept.

If he's going to a uni town the website will give some pointers and he might find a student guide to the town, for foreign students, as we did. (We found it by chance as someone had left it lying around at the Youth Hostel!)

Good luck - I'm sure he'll be fine. Toulouse is a great city to go to by the way! Where is he thinking of?

fussychica Thu 22-Nov-12 11:35:26

Thanks for all that sandripples - some helpful & interesting stuff. He has applied for British Council assistantship in either Bordeaux, Nancy-Metz or Besancon. He won't find out if he's been successful until the Spring (apparently it's very popular choice now so more competitive than previously)and it's even later when they find out where they are actually going. I'm most concerned he'll land up somewhere really rural and be stuck in a small village which might be very pretty but could be very lonely. As it's mainland france we'll probably drive him down and help him sort something if nothing has turned up before he leaves. Anyway, it's almost a year away so for now I think I'll just look forward to seeing him in 3 weeks!

harbingerofdoom Fri 23-Nov-12 17:54:36

Hi,*sandripples and fussy DD1 is going to be spending her YA in Spain, hopefully in Granada (if not,maybe Zaragossa). She will be through the Erasmus scheme. Do they normally help with accommodation? She's handed the form in,it's happening!
Can the YA student claim the Maintenance loan as normal (like the last 2 years)?

sandripples Fri 23-Nov-12 20:00:37

Hi Fussy - I do hope the application is successful then - I'm envious! I'm pretty sure that all Assistants get help with finding accommodation. Even if he's in a small place there will be a bigger place not too far away - he'll be fine! All good places to apply to as well.

Harbinger - I'm trying to remember if DD still got her maintenance loan - I think she did. Rent in Germany was cheaper than here so our contribution was less for that year (yay!) She also had reduced fees at her home uni for that year (but there were some fees even though she wasn't there, but she did have to keep in touch and do a project which had to be marked. This was at Cambridge) and also she got a stipend through the ERASMUS scheme. But when they go as students I think they have to rely on their own network to help find accommodation (eg students who've been to same place the year before) and/or use the International Office of the European Uni.

The YA is challenging but its a great opportunity.

harbingerofdoom Fri 23-Nov-12 21:23:01

sandripples DD has to do a marked project. I think she has until March to decide the title. She also has to keep learning her second language. She's got in a muddle because she's 'Spanish and Latin Am' but chose all the Portuguese modules and almost doing Spanish/Portuguese and Latin American.
Officially,she has no second language. The University expects students to study in the country of their 'second' ie Portugal/Brazil.
Oh,it's all muddled because the 'title' isn't Spanish and Portuguese.

Sympathique Sat 24-Nov-12 14:46:56

Another way: DD spent her YA in Paris as an intern, and sorted accommodation herself through Paris estate agents in the August before she went. TBH, I thought it was just part of the experience. It was a bit of a learning curve but using the Internet she found places to look at, & she and I did a swift airmiles-subsidised trip across (which taught us to avoid Charles de Gaulle airport for ever more). She missed out on all of those places for one reason or another, but in the end found somewhere central that she was happy in - and though the visit though didn't produce a flat/bedsit it was v instructive (and fun mother/DD bonding!). I have rose-tinted specs now, but I do remember dealing with Paris agents was a bit scary at first. This was the year before Erasmus support came in for everyone so the only real downside was it ~bankrupted us - but she chose to intern with our very enthusiastic support and she had the most brilliant year. And I spent a year boasting about 'my' flat in Paris! Of course, Paris being close made it easier to sort accommodation (we're in the southeast). Still love Eurostar.

MrsGregoryHouse Sat 24-Nov-12 17:40:25

Harbinger my DS went to Granada a couple of years ago and had an amazing time. He was able to take Portuguese modules, as well as Spanish. It was very cheap to live there, his Erasmus grant covered most of his living costs although he didn't have pay any fees to his home university. He found accommodation easily, there are adverts posted up for flats / rooms available. He lived in a 4 bed apartment for about £100 month, and could see the Alhambra from his window. Thru the winter he skied in the Sierra Nevada, then caught the bus down to the beach every weekend from Easter onwards. It is a fantastic city to live in, full of international students and free tapas!

saffy202 Sun 25-Nov-12 22:31:19

Just found this thread smile We have just waved ds1 back to Uni after him coming home for the weekend. It was his birthday on Thursday and it felt very strange not to have him home for that. It is his first year and he worried he would suffer from homesickness but he has settled in amazingly - he just seems to love the structured lifestyle of going to lectures, to the food court and to the library.
Train back to Uni was a nightmare today because of the flooding. I miss him but how messy does the house get when he is here and he is forever searching in cupboards/fridge for food. And when he is tired omg I forgot how miserable he can be grin Oh well only a couple more weeks and we will be going down to bring him back for a month for Christmas!

harbingerofdoom Mon 26-Nov-12 19:55:37

MrsGregoryHouse Thank you for your reply. I'm really going to keep my fingers crossed for her. Hope she gets her first choice. She went to Seville in her gap year and managed to visit Rhonda,Granada,Cordova,and several other places I can't recall. She would have gone back to Seville but there is no Erasmus link with her UK university.
Which country is your DS living in now?

gelo Sat 01-Dec-12 12:00:28

Ds came home last night as term has finished already! It seems to have gone well - but he's enjoyed it so much he's going back tomorrow for another fortnight to help out with the interview candidates, but it's lovely to see him again, albeit briefly. It's made me realise just how much I've missed him.

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