EMPTY NEST SUPPORT THREAD-Part 2

(1000 Posts)
MissMarplesBloomers Sun 01-Sep-13 22:15:15

Part one lasted seven years! Thanks RustyBear for the great idea.

I have one DD off this year and another one starting Sixth form so will be here for a few years! grin

So how are all the DC's getting on with the lists/packing etc?

goinggetstough Thu 28-Nov-13 12:34:27

My DS will be returning as when he is revising he will be using the library etc. I think it really does depend also on how the individual DC views university. My DS for example has moved to a university 3 hours away and that is where he lives. Of course he has a room of his own at home and we love to see him. He has come home once this term. For him his life of there and all the activities he participates in. So I suspect there is no general rule.
madeofkent I know you are thinking of your son's welfare but OTC is not like the scouts they get paid, are a part of the TA and the military do get deployed in January when it is cold! We are a military family and I am always amazed that the OTC get paid eg for attending a dinner night, going skiing etc. Of course they do have other things to do but overall it is well worth joining as you get paid to do your hobbies!

madeofkent Thu 28-Nov-13 12:25:59

It's a bit of a dilemma for us too, because of all the stuff that Ds will need to bring home with him. He is with us from the 20th Dec., with a round of relative-visiting and also staying with us, then back on 3rd to go ski-ing for just over a week, then doesn't need to go back to Uni until Feb. However he does have to do a fairly big written assignment and also has to go to OTC a couple of times, including another weekend sleeping rough - in January! shock As are this and next weekend, just up the road from us again. So I am already worried about us spending much of January and February travelling along icy roads ferrying him and all his equipment back and forth. Although I do miss him I am starting to feel that I would rather he stayed there, but I think he would probably feel a bit isolated as he may well be there on his own for much of the time.

DalmationDots Thu 28-Nov-13 09:18:27

Sorry, it is all very confusing and I remember DD having a similar moment of being unsure in first year.
Sounds like lots will go home then if they are local and the types who go home a lot.
Especially if they don't have exams or don't have many.
Why doesn't DD ask around a bit on her course and her flat?

mrsrhodgilbert Wed 27-Nov-13 23:36:54

Thank you, but it seems unclear still. Apparently there will be no teaching for anyone until the end of January and not all courses have exams. I would have assumed therefore that for some the Christmas break could be very long. I'm sure there will be those who do want to get away from home again in the new year and will return to halls quickly. But as most of the people dd knows tend to be local and go home a lot I suspect the place could be deserted for most of January. I'll get her to ask a tutor.

DalmationDots Wed 27-Nov-13 19:42:55

mrsrhod it is personal choice, lots at DDs uni stay for exams or come back early even to revise in quiet. Others prefer to revise at home, but they seem to be in the minority.
DD tends to just see, some exam periods she has stayed at uni for the entire time, others come home for most of it (she lived in a noisy and messy house last year and all her exams were grouped together at the end of the exam period so she wanted to escape the mess/noise to revise last summer), and others she has done a mix if her exams are spaced out. Generally, she preferred revising at uni as she found travelling a pain.
Also she found people do quite a bit of group revision (lots of bonding and course friends were made during exams in first year!!). I encouraged DD to stay in first year as exams don't count, just need to pass, and my older DS said it was a nice time as lots of people were actually around and there was less pressure to go out and much more conversation went on. Later years when results mattered, I put no pressure on DD to stay or be home, it was up to her where she would be most productive.

So, one the whole this is a very unhelpful answer but generally I don't think there is a definite yes/no but more are at uni than at home.

JellicleCat Wed 27-Nov-13 19:36:54

MrsRhod, you may find that exam timings vary depending on year and course, so there may well be students around from the 6th. Eg DD is meant to have exams in December but actually only has one. Also the number of students at uni will vary depending on how far away they live. DD is over 3 hours away by train, so certainly wouldn't only be appearing for exams. I think her lectures finish on the 13th, but she is not coming home until the 21st, but when she goes back in January she will be straight into lectures.

MABS Wed 27-Nov-13 18:59:19

i have no idea MrsRhod, will ask dd when she goes back? not checked yet.

mrsrhodgilbert Wed 27-Nov-13 18:54:27

Yes I have asked her to do this, just wondered if those more experienced had any views.

JGBMum Wed 27-Nov-13 17:00:11

It's worth your dd checking if the tutors are putting on any revision sessions before deciding only to return for actual exams.

mrsrhodgilbert Wed 27-Nov-13 13:54:51

Can I ask a dumb question please? Term starts after Christmas on Monday January 6th but the second semester doesn't start until Monday 27th January. There will be no lectures until the end of the month, however dd has two exams between 6th - 27th. Do students tend to return as soon as term starts or when the semester starts? She can easily commute in for the exams. She thinks everyone will stay at home until the end of the month, appearing only for exams.

Chlorinella Wed 27-Nov-13 13:14:18

DS came home for the weekend , his train arrived 6pm Friday , and he texted asking us not to pick him up til 7-30 as he wanted to meet his old school mates !

He ate loads ( oh good ! Cabbage . Haven't had this for months ! ) slept loads , and talked a lot to us , which was nice .

Says he's friends with his flat mates because you have to be friends with the people you live with . It's a shame they don't all think that way , I wonder if it's because his flat is all boys , and they just get on because it makes for an easier life ?

He breaks up on Dec 13 th , but then goes off skiing for a week ( Uni ski club ) I think the whole resort will be full of students from all over the UK .
He won't be home until the weekend before Christmas .

mummee sorry to hear about the ill grandad , must be a difficult time for you all .

mrsrhodgilbert Tue 26-Nov-13 22:00:02

That's interesting to hear, I wonder what sort of response she will get? Dd said that course reps have been appointed and last week papers were handed out for all the students to write comments/concerns. Apparently if the same issues come up a certain number of times action can be taken. She also met her personal tutor for the first one to one session yesterday and some concerns about the course were discussed in a positive way. There are a couple of lecturers who are generally felt to be hopeless.

Notsoskinnyminny Tue 26-Nov-13 18:52:12

mumeeee sorry to hear you news, thinking of you all.

DD has finally done something proactive and made an appointment to speak to the Head of School about how she hasn't learnt anything since September and how unhappy she is with the slow pace and overall quality of teaching.

mrsrhodgilbert Tue 26-Nov-13 08:18:01

Very sad news mumeee, I wish you and your family well

Fussy, I'm pleased to hear your son has settled and is now enjoying his time in France. What a fantastic opportunity and the very best way to really learn the language in its proper everyday form.

goinggetstough Sat 23-Nov-13 21:26:46

mumee so sorry to hear about your father. Hope you DD3 is OK?

mumeeee Sat 23-Nov-13 19:51:46

I have just had to tell DD3 that her Grandad is very ill. He has cancer (which she knew about) and is getting worse he may go soon. She took it very badly but did go into the kitchen to talk to her flatmates.

fussychica Sat 23-Nov-13 16:52:47

mrsrhod sounds like it's getting better and keeping busy will definitely help. Know what you mean about not talking in depth. Phone calls , even SKYPE, don't really cut it. Looking forward to a proper chat!

fussychica Sat 23-Nov-13 16:48:39

DS away in Bordeaux this weekend and away again next weekend - seems very busy and loving it. Not home until 21st. Seems happy living alone most of the time and coping well with his job and his French is apparently improving all the time - well that is the pointwink.

Glad to hear almost everyone seems to have settled now.

madeofkent Sat 23-Nov-13 16:37:26

That seems to be how my DS copes with it all, even though he finds it all very tiring. He says he would rather be too busy than like his flatmates, sitting texting all day and even when they go out clubbing. As he has never been a texting teen I asked how he coped, as he said they get their drinks, all talk over each other for half an hour then spend an hour texting! He said he goes and wanders to the bar to find people who look as if they are talking to each other rather than posting selfies on facebook... He is a bit scathing about his flatmates, apart from one he says they should all be on TOWIE. But they all get on ok now, which is all you can ask really.

It feels strange, not getting a chance to talk about things in depth doesn't it, mrsr. I have started making notes of questions i have!

mrsrhodgilbert Sat 23-Nov-13 16:06:10

Just a quick update. I dropped dd off at uni on Monday morning after reading week and I didn't speak to her until last night and we have had very few texts. She arrived back in town this morning and we met her at the station to surprise her, take her bag and say hello but then she went straight to work. She now has two jobs, her old one as they asked her back for Christmas and her new one.

She is going to the cinema tonight with dd2 to see the new hunger games film and is going back to uni sometime tomorrow. I know she's had quite a busy week, but I know very little about it. When we see her, briefly, after work I'm hoping she will be happier and be more settled I do know she has met some new people this week.

Only 3 more weeks until the end of term then I expect she will be working quite a lot as well as revising for exams in January. I think if she keeps busy she will feel much less lost.

madeofkent Sat 23-Nov-13 15:57:03

Mine doesn't finish until 20th, which is a real pain as we could have done with him to help out with village xmas stuff. We go away on 23rd so it doesn't leave much time to turn his washing and stuff around. I miagine any DCs coming home so early could get rather bored. DS used to break up during 2nd week in Decmber, so it was quite hard, all the rush of xmas things at school and then nothing much at home for a week or so. But this weekend he has slept most of the time, he is in every day on his course and has three assignmets a week so is finding it pretty tiring.

MABS Sat 23-Nov-13 13:45:46

yeah very nice attitude smile sounds like a lovely child, credit to you!

When and for how long are you getting them back for Christmas? dd term finishes 13 Dec, so was rather shocked when she announced she flying home on 5 Dec as no more lectures after that!...

Notsoskinnyminny Sat 23-Nov-13 13:43:35

Pliudev I'm often tempted to say the same thing the DD about her lack of revision but she decided after going to Japan, by herself, for an interview that maybe she wouldn't like to live there after all and decided the course she's now on would give her more options in the future. So when she phones like last night to rant and cry about the slow pace of the course and how she hasn't learnt anything I have to bite my tongue and make positive suggestions. At least I don't have to worry about train fares as she goes everywhere on a kid's fare. When she did buy an adult ticket, because she was attending a seminar that finished at 2pm, she was stopped by the truancy officer who asked why she wasn't in school grin

DD thanks for the advice about next year's accommodation, I'll tell her to stop worrying about everyone forming cliques and her feeling left out. I wish the universities could issue provisional timetables for next year as DD's only in for 2 1/2 days and would commute if she could get out of her halls contract although it would mean a 10 mile round trip, down country lanes, for me to get her to the station for 7 am.

DalmationDots Sat 23-Nov-13 00:09:31

madeofkent that is great thinking from your son and takes a lot of confidence and self-assurance to think that way. You must have brought him up very well :D
My DD would never have dreamed of being able to live without friends, just because it is the norm. But she was saying last weekend when she moves to London next year for her grad job she will just leave it til last minute to find a space in a house or a studio flat. She feels like she is 'done' with student living after this year and quite content to do her own thing and just go at weekends out when she wants to be social.
If you knew my DD you would understand what a big change and confidence growth she has gone through to be feeling so self-assured to be saying such things!

Oh also Mrsrhod and anyone else, I asked DD (3rd year) when she was home last weekend about the timings of finding houses and she said yes some groups started now, but lots didn't until after Christmas and right up until easter. As time goes on, more groups emerge and lots who had no one fell into lovely houses of like=minded and laid back people who weren't caught up in the initial (often over dramatised) rush!
So absolutely no hurry and it sounds like it can be far better to wait if you don't have an obvious group now.
HTH

madeofkent Fri 22-Nov-13 22:24:44

I asked Ds tonight (he is home for the weekend) about accommodation for next year and he really isn't fussed about who he rents with. I asked, why and he says he has three separate good groups of friends, two from uni courses and one from OTC, and is friendly with one of the boys from his flat but wouldn't want to share with any of them because he has seen how it can break up friendships. He would rather share with strangers with no prior expectations from each other. It made sense. He say he isn't going to start looking until next Easter.

We arrived home at 4pm and he didn't stop talking until 7.30pm and he went to bed at 9pm. grin So funny. Relationships in the flat are now fine, but the flat was broken into 2 weeks ago (he kept that quiet!) and now the front door won't shut and still hasn't been fixed, and a few things were stolen from the sitting room including a sofa module for which the students will probably be charged!!! I'm not sure how that will be sorted out, but we will only wade in if the students come out badly as they can hardly be expected to pay for a sofa stolen because someone broke their door down. Various electrical things went too. So Ds is actually quite happy because he gets a good night sleep because their flat is no longer Party Central, as the owners of the big tv, xboxes and vast boom box thingy have stashed them back in their rooms. He seems very happy - but his face has changed again. That is a very strange feeling, noticing changes in your child instead of seeing them every day.

I have made an older friend recently who thinks I am mad to miss my children. She then said thought fully 'I wonder if it was because I had four of them?'. So maybe it's best to be so exhausted that you are pleased to see the back of them!

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