First child off to Uni

(99 Posts)
duracellbatterybunny Thu 16-Aug-12 23:32:55

Can anyone tell me how to cope with our first daughter going off to University. Really proud of her achievments etc, want her to go and know she is ready, able to take care of herself, but am dreading it. We have a 15 year old daughter and I feel so sorry for her being left with me and DH. Sorry if I sound so self pitying, but I feel in a panic. What should I be doing now, what does she need?

outtolunchagain Tue 21-Aug-12 08:08:31

Ds got details of his accommodation yesterday , the polar opposite of what he requested. Haven't spoken to him as he is away but I suspect he is quite disappointed, however having done a bit of research I think it could be a lot worse , just hope he can see it that wayhmmand makes the most of it anyway.

It seems that there are quite a few who applied to his first choice who have ended up in this residence and there are 650 of them so despite being away from the main campus it can't be that isolating!He just really didn't want to be having to bother with buses etc , all part of the university experience I suppose.

Tressy Tue 21-Aug-12 10:57:57

Same here with the dissapointing accommodation offer. They have allocated the first choice room in the first choice halls which seems to be the best as a couple of others from her course are in the same building and most are in the same complex.

Her uni has it's hall all over the city. But the big but is that she will have to share her room for approx 2/3 weeks!!!! Rent is halved for 6 weeks because of it so freshers money is taken care of. It could be great or it could be terrible.

I've reminded her of the time when I was in a strange country, stranded, a few years older than 18 and meeting a new female friend and we shared not just a room but a double bed (straight) for a few weeks till I found my feet. That was 22 years ago and that friend and I just met up again this week. smile

EldritchCleavage Tue 21-Aug-12 15:36:27

Well, outto, once he's settled in he may be glad. Accommodation right in the middle of campus can be noisy and feel less private than being a bit further away.

outtolunchagain Tue 21-Aug-12 19:47:37

I think you could be right , the walk will also keep him fitgrin

caroscott Tue 21-Aug-12 20:39:50

I know this might sound rudimentary and incredibly naive - but I had assumed the loan would cover, albeit at a very basic level, their outgoings, inc. rent. But as Sauvignon Blanc points out, it doesn't even nearly cover the cost of accommodation! I've looked at Martin Lewis's tips, but he seems to assume a loan of #5,500, when in reality it's nearer #3,500. My eldest is leaving for Uni in a few weeks and we are not only feeling bereft but completely baffled as to how he'll live. Have three other children at home, huge childcare costs etc etc and not much left over at the end of the month. How does everyone else do it? Do they over draw? Do we? Sorry to sound so dim, but I would really appreciate other people's experience. Also, do they really need to take crockery, pans and cutlery to halls? If everyone brings stuff they'll be clanking underfoot and I can't see him cooking anyway!

outtolunchagain Tue 21-Aug-12 21:49:34

I am afraid it is assumed that parents will top up plus many students do get part time jobs. Are you sure that he will not get the full amount of the loan ?

It depends on the university but if he is self catering then he will need to take crockery and pots and pans etc

Caroscott.. it's a shit situation. I have one going into her 3rd year (medicine so 5 years and not NHS funded til 5th when her loan will be even less) and one going for the first time...and financially it is dire..their loans don't even cover the rent!

I send DD1 £30 a week to eat..that's all I can manage and even then it's tough going, but she manages. She can't do a p/t job as medicine is pretty full on but she does anything she can find in the holidays. DD2 is doing nursing and has managed to transfer her job at Fatface to her Uni area (i'm really impressed at her sorting this) but I'll be sending her £30 a week too. Sadly we are simply expected to make up what they need to survive. It's hard when some students get grants and others have wealthy parents and we fall in the 'no help but no money left over' category but DD1 tells me it's ok to be poor...smile

They really DO need crockery, pans etc. But not kettles and toasters as generally too many people bring them! We got Sainsbury's basics toastie makers, etc for DD1 and that was it. Cheap crockery and cutlery as they lose it all.....

My eldest girl is going to uni 300 miles away in three weeks and I know I'll feel like I've lost my right arm. I'm a lone parent too, with two younger girls, and I totally agree that it's now their turn to get more attention, A levels seem to have dominated our house for yonks!

We're all going down with her on the train, to settle her into her hall of residence, which will be amazingly exciting but a bit heart wrenching. Then me and her sisters are swanning off to see a show and stay in a hotel so that we can enjoy the weekend away, while hopefully my eldest will be down the union bar, having a fantastic time!

I'm so proud of her and know that she'll make pals quickly and will really enjoy her course but, God, it'll be quiet back at home without her. Still, she's ready to fly the nest and carve out a career for herself so it's all good.

Shes going to have to get a part time job - I can send her food parcels and a few quid every month but it'll be nowhere near enough to survive on if she doesn't.

It seems like five minutes ago that she was my little baby and I promised her the world. Now she's going off to take it on! smile

fussychica Wed 22-Aug-12 11:24:39

As well as a loan for fees this is what's available to 2012 entrants:
Maintenance Loans

The maximum Maintenance Loan for new students starting from 1 September 2012 is:
•£5,500 if you live away from home and study at a university or college outside London
•£7,675 if you live away from home and study at a university or college in London
•£4,375 if you live at home
Student loans

Maintenance Grants

You can also apply for a Maintenance Grant if your family income is below £42,600. You can get:
•£3,250 if your household income is £25,000 or under
•£50-£3250 if your household income is between £25,000 and £42,600

So anyone with a household income under £42.6K can apply for a non repayable grant in addition to the £5.5k loan.

caroscott not sure why your DC isn't getting the £5.5k loan - did your DC apply for less? You can choose the amount you apply for.

My DS manages on a full loan and an income assessed maintenance grant and we pay his phone,trips home and some other bits & pieces. Student bank accounts usually offer free overdraft facilities but I'm pleased to say he managed without that. If your household income is over £42k after all the deductions on the forms then I can see the other £3.5 is down to you. However, in addition, most unis do offer various buraries and incentives which seem pretty generous this year. Unfortunately our DSs uni decide to withdraw this last year at the last minute so even though we are low income he receives £1k less a year than that which was advertised when he accepted his place. I'm livid but have tried to sort but without successangry.

Hope at least some of this helped.

fussychica Wed 22-Aug-12 11:37:31

Sorry I'm confused I just looked at something else which gives different info and I can't delete the top half of my post which was copied from direct gov. but doesn't appear to be correct judging by a post on another thread.confused Apologies.

RustyBear Wed 22-Aug-12 11:43:40

Fussychica - when DD qualified for a maintenance grant, the amount was deducted from the amount she could borrow - which effectively just meant that part of the loan was non-repayable, not that she actually got more money to live on. Does that not happen any more - because the directgov site still seems to say that it does?

Lifeisontheup Wed 22-Aug-12 12:12:32

Tip from my DD who has been at uni for two years- buy them some toastie bags which make lovely toasted sandwiches in the toaster. You can get them from Wilkinsons and lots of other places.
Most halls have a toaster already and don't allow kettles,toasters etc in their rooms due to fire risk.
Point any relatives who want to give a going away present towards amazon gift cards for textbook purchasing.

fussychica Wed 22-Aug-12 17:45:56

Yes RustyBear you are right. Got myself completely confused (senior momentblush). Copied the above from the direct gov website and obviously made similar assumptions to Martin Lewis which caroscott already said was not how it works out.
My DS is on a 2011 starters finance package so a bit different from this years and managed on just under £6.5k (living in self catering halls). Moving into a flat this year - hope he can still manage when he has to budget for utility bills on top of rent & food etc.

crunched Mon 27-Aug-12 20:16:47

Feel so pathetic ...I know DD1 will have a fantastic experience at uni, despite the usual lack of funds, not getting ideal accommodation etc. So why can't I stop sobbing as I read these posts?

Am I the only Mother to feel this? Friends seem either relieved to be shot of their DC or their DC is staying local, DD1 is over 3 hours away - at the only institution that does her choice of course.

I've always happily quoted the "Give them roots and give them wings" mantra, but you see.....
I'm going to miss her SO much sad

Theas18 Mon 27-Aug-12 21:54:21

Aww crunched you are allowed to miss her , it's normal. She will miss you too.... but if you've got it right, not cripplingly so that she is homesick all the time etc.

You can go an see her y'know. After a few weeks, and take her out for a good feed away from hall/self catering food (if she's s/c maybe take a friend or 2 as well to somewhere not too spendy- get the know them a bit?).

My DD doesn't come home in term time as she has a choral scholarship with weekends all committed. However it does mean I can go to concerts or services any time I want - we go maybe a couple of times a term. I suspect she'll stay till Xmas this time too as she has a house and staying on means earning more for services... as well as staying with her mates!

It's not too bad, and, having had DD home all summer I can see she needs to go back now, she's missing her "uni family" and rubbing her siblings up the wrong way a bit (and me at times....the "banter" ... apparently they aren't arguing!).

THe empty nest stuff is bad at times, but it's as it should be- if you didn't feel a hole in your life you'd have not got it right-

Roots and wings, remember roots and wings....

outtolunchagain Mon 27-Aug-12 22:02:53

Crunched , my ds is also going three hours plus away and is also in practically his last choice of accommodation!All part of the learning experience ( its not a place beginning with L in the north is it?)

I know I am going to miss him dreadfully as we are v close , having said that we seem to have spent most of the last two days arguing but I know he is ready .Your dd will be fine and that's the important thing .

pinkbraces Mon 27-Aug-12 22:06:28

My DD is off to London, she is my only and I am going to miss her so very much. I do have my lovely SD at home but she is going to miss her as well!

Its such a strange time, we are all very excited for her and sad at the same time. She is very nervous and is ignoring the fact of her leaving by not talking about it.

I have permanent knots in my stomach but I know she will be fine and have a great time (keep repeating)

maples Mon 27-Aug-12 22:24:48

In tears reading and DS is 1!

Good luck to all you mums and your dc - exciting times.

badgerhead Tue 28-Aug-12 08:28:56

My dd is going 4.5 hours away and didn't get the halls she wanted. So much so that we drove up there on Sunday evening to look at a private rented house we had found on the internet. Had a look round yesterday , liked it grin Popped into see my elderly mother on the way home and today are ringing to confirm the room is wanted, she is feeling a lot happier about accommodation & thinks she has found 1 or 2 other girls in the same situation who might well share with her.

outtolunchagain Tue 28-Aug-12 08:38:01

Gosh badger thats brave , glad your daughter is feeling more positive . Ds seems to be coming round to his accommodation and I actually don't think it's nearly the disaster he makes out .He is driving me mad though I know it's partly nervousness but one minute he shouting at me to stop interfering and the next he's panicking and having a go at me because I'm not helping him.Dh and Ds have fallen out because dh had a go at him about the way he treats me , and dh and I have fallen out because he is refusing to get involved now and is just leaving me to deal with all ds's shenanigans hmmand I am fed up and ds now has tonsillitis sad

This is meant to be a happy time but it's turning into a nightmare and poor dses2 and 3 are seriously being left out.sad

crunched Tue 28-Aug-12 10:20:05

So nice to know some Mumsnetters don't think I'm just an over protective nutter! Thanks Theas18, outtolunchagain and pinkbraces.

DDs going to Uni in the south-east and her hall is located in a wood 10 minutes walk from the main campus ! It does seem nice though and at least she will get some fresh air.

Tressy Tue 28-Aug-12 10:29:56

It's starting to hit me now. The weekend felt autuminal and I realised that as the nights draw in she will be gone and I will be alone. Arggh! Neither of us are ready.

badgerhead Tue 28-Aug-12 11:52:12

Crunched I'm opposite to you as dd is going to uni in the NW & we live in the SE. DD is certainly a lot less moody today than she was over the weekend & I'm sure she's made the right decision re accommodation as she is very particular about what she wants in that respect, she was even saying she wouldn't go to uni if she couldn't get somewhere nice to live. I think it is a bit easier for her as both my 92 year old mother & my brother live about 40 mins from her uni city as do her older cousins who she gets on well with. So she knows she can call on them in an emergency. I think I won't hear from her very much except when she wants something (like money).
It's beginning to hit me more now we've been up there over the weekend, but I know I will miss her, although we do argue on occasions. Oh well I will have my OU modules to study, dd 2 her GCSE's & dh his hobby of model railways to keep us all occupied.

Tressy Tue 28-Aug-12 12:00:03

Opposite for us as well. We live in NW and DD is going 300 miles down south.

We got a shock re accomodation too in that she might have to share for a couple of weeks if she wants her first choice place and room. It's a bigger room hence them asking her to share. Fingers crossed it goes ok.

higgle Tue 28-Aug-12 15:38:14

I have bought black towels from John Lewis for both my sons since they first needed towels for school aged . They last ages and ages and always look good.

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