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to feel sorry for today's university students?

(146 Posts)
Lucydogz Mon 12-Sep-16 09:57:14

I live in a city with a couple of big universities, so this last weekend the place was full of new students finding their way around, most of them with mummy and daddy. When I started uni (admittedly decades ago) you were put on the train with your bags and left to it. It was sometimes hard and lonely, but I don't think having my parents along would have helped. Why do parents have to be so involved these days?
Plus (while I'm on the subject) student halls of residence used to be pretty spartan - shared bathrooms for the landing, and one TV, in the Common Room. Even if you were shy, you couldn't hide in your room all day. Now they seem to live in little pods and never need to actually socialise.
I expect I'll be flamed about this, but doesn't anyone else think that student life was better in the past (and that's without the issue of loans)

Ifailed Mon 12-Sep-16 10:01:51

Inclined to agree with you, people seem to forget that students are fully formed adults and in any other situation would be expected to be out at work and behaving like grown-ups. Expect to get flamed though.

dowhatnow Mon 12-Sep-16 10:02:02

My mum and dad took me up in the car. We didn't have a tv at all in our halls and had to queue for the one phone, and yes everything is luxurious compared to what we lived with, but I agree with you in that I think it was less pressure and more fun then.

elliejjtiny Mon 12-Sep-16 10:04:21

I went to university in 2001 and had more parental involvement than you but less than what you're describing about students now. I think parents are having to pay more these days so they want to be more involved. Which is understandable these days. Also there is generally more parental involvement with everything as time goes on. My mum had much more freedom as a child than I did and I had more freedom than my boys do.

Cocochoco Mon 12-Sep-16 10:04:30

Everyone I knew got a lift to uni at the start of the year. That was 30 years ago.

Agree they are pretty pampered generally - en suite bathrooms are the norm! They are paying for the privilege though

VanillaSugarandChristmasSpice Mon 12-Sep-16 10:07:29

Actually, I agree with you. It does, however, depend on the parent.

My mother happily ferried my brother to/from Oxford because she likes being Mrs Bucket. She'd phone up her friends to say "I can't meet you next week, I'm taking PFB to OXFORD. "

I had to get myself and all my shite to Canterbury from York by myself. I asked her about it a few years ago and she said that she didn't want to think about it. Thanks, Mum.

Roll forward many years and my own PFB is going to start uni this weekend.

DH is going to take her and I am going to stay at home. It will break my heart to do so, but DH is a sensible man who will drop her stuff off and disappear without making a fuss. I'd just complain about the state of the kitchen and carpets and embarrass the poor kid.

trufflesnout Mon 12-Sep-16 10:09:37

Well surely some of those mummies and daddies would have been the ones packed off on trains with their bags? Maybe they didn't like it and wouldn't do that to their own.

I had an uneventful departure to uni

BorpBorpBorp Mon 12-Sep-16 10:12:52

I work at a university.

I feel sorry for today's students, but not for the reasons you listed. Having an en suite isn't going to stop them making friends. The upscaling of accommodation does mean that it's very difficult to find accommodation that costs less than the total maintenance loan amount, though.

I think it's been more normal to be dropped off by your parents than to make your own way for a long time. It does make it harder for people who do have to make their own way, though. We have care leavers arriving with literally a holdall full of clothes, nothing else, and nobody to help them get set up.

WorraLiberty Mon 12-Sep-16 10:13:04

I don't think I knew anyone who turned up by train. From memory, most people got a lift with their bags etc.

I can't see a problem.

I don't know anyone of Uni age who calls their parents 'Mummy and Daddy', either.

situatedknowledge Mon 12-Sep-16 10:13:05

DM dropped me at the door of my halls and left without a backward glance. I would not wish that on my DC. Simples.

I do agree that halls seem to be a bit OTT now. DH shared a room for 3 in first year, and I can't imagine many doing that now.

Ohtobeskiing Mon 12-Sep-16 10:16:56

I disagree that 18 year olds are 'fully formed adults' - regardless of whether they are starting university or starting a job.

Floisme Mon 12-Sep-16 10:17:03

Oh dear, 'mummy and daddy' gave me a lift in 1975 blush We then went to the Wimpy for something to eat as it was the only place open on a Sunday.

I survived the shame.

But yes, my son has the benefit of a heated room and a flushing toilet but I do worry that I probably had more fun than he's having - and a better chance of finding work afterwards.

freetrampolineforall Mon 12-Sep-16 10:17:58

I got a full grant at Uni because parents were low income then pensioners. They wouldn't have been able to afford it now. And god knows how long it would take me to pay off a loan. That's the thing I feel sorry about for today's students. Not the coddling stuff.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Mon 12-Sep-16 10:21:36

I don't think having your parents drop you off is awful but when they stick around for hours at the halls mollycoddling and fussing over their kids they are probably doing more harm then good.

OreoCat Mon 12-Sep-16 10:23:14

I don't think there's much of a problem with what you are describing. However, what I DO think is a problem is the amount of stories I've heard (on here and in RL) of parents phoning lecturers to explain why precious (ADULT) snowflake couldn't turn in their assignments on time or how it is the lecturers fault they failed that exam etc. I couldn't imagine getting my parents to do that while I was at uni - because a) I would be mortified b) they would never have done it had I asked and c) it says a lot to a lecturer if you can't handle these things yourself. My university dissertation lecturer was one of my references for my first job related to my degree, I can't imagine what he would have said if I was always getting my parents to communicate my issues and not taking ownership for missing assignments etc!

electricflyzapper Mon 12-Sep-16 10:23:53

Well I think you are being a bit longer faced about it all. My parents took me to uni in the car well over 30 years ago, as did everyone else's parents as far as I can recall.

We took ds1 on his first day 2 years ago, helped him set up his room, and did some shopping with him and took him out to lunch. Last year, just dh took him but still took him out for lunch, and the same will happen again next week. Then, 2 weeks later our second son is starting uni, only at a uni 300 miles away so we are going to stay overnight in a hotel with him. We will then settle him in his room and take him out to lunch. Doubtless we will be seen about town with him, and we may do some last minute shopping with him. It isn't babying him, or pampering him. It is just doing what parents have done for their children for decades.

electricflyzapper Mon 12-Sep-16 10:24:33

longer faced is meant to be PO faced.

Floisme Mon 12-Sep-16 10:24:46

I walked straight out of uni into a 'graduate' job with proper induction and training. I bought a house five years later. That's what I call pampering - not having an ensuite so badly designed, the whole floor know your bowel movements.

wasonthelist Mon 12-Sep-16 10:27:10

I feel sorry for 'em but for different reasons. I drove myself there in a knackered £150 van I bought and insured myself from summer and weekend jobs. No tuition fees and I got a partial grant (!) and my parents paid "their" bit. I was massively privilliged - very sorry for todays kids who don't have the start I did.

YellowPrimula Mon 12-Sep-16 10:30:09

My parents took me in 1983 and I didn't know anyone who didn't get dropped off in term1 , after that it was a mixture. I usually came home on the train but my Dad drove me up st the beginning of every term . The journey took about four hours and those journies are some of my happiest memories of time spent with my dad ,he taught me how to driven the motorway ( those were the days when a 19 year old could be insured on a Volvo estate ) and we had some really good discussions .

Accommodation might be more luxurious now but that's so that universities can make money in the holidays letting it out for conferences.Its very hard for students to get cheap first year accommodation in the first year , parents are often paying so they are bound to be interested .

VanillaSugarandChristmasSpice Mon 12-Sep-16 10:30:14

Worra Congratulations. You've just met someone who had to do the whole train and tube and another train and a taxi up the hill journey in her own, even on the first day. My mother wonders why we're not close.

WorraLiberty Mon 12-Sep-16 10:32:00

Also, there are waaay more 2 car families than there were years ago.

So if one parent isn't available to drive, the chances are the other will be.

JamieVardysParty Mon 12-Sep-16 10:32:54

I graduated in 2011 and halls were exactly as you describe (shower/toilet one between 2). Everyone had parents drop them off but only saw other people's parents 1-2 times a year. Student houses are still as grotty as they ever were.

These halls still exist, it's just now there are more choices, particularly private halls for foreign students. It's a huge business now.

I feel sorry for students, including myself, who pay a fortune to live and learn, to leave at 21 with a mountain of debt and graduate into a very difficult working environment, taking horrible internships and then having to listen to a boss tell me how rich he is from his free university education, using his university grant as a deposit for a flat in London 17 years ago and that he is a self-made man. While I'm battling the student loan repayment company.

Maybe I'm just unlucky though grin

MackerelOfFact Mon 12-Sep-16 10:35:38

When I started university about 15 years ago, most people got a lift from their parents. Maybe it's different in catered halls, but I wouldn't have been able to drag clothes, shoes, saucepans, plates, books, bedding etc on the train by myself, and definitely wouldn't have been able to afford to buy them all new when I arrived. There was no student parking on campus or anywhere close, so there was no option to drive yourself, and those who did come by public transport were the ones that lived fairly locally anyway and could do it in several trips.

The parents definitely didn't hang about though, after a quick cup of tea and a nose round, they were off again.

I imagine the reason parents are so much more involved these days is down to one thing - cost.

elQuintoConyo Mon 12-Sep-16 10:35:40

My dad drove me to uni in the mid-90s and stayed for around a half hour and then left. As did all my halls friends' parents. My best friend's boyfriend hung around for hours and she had to tell him to bugger off in the end!

I'd have loved my parents to have bought me lunch or done a last-minute food shop with me. Or sent foid parcels full if biscuits and other goodies.

They did not have any contact whatsoever with the uni, it was all up to me. They had no idea about deadlines or my dissertation - although to be fair my dad did ask what it was on and gave an "oh... um.. sounds interesting" mumble grin

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