DD struggling at uni - do old fashioned 'digs' still exist?

(18 Posts)
Umleila Wed 04-Nov-15 00:43:11

My DD has been at uni a month but being dyslexic and dyspraxic is struggling to fit in all the work of a full-on science course with catering for herself, doing her own washing etc. She is getting distressed and depressed. Do old fashioned 'digs' still exist where young people can live in someone's house and have meals and washing etc provided? There is fully catered accom there but it's a long way from the uni.

Nearlycaughtawoozle Wed 04-Nov-15 00:52:15

Has she been in touch with student welfare? DD is also dyslexic and dyspraxic and there has been lots of help available. Sorry to hear she's having a tough time flowers

Umleila Wed 04-Nov-15 01:06:34

Thanks Woozle, esp for the bouquet! She has been to student support but they seem to take ages to do anything. She likes the people in her flat (though they are v noisy until all hours!) but also envies the local students who live at home because they get their meals cooked and get quiet time to study. We could move over to the uni city but that seems to be taking it a bit too far! A nice old-fashioned landlady who provides food, washing, etc would be a possibility, but have they died out?

Naoko Wed 04-Nov-15 01:10:04

Are you/she able to throw money at the problem? I had (have) chronic health problems as a student and whenever I had a bad time of things with my health, I gave up all pretenses at cooking and just stocked up on ready meals. You can get really quite decent ones now although they're obviously not the cheapest. She could dump her clothes at a launderette for a service wash, and order groceries for delivery?

I don't know if digs like that still exist but she might miss out on a lot of 'student' things if she lives somewhere like that.

bobs123 Wed 04-Nov-15 01:17:33

Sorry to hear your DD is struggling. I have no answer to your question, but the support she should be receiving at uni should be the people to ask. Try posting this on the New Uni Starters 2015 thread for more help as there a few with struggling DC on there www.mumsnet.com/Talk/higher_education/2480687-New-Uni-starters-2015-continued-from-Preparing-for-Uni?

RiaOverTheRainbow Wed 04-Nov-15 01:46:15

I was at uni a few years ago and I've never heard of digs like that, sorry. Sometimes students will do other students' laundry/cleaning etc for cash, she could ask around or put up an advert.

GrinAndTonic Wed 04-Nov-15 03:55:18

If it is only a month then she is probably still finding her feet. If she has never really had to fend for herself then the change from living at home and having a lot of things done for her to being independent will take time. At school you are spoon fed and at uni you are not so that takes getting used to. I would maybe encourage her to focus on one new task at a time. For example, she continues with her uni work as normal and lives off ready meals but practices doing her washing. It should only take an hour or two a week. Once that is mastered she can learn to cook (or like most uni students live off rice and tuna). I wouldn't encourage her to leave just yet. It is only early days.

Umleila Wed 04-Nov-15 10:58:10

Thanks for all your help, everybody! I think that the old fashioned 'digs' have died out. I also think that ready meals will help (she has been cooking meals from scratch) but I think she needs to park that idea for a while. I will tell her to go and get some nice chilled/frozen meals in, even if she baulks at the price.

I know it's early days - just hope she adjusts to the pressure soon!

alderhow Wed 04-Nov-15 11:09:43

My coursemate at uni lives in the kind of 'digs' you describe but he's an international student, it seems to be more common for them. It's described as a 'host family' and he gets laundry, food provided etc and eats with the family.

housing.london.ac.uk/find-accommodation/short-term-housing/homestay-host-family-accommodation

Nearlycaughtawoozle Wed 04-Nov-15 11:28:58

She will be ok - DD is in 2nd year and fine. I think everything is overwhelming in that first term.

DD batch cooks - she makes a huge pot of something like vegetable curry and eats the same thing all week - boring but cheap and means she doesn't have to cook every night.

Could you set up some online shopping for her? Going to the supermarket without a car takes forever and as PP suggested getting laundry done at a service wash is a possibility.

I think she might need to badger student services a bit to get some support and to make sure that it is being dealt with - DD's paperwork was lost initially which caused a delay.

Umleila Wed 04-Nov-15 13:37:43

Thanks Alderhow - sounds like the host family thing might work for her. I will see if her uni offers the same service - at least it could be an option though I wonder how financing works for that? And big thanks Woozle for the ideas about batch cooking and online shopping. I will find out if supermarkets that offer online shopping will deliver to her student hall.

You are right about student services - certainly at her uni admin is not great and all paperwork tends to require a lot of pestering which she has not got much time for, but I have told her to hassle them.

Thanks again all!

Millymollymama Sat 07-Nov-15 18:54:21

When students gel, they do tend to cook for all in the flat and not individually. Shopping via supermarket deliveries for all the flat is usually a good idea too if they can get organised to do it.

Catered accommodation is better in my view and travel is usually not a problem because everyone is doing it, even if it is a couple of miles. Catered means there is less to think about, and helps them concentrate on the educational requirements, which in turn helps some students settle more quickly. Could you see if there is space in the catered hall? Is there only one?

She should give it more time. It is a big jump from school to university and student services are nowhere near the same as schools that bend over backwards. Living with a landlady will make friendships with other students really difficult as any digs will not feel like her space and it will be difficult to have friends back. Students in many halls are noisy and enjoy their first taste of freedom. It is just a case of rubbing along together and they will probably calm down. She will encounter people that are not like her when she starts work so tolerating them is good practice. Also forming friendships might be important if she has to share a flat/house next year.

sashh Mon 09-Nov-15 14:38:56

As she can cook and gets on with housemates could she suggest a rota? One day a week she cooks for the flat and different students take different days?

Does she have a freezer? It might be worth her picking up a second hand one and then batch cooking and freezing, depending on how far away she is could you go over one weekend and cook with her?

Umleila Tue 10-Nov-15 11:21:43

Thanks again all! When I spoke to my dd last night she said that whole flat had, as Millimolly says, started to 'gel' and she had cooked dinner with another girl which was a help. They have also started to quieten down a bit (at the start most of them stayed out clubbing until 2am even on weeknights!) She was much more enthusisatic about staying in the flat so I agree that the landlady idea will not be a good idea. Thnaks so much for all your ideas. They do have a freezer and now that they are more of a proper group they might like to start with the shared cooking and shopping - I will suggest it to her. Big thanks for all your comments as they helped me fel less stressed about this, and that can only be a good thing, for me and for her. star to you all!

Millymollymama Tue 10-Nov-15 21:16:52

So glad things are improving. It will be better when friendships are fully formed and they work together with shopping and meals. Just the arguments about tidying up to be sorted then!

Blue14 Sun 10-Jan-16 08:20:44

being dyslexic and dyspraxic is no bar to independent living, its just experience and confidence, like anyone else.

Savagebeauty Sun 10-Jan-16 08:24:03

Glad things are better.
"Digs" are available.. My friend's dd was in them briefly at the beginning if term as there was no student accommodation available. But she felt very left out of student life. Luckily someone moved out of halls.

throwingpebbles Sun 10-Jan-16 08:56:28

I had an awful lot going on in my personal life outside uni when I was there ...my parents helped out with practical stuff like:
- my mum would batch cook healthy frozen meals so I could take some healthy ready meals with me
- if they visited they would show up with bags of shopping
- my dad often worked fairly near so I would take him my dirty washing for my mum to wash blush (there were only a couple of washing machines for about 100 of us though!)

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