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EMPTY NEST SUPPORT THREAD - PART 3

(1000 Posts)
mrsrhodgilbert Thu 28-Nov-13 15:33:55

The comment about where they now live and consider to be home is interesting. If dd doesn't go back to until the end of January she will only have just over two months until the Easter holidays. She will actually come home on my 50th birthday and we are all going away for a few days. After Easter she then has about another 4 or 5 weeks left, possibly with a few exams after that.

That sounds like no time at all and then she will be back for the summer, hopefully with a job again. If some dc consider they have left home, do they not come back for the holidays?

I'm hearing from her much less and she seems quite busy with work. I'm not sure she feels she has many friends yet and it seems quite fluid still, but she is definitely calmer. She has a few pre Christmas things lined up, ice skating, panto, club parties, lunch out etc so I hope some friendships will be cemented. Still no plans for a house for year two but ive tried to tell her not to panic about that. Some people who were sorted a few weeks ago might not be any more.

DalmationDots Wed 04-Dec-13 19:42:57

Sorry cross-posted there

mrsrhodgilbert Wed 04-Dec-13 21:09:08

Hello Dalmation, thanks for replying. Don't worry, your posts really helped and up until last night things were looking positive. I just struggle to believe that four routes to housemates closed down in about two hours.

She isn't talking about leaving, but then I've only had a quick text from her today. Ucas applications have to be in by January and she would be starting from scratch with her ps and references etc. It would probably be better to try to transfer, but going into the second year elsewhere is no guarantee of happiness either. Everyone would have their friends.

She is probably thinking its only another 2 1/2 years and better to just get on with it, as I've said before she could commute at a push. It's absolutely not what we all want though. I think people are panicking to have things sorted by Christmas and having heard what the girls who are leaving have planned, I think they're crazy, but its not my business.

Interesting that you all think leaving is the sensible option, is that would you would be recommending if she were yours?

2rebecca Wed 04-Dec-13 22:14:56

Why would she consider leaving her course just because she hasn't found anyone to share a flat with next year?
My step daughter is in this position at uni but is just thinking that if the worse case scenario happens she'll share with people she doesn't know or get a bedsit. It's a housing problem, not a problem with the course. If she hated her course i could understand but if it was a job she wouldn't look at chucking in her job because she couldn't find a flatmate. Some of the people planning to share may fall out with each other before next autumn, and she may meet a different group of friends in one of the clubs she's in or a vacancy for one person come up or loads of scenarios.
I'd be throwing myself into the course and clubs and societies and waiting and seeing re flats. I wouldn't have thought there were many flats up for rent from next autumn yet anyway and she may find a threesome find a flat for 4 or something.

Notsoskinnyminny Thu 05-Dec-13 08:19:33

I suggested to DD that she should leave when she phoned for one of her rants, which usually includes "..I'm paying £9k to be miserable ..." but she recognises she needs the qualification to do what she ultimately wants.

Thankfully she enjoys her own company and although she had friends at school and 6th form she says she was always on the outside of the groups and would often be excluded from things. She's grown up a lot in the last 3 months and if she says she can cope then I've got to let her do it her way and just be there for the occasional meltdowns and rants.

Who'd be a mum?!!

noddyholder Thu 05-Dec-13 08:54:32

If I am honest if it was my son and it had gone on this long I would probably support him leaving and having a chance to go elsewhere or at least to start yr 2 somewhere else. Life is too short for this sort of thing imho.

2rebecca Thu 05-Dec-13 10:05:40

Surely it depends on how much she wants to do the course? If she was a medical student would you say "oh you're not getting on with your flat mates, how sad, chuck it in? "
Are the alternatives going to be any better? if she's already had a gap year and chose this uni because it's near home and she's not very confident and the course is important to her then the flat mates seem unimportant in the long view. It sounds as though she's prone to focus on the negative stuff eg no-one to share with in 9 months time rather than the positives eg doing well in the course has made some friends even if she can't flat share with them, has a local job has joined some clubs.
If she only chose the course because she couldn't think what else to do and fancies working for a few years whilst she gets some confidence and decides what she really wants to do (as my stepson who dropped out did) then I'd suggest she considered stopping.

noddyholder Thu 05-Dec-13 10:15:39

I think the flat mates thing is very important as its about her everyday life now.

mumeeee Thu 05-Dec-13 11:22:53

Noddy I also think flatmates are very important they are part of uni life. I think that is partly why DD3 is doing well on her course as she has a good bunch of flatmates who get on well with each other most of the time. That means she is able to concentrate with out worrying about her flatmates.

mrsrhodgilbert Thu 05-Dec-13 12:11:09

Actually it's me who is focusing on the negatives, not dd., she sent me a text yesterday to say not to worry and she was in the library working. She will think about it another time, but for now there is work to do.

mumeeee Thu 05-Dec-13 13:48:06

Mrsrhod she sounds like she is coping. It's good she's getting on with her work. Don't worry about her having no one to share with next year there is still plenty of time to find a group to share with. The groups looking now might change before they finally settle on a house. DD3 and her friends haven't started looking properly yet although she has spoken about going back into halls with a couple of them.

DalmationDots Thu 05-Dec-13 14:14:49

It is hard to say what I'd recommend if it was my own DD. It would highly depend on what course it was (was it a really struggle to get on the course and a very good, sought after course which will open up all the right doors long term), how unhappy I knew my DD was or wasn't, what the chances of her settling are (e.g. are there other paths she may find herself on next term in terms of friendships/housing or has she exhausted all routes, this really depends on the type of uni. What atompshere do you get when you are there?) I know lots of DDs friends who at this stage didn't have a clue who to live with, but last minute options came up like a group looking for an extra person or adverts on the uni website, and those students are now very happy, settled, with friends and thriving.

In terms of the negativity comment up above- I do not blame your DD or you for being negative, I'm sure she knows there are some good things about uni, but all in all she has tried very hard and had knock after knock!! She seems to be very resilient the way she has stuck at it and if she isn't talking of dropping out then it sounds like she will be fine staying. She can just go with it until around March, see if a house pops up, otherwise live at home and just settle on having a different uni experience to what she hoped for but one where she has made the most of a bad situation.

I'd wait for her to bring up moving, maybe gently say 'I guess others are leaving now as UCAS shuts in January and so its move now or miss the chance to reapply' encase she hasn't thought of that aspect. At the end of the day, transferring to another uni for 2nd year will be very tricky to make friends. Starting again is risky -she could end up in a similar or worse situation and she then has to do a whole extra year. The whole process of starting again could be the best decision she makes, or it could be a very emotionally draining process...It is a big gamble!

The time has flown since DD starting, and they are only at uni around 50% of the year. Another 2.5 years is not long and things will change and get better as your DD feels more settled. Others looking for friends will pop up, she just needs to keep trying new things or chatting to others at lectures - but not in a way that exhausts and grinds her down with a feeling of desperation, just in a way that she does her own thing but knows she is making an effort.

DalmationDots Thu 05-Dec-13 14:16:17

to reiterate mumeee's point- so many don't have groups or a house yet. There is no rush, I think this is what is causing most angst for her (understandably) and there is so much time and so many options.

JGBMum Thu 05-Dec-13 18:06:19

Ds had a similar problem last year when he got let down by flat mates. I started a thread so have just bumped it for you.
Im using my phone, and can't link hmm
The website we found was really good & might help your dd mrsrhod

MABS Fri 06-Dec-13 13:14:50

good advice Dalmation smile dd flew back last night, fab to see her but she already irritating me!!! 2 litres fresh orange juice gone already! she and I are flying off to get some sun this eve for a few days, so she better get on with her washing now....

DalmationDots Fri 06-Dec-13 17:11:32

MABS is your DD finished for xmas? How lovely to go on a little holiday- very jealous!
DD was saying last night how completely exhausted and run down she is (and she still has two weeks to go). It is very hard at uni as there is no clear structure like when you are working, the lifestyle is in many ways just so strange and there is no break or escape from the bubble. The work seems to be overwhelmingly piling up as well. But she is 3rd year so it is to be expected!
I'm a teacher and definitely need a break too- knackered

mumeeee Fri 06-Dec-13 17:40:45

DD3 is a little stressed at the moment as she's got an assignment to hand in next Friday and she is finding it a bit hard on top of that she is coming home today as it's her Grandad's funeral on Tuesday, She is supposed to be seeing her tutor today and I ve suggested she asks for an extension. DH said he"ll install the software she needs to do this assignment on our computer so she can work on that. She was having trouble getting the internet cable out of her laptop so is relieved she doesn''t need to now. This assignment is for programming she has already handed in an assignment for a different subject. She says she gets distracted at uni because she hears her friends talking and goes to join them. She actually might work better at home as there aren't any distractions,

MABS Sat 07-Dec-13 09:15:13

Yep she has finished the term, now sleeping on sunbed next to me in Dubai smile

mumeeee Sat 07-Dec-13 14:25:05

Have a lovely Holiday with your DD MABS. DD3 finish's the 13th has an assignment to give in by 5pm that day. She is going to Manchester Christmas market with her uni friends on 14th.

madeofkent Sat 07-Dec-13 16:14:09

Next year is another year mrsrhod, your DD could end up with a flatload of lovely girls. Ds has always been told that as long as he is happy with his course, he should stay, because I held the view that even if he didn't make many friends, at least he would get all his assignments complete out of sheer boredom! We were never under any illuions, he has four older cousins and a big sister and NONE of them made any good friends in their first year. He hasn't found any close friends but he does have lots of people that he can say 'where's everyone going to tonight?' to if he wants to go out. He says he has ended up in some very interesting places as a result.
I asked what he wanted to do after xmas, and was a little dismayed to discover that although he doesn't need to be there until late February he has signed himself up for all sorts of activities until term starts again, I was rather looking forward to having him home for a month after he returns from skiing. He won't even be home for a full two weeks, and most of that will be spent either away, or here with his sister and her family, so no chances at all for a proper talk.

DalmationDots Sat 07-Dec-13 22:40:28

madeofkent your DS sounds wonderfully resilient and level-headed about it all. While I recognise for many it is very tricky to have that approach as they simply have been built up to go off to uni and have 'the time of their life', your DS certainly knows the way to look at things when they aren't all plain sailing.
My DD, probably like lots of girls sadly, just didn't have the self-confidence and was used to having a close group of home friends which she was very comfortable being around and reliant on. If I had another one going off I would be encouraging them to see uni how your DS does and not to rely too much on those around them. I think how you set up their expectations, and how others set it all up, makes a huge difference. DD was certainly told by many how amazing it was all going to be. And you are right, it isn't until towards the end of 1st year DD found true friends either. They get there.

As sad as it is you won't get much time with your DS, nothing shows more how settled and comfortable he must be feeling if he has booked himself in for things and wants to go back early- you should be proud of him! I'm sure you'll manage to catch a time to catch up properly. I remember last year I offered to pick DD up for xmas just to get the chance to talk to her properly on the 2.5 hour car journey home before the madness of relatives arrived for xmas.

madeofkent Sun 08-Dec-13 11:57:09

I'm completely astonished by his resilience, if the truth be told. He has always been musical and quiet and there has been someone attempting to bully him at every school he has been to. He has always managed to cope, although of course he has been hugely upset at the time, and sometimes I wonder if that is what has made him so determined to just get on with things. He never dwells on what has been done in the past, he just moves on, something that I wish I could learn.

I know what you mean about the car drives, the school runs were where we got all of our talking done, I do miss that hugely. I also keep telling myself that I have done a better job than I realised about making him independent, but I know that if I ever want to speak to him on the phone in future, I will be the one picking up the phone to do so, which makes me feel very sad. He has no idea of the passing of time. I hear OH's grumbles when his Mum calls to speak to him once or twice a week, and think miserably, that will be me one day.

MABS Sun 08-Dec-13 12:08:40

He sounds great madofkent, very composed and together. Dd drove or the last year and boarded a lot so school run finished while ago for me with her .

mrsrhodgilbert Mon 09-Dec-13 12:15:12

Dd has been home again for the weekend but was working all day Saturday and Sunday. She was rather fed up with the entire situation there and is becoming increasingly irritated by her current flatmates, two in particular, who are just slobs basically. It's the usual student kitchen stuff, when she got back at about 9.30 last night it was disgusting and by ths morning it was worse. She is the only one who cleans it and because these two are, frankly, a bit scary she just does it once a week or so. She is concerned about how it will be left at Christmas and what she might come back to.

However, she has finally agreed to go to the accommodation office to ask about moving. One of her flatmates is possibly not returning after the holidays, one is spending all her time elsewhere which leaves the slobby, scary two. I just don't think it will do her any good to stay there, it's so depressing.

She is also going to apply through Ucas to go elsewhere for year two. She has apparently already spoken to her tutor about his. If she can get those two things going this side of Christmas she will hopefully come home on Friday feeling slightly less helpless and have a fallback plan.

JGBmum, thank you for the accommodation info, I'll have a look through it. I know she is basically there to get a degree but I do think your living conditions are important and having friendly people around is always going to make life better. Facing daily hostility or complete disinterest is hard, especially for a young adult away from home. She doesn't deserve this.

madeofkent Mon 09-Dec-13 15:04:19

Then she doesn't really like her course either? That is tough, then. At least DS loves his course. And tolerates his housemates.

mrsrhodgilbert Mon 09-Dec-13 15:48:50

Hi made, she does like the course. She didn't at first, but actually it was a couple of the lecturers that she didn't like really. They are not teaching her at the moment. The course would be the same elsewhere for year 2.

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