How long to do uni drop off?

(28 Posts)
fatbottomgirl67 Sun 23-Sep-18 11:38:35

Taking dd1 to uni on Friday. Journey will be 3 hrs each way. I was expecting to leave early morning and be home early evening. Is this unrealistic? So many friends have stayed over night with their kids that I'm now wondering if I'm rushing off. I was expecting to help her unload, find her room,sort out her room a bit, maybe lunch then go home and leave her to it. Thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
titchy Sun 23-Sep-18 11:40:22


NaturalBlondeYeahRight Sun 23-Sep-18 11:41:56

We booked hotel as it was 4 hours each way and didn’t fancy driving that in one day. Getting everything in room was quite quick, checking in took about 30 mins. Then quick trip to supermarket. Glad we did stay as she’d left a bag of stuff in our boot (stupid compartment in car)
It was unexpectedly mentally quite draining as well.

milkjetmum Sun 23-Sep-18 11:42:40

Maybe allow time for a supermarket run? Could stock up on dry food and tins which are a pain to lug back on the bus.

fatbottomgirl67 Sun 23-Sep-18 11:44:05

Brilliant, not thought of super market whilst she has access to a car

OP’s posts: |
exexpat Sun 23-Sep-18 11:49:52

A lot of universities only allocate parents a 30-60 minute parking slot near the halls of residence to get everything out of the car and into the room, but there are sometimes options to park further afield for a bit longer.

When I dropped DS off for his first year, I parked elsewhere for a couple of hours as there was a welcome talk for parents (I hadn't been to any open days so it was quite good to hear all the usual spiel about how wonderful everything was and all the pastoral care available etc etc).

You may also discover that there are last-minute things your child needs, e.g. at the start of DS's second year we turned up to find his room had a double rather than single bed, and there was no toaster in the house, so we did a quick trip to the shops for different bed linen, a toaster and some bulk food.

However, it is not good for parents to hang around too long, as there are new neighbours and kitchen-mates to meet and freshers' week stuff to sign up for.

fatbottomgirl67 Sun 23-Sep-18 12:00:20

She's starting a few days before freshers. All on her course have to do a bridging course first so her college shouldn't be too busy. No parking at all on site so fingers crossed for a space very near by. Really don't want to hang around and stop her from making friends but worried we would look a bit uncaring disappearing off too soon

OP’s posts: |


WeaselsRising Sun 23-Sep-18 12:09:32

With all 3 of ours we arrived, unpacked, helped them sort the room out a bit, drove them to the supermarket and paid for a full shop to start them off, had some lunch, then waved them goodbye and drove up the road (and snivelled).

They want to be off meeting their neighbours and having a look around and don't really want the family hanging about. I can't believe people are staying overnight with their kids! Why would you?

We have had to stay overnight when delivering 2 of them (separately) as they picked the furthest away they could possibly get, but that was on the route home, not even in the town(s) they were in. We made it into a weekend away and found somewhere to visit for the afternoon on the way back.

SweatyFretty Sun 23-Sep-18 12:13:02

Perfect. Don't hang around, it's weird.

ninemillionbicycles Sun 23-Sep-18 12:24:13

We stayed in a hotel after the drop off (four hour drive) I wanted to be around while dd did all the registration stuff and also to take her shopping, buy the bits we'd forgotten (kettle, laundry basket) It meant I could have brekkie with her the next morning before heading back (she was very hungover from freshers night!)

Princecharlesfirstwife Sun 23-Sep-18 12:24:24

We dropped DD off last week - 2ish hours from home. Picked up key, unpacked car, did supermarket shop then left her to it - actually DH and I went for a coffee nearby on our own for an hour after we left 'just in case', not sure what the 'just in case' was confused but it made us feel better. Definitely didn't seem that any parents were hanging round.

fatbottomgirl67 Sun 23-Sep-18 12:32:52

Thanks all. Good to know. God only knows why friends were staying so long. One went Friday and is coming back tomorrow!

OP’s posts: |
SweatyFretty Sun 23-Sep-18 12:37:15

I know fatbottom, it's too much.

I've got a mate that is suffocating her daughter by doing weekend trips to the uni city once a month. She's a precious only child, and has been helicoptered her entire life - this is just the next extension of that. I won't be surprised if, once she reaches financial independence, she fucks off and never sees her parents again.

antimatter Sun 23-Sep-18 12:39:28

Depends how well equipoed her room is. We needed a trip to Argos too. It will be full day because you need to go somewhere for lunch too.

Hoozz Sun 23-Sep-18 13:15:38

I've done this 6 times. Twice for freshers and 4 times for moving into 2nd and 3rd year accommodation. You have it about right I think,but I do recommend a supermarket shop unless there is a huge supermarket on the doorstep. DS2 in particular is a very long way (2 miles) from the nearest supermarket and we loaded up with heavy items like drinks, milk, tinned food which is hard for him to carry in a rucksack.Online shopping is possible it needs a bit of planning.

When we dropped DC1 off for the first time we stayed overnight the night before. This meant we were on campus by 10am before the crowds and away just after lunch time.

I would aim to stay a couple of hours at most. It's nice to help unpack and make up the bed but when all the freshers are arriving at once they really just want you out of the way so they can meet their new flatmates.

ApolloandDaphne Sun 23-Sep-18 13:35:18

We were away three nights when we took DD2 to uni. Her uni is 350 moles away. We broke the journey on the way down over night then spent a night in her uni town before dropping at halls. That part didn't take very long at all - maybe an hour and we left sharpish as she seemed keen to go start mixing and chatting to people. We then had another night over on the way back. It was a lovely weekend for us but the actual drop off part took up hardly any of the time.

RedHelenB Sun 23-Sep-18 13:36:38

I had a similar trip. Dropped stuff off, parked car elsewhere and we all went into the city centre. Then back for a quick supermarket shop and a cup of tea for me and the drive home. I needed a good few hours between journeys and not all of her flatmates were there.

nomilknosugarplease Sun 23-Sep-18 14:26:28

Did pretty much the exact same as Princecharles when I dropped DD off for the first time 2 years ago. Was 2 hours away. I would definitely suggest leaving very early morning so you can be gone by the late afternoon - we didn’t arrive until around 3 and DD’s flatmates had started socialising in their kitchen by 18:30 whilst me and DD were still in the supermarket! Once everything is sorted, jet off as soon as possible, but the ‘sorting’ will probs take longer than you intend if you see what I mean. We had to queue for DD’s key, then park ages away so had to make about ten trips between her flat and the car, then the supermarket was absolutely rammed full of other presents with students.

Surreyhillsbutnobike Sun 23-Sep-18 14:29:00

We stayed long enough to help make up bed then left. As pp said parking slot was for specific time

AwdBovril Sun 23-Sep-18 14:32:18

My mother always drove me, it was 5 hours each way. About an hour to unpack & she'd return the same day. I did supermarket run on foot, she dropped me off on her way out of town though. Quite a short walk back & I took a backpack.

Solasshole Sun 23-Sep-18 14:34:30

My parents came with me and stayed in a b&b for several days when I went to uni.... but that was overseas and to get to that uni required an overnight ferry trip and then a couple hours driving too so probably not the best example wink

MarcieBluebell Sun 23-Sep-18 14:39:29

No need to necessarily do supermarket run if pack the basic food items. After a long journey, then unpacking, to go food shopping and then come back she might be tired to meet her peers. Quick drop off is good too.

IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere Sun 23-Sep-18 14:46:38

When our daughter went it was to a city that DH and I love. She had to be at the college for 10.30. It was a 3 or 4 hour drive so we left early in the morning, unpacked and took her to the college and back to the house. We had been food shopping before we left home so didn't need to do that.

That was on the Friday. We left her with her housemates and had a fun weekend together, met her again on the Sunday morning and had lunch with her then left.

With our son it was a 5 hour drive but we weren't in a position to stay overnight. We had to be there for 4 p.m. As soon as we pulled up we were surrounded by helpers with trolleys who emptied the car and helped us get all the gear to his room.

We unpacked, made the bed, went for a meal and grocery shopping then left him - it was about 8 o'clock and we got home around 2 a.m.

RamsayBoltonsConscience Sun 23-Sep-18 14:48:56

I did this on Friday 😢. We had 20 minutes to unload then we went shopping. I parked up in a nearby NCP (the cost! 🙀) and spent about 1 1/2 hours helping him unpack. I could see that he was ready for me to go at that point, I made up the bed and left. We had to go shopping separately as I couldn't fit anything else in the car!

TheThirdOfHerName Sun 23-Sep-18 15:36:55

We were there for four hours yesterday, including lunch.

If DS1 had been a different type of teenager then we would have left earlier, but he wanted us to stay to help him unpack and get his bearings.

I think the ideal amount of time varies, depending on how independent/confident the new student is.

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