How near is too near?(35 Posts)
I've always been of the opinion that you should "go away" for uni - so far that it's not convenient to pop home for a weekend mid-term.
However we have just moved (massive move) and ds1 (yr12) is showing a real partiality to Cambridge, for a variety of mostly very valid reasons, and he does have the aptitude and GCSE grades to potentially get in.
But it's only 20 miles away from our new house - takes 40-60 mins by car (that's Cambridge traffic for you), or 20 mins by train.
Is this too close?
Well, that depends. Your opinion is that he should move away. What is his opinion?
No. Go where the best place is to do what you want to study.
Think of the money you'd save if he lived at home
As far as I'm concerned that's fine! It's not like he'll bump into all your friends all the time and Cambridge being Cambridge, it isn't going to be full of his peers from school- even the best schools get a small handful and they are in different colleges etc.
Sadly our local uni could have been perfect for DS but it's closer to home than his school...... and he would be highly likely to be on a course with several kids from his school, and even more girls from the school next door (it's a very mixed school and the asian girls almost all apply locally and live at home)
Personally I have only applied to unis that are within a commuting distance to me. There again I have 5 kids. I think that they may miss me if I don't pop home iyswim. My point is that distance from home has rock all to do with uni applications. If any of my dc's ever apply to cambridge I will be over the moon. Even if I lived on the bloody campus!
Of course it's not too close
Surely he should be picking his University based on the one(s) he likes the 'feel' of when he looks round, and - importantly - what courses they offer.
I live in a big City with an excellent University and know several people whose dc have gone to University 'at home' as it were. Those who can afford it have gone into halls anyway, so it doesn't matter a jot if they are 5 miles away, 50 miles away or 250 miles away, they are not likely to be bumping in to their families at all.
DD considered every Uni in the country ad nauseam, and ended up at the one five miles up the road from us, because it offered a course that was perfect for her. She still lived in Halls in first year, and now lives in a student house in town, and it works fine. Yes, she's able to pop home more often than many students, but where's the harm in that?! She loves it and so do I, it's the best of both worlds imo.
I don't think it would be a problem at all. The terms at Cambridge and Oxford are very short (8/9 weeks) but intense, so he'd be unlikely to be popping home all the time. I don't know what percentage of students live at home rather than in college accommodation, but I'd be surprised to learn that many go for this option. Leaving aside all the social stuff, my impression is that students make a lot of use of their college library as well as the university and faculty libraries, and the college libraries often have very long opening hours. Food and accommodation are both heavily subsidised so it is not as expensive to live in hall at Oxford/Cambridge as it is in most other places. They have excellent bursary funding too, for those who qualify on grounds of low income.
I'd go for it. Doing the right course for you is really important. There are some courses at Cambridge that are not offered at many other universities and some departments that are extremely well regarded nationally, so you can't just choose somewhere else because it is too close to home.
Cambridge residence requirements mean (I think) that he wouldn't be allowed to live at home anyway (I think you have to live within 10 miles of Cambridge).
When I was at Cambridge, I knew someone from Foxton. I think he saw his parents less frequently than another friend whose parents lived in Liverpool. Cambridge is so compact that many students don't get out any further than Homerton or Girton. You will know how often you go into the centre and might bump into him.
I think the main risk is that he may have school friends either not going to university or taking a gap year and he might be tempted not to fully engage in college life, spending too much time with them instead. That might not be a problem, but if they left for university the next year, it could leave him a bit isolated.
As an undergrad you have to live within 3 miles (10 miles for postgrads) so he'll be in town anyway. Doesn't he like the other place then?
Dh studied at the other place! Ds1 seems quite interested in Natural Sciences, which is only an option at a small number of universities.
I did Natural Sciences - it's a great reason to apply to Cambridge and a brilliant course. I started as a Physical Nat Sci and ended up with a degree in Experimental Psychology, thanks to the flexibility of the course.
You cannot possibly apply to Cambridge and live at home!!! Apply to the best and, if he gets offered a place, live there. He needs to start thinking what course and where and weigh up the options for himself.
so you do not want him to apply for Cambridge because you live close to there?
more like you just wanted to let us all know about it.
Wow, nigellasdealer that's harsh. This being the higher education board, we cover all these kind of questions on here. This is the place where we ask them. We ask all kinds of HE related things on here which you may think are banal or show offy- but that's what this section is for. I'm just hoping you don't discover the Oxbridge support thread as we'll all be in for a bashing.
OP, I don't think 20 mins by car is too close - especially as he'd have no choice about living in hall. Just be glad you can pop over to see him for lunch on occasion! Said with one with one DD 5 hours away.....
Frankly Nigella - so what? This is an anonymous board. And if she hadn't said it was Cambridge we might be suggesting going further away for the sake of it.
DD ended up at a uni 10 miles away because it was the best course for her. We are in London so it is a bit hard to dismiss it's entire academia on the grounds of distance The only worry was that she would not get into halls as sometimes they rightly give priority to those outside the M25 but that didn't happen.
It is actually sometimes handy that she is a 30 min to 2 hour drive away (depending on traffic ). She just had a crisis of illness in the middle of multiple deadlines and I could get emergency catering and TLC to her easily. However most of the time she might as well be 200 miles away!
Having said that just heard of a (London) student who returned to living at home after 3 days in halls, which I would be a bit about...... I think it is important if they are going to get the most out of university, that they establish an independent existence and commit to uni life.
Almost all colleges require students to live in for at least 2 of 3 years. 2 of my sisters went while my parents were living in Cambridge: one completely ignored them and banned dm from the bank and supermarket she used, the other took home washing and went for Sunday lunch. he'll be able to choose how much to see you, but it won't necessarily be at all.
I work at Oxford University and I know plenty of colleagues and other local friends have children studying at the University. In most cases they still barely see them - and I'm sure they all live in college.
I agree that, all things being equal, most students would rather move further away from their parents and it's generally a good thing. However, there are other more important factors to consider. And provided you step back he can still live just as independently as if he moved further away. More so than in cases where the parents can't seem to leave them alone!
I think it's a terrible idea for undergraduates to live at home! The best parts of the university experience happen in halls, spontaneously, with other students.
Anyway, as others have said, he'd have to live in at Cambridge anyway. And Natsci is a fantastic course to apply for.
I went to the one university on my list I could get home from.
It happened to be the one I liked best, but I lived getting home a couple of times a term. I'd have killed my awful childish flatmates, otherwise. (Not just my opinion, my two nice flat mates had both moved out by Christmas).
DSis lives 10 miles outside Cambridge. DNephew in his 2nd year of NatSci. Total non-issue, and very handy when his stuff needs lugging about. Living at home was never an option, and the lad is fully involved in the life of his college,having a normal university experience.
I envy my sister. My DD is at a university bloody miles away!
Don't worry. It's perfectly normal for students to grow up in Cambridge, or Oxford, and go to Uni there. Student life being largely nocturnal, there's no danger it will feel old. They go to completely different places. I know a kid who grew up a hundred yards from the college he went to, and he begged his dad to deliver him by car so he looked the same as everyone else. He had a great time.
Certainly a terrible idea to live at home, though.
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