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First child off to Uni

(102 Posts)
duracellbatterybunny Thu 16-Aug-12 23:32:55

Can anyone tell me how to cope with our first daughter going off to University. Really proud of her achievments etc, want her to go and know she is ready, able to take care of herself, but am dreading it. We have a 15 year old daughter and I feel so sorry for her being left with me and DH. Sorry if I sound so self pitying, but I feel in a panic. What should I be doing now, what does she need?

higgle Tue 28-Aug-12 15:38:28


OLimpPickMeddles Tue 28-Aug-12 19:54:29

Also hitting home here - visited DS's uni and halls this weekend as we were passing... and realised that we will be making the trip for real in a couple of weeks. It has been great having DS at home all summer, and I will miss him so much, but I keep repeating the "roots & wings" mantra, and hoping so much that he will make the very best of his time.

duracellbatterybunny Sun 09-Sep-12 16:13:02

Best wishes to all mums waving their offspring off to University during the next few weeks. Your messages have made a huge difference to me. Slap on the smile, put some wine in the fridge!

lizzielizson Mon 10-Sep-12 22:25:30

My first DS about to start uni Sat....have been really up and down, a mixture of excitement for him and dread! Know I'll miss him but hopefully won't pine for him and I know it helps him being just an hour away. It's just that it seems so sudden! 18 years have flown by but even so, feels like I've had him forever. Don't like change! Have been slowly gathering stuff for him to take, food parcels etc and that's helped me to come to terms but just hope I don't get too down when it's time to say goodbye. Reading this thread has helped as you realise you're not the only emotional mother in the country. Have another son, 15, so will enjoy the next 3 years with him as he's likely to go to uni too. Think you'll have to sedate me when that happens....for now will take advice of others and look forward to doing something nice Sat eve with DH and let a few glasses of wine do the trick.

MadJulesViola Fri 14-Sep-12 11:42:55

I've just whizzed through all these posts - DD off to uni a week on Sat and first child to go. I'm dreading it because relationship with notsoDH has been rubbish for years and I haven't been brave enough to do anything about it; I have such a great relationship with DD that this autumn will be crunch time I feelsad
Now planning to buy mattress topper and surprises as well as dingy coloured towels! Someone also suggested a heavy door stop to hold her room door open..sounds like a plan. She has met up with flatmates on facebook etc and can't wait to go!

Faxthatpam Fri 14-Sep-12 17:50:38

Doorstop and beer were essentials for making new friends when my DS1 went last year.

I was sobbing in the foetal position on his bed for a week after he left and couldn't believe my reaction, I just missed him so much. sad

It does get better and they are home in no time for Christmas, weekends etc. Also he came on holiday with us this summer which I wasn't expecting, and it was lovely. Good luck. smile

MacBath Sun 16-Sep-12 00:11:41

Returned home earlier this evening after taking my DS to university for the first time today. First child to leave home. When we arrived we unpacked, went shopping for a few things we'd forgotten (drawing pins for posters/coat hangers), had a lovely lunch, was upbeat and positive all day and managed to hold it together until me and DH drove away in the car to return home. DS seemed a bit wobbly and reluctant to introduce himself to others and was staying in his room so hoping he's going to be okay. He rang us not long after we'd got home, said he's going to have a wander round and find out where things are tomorrow so hopefully he'll meet a few people then. My DH just says he'll be fine and I'm sure he will but how do you not worry - I'm having to restrain myself from texting to check all's ok but am constantly checking Facebook & twitter to see if he's posted anything! Really want him to settle in and have a fabulous time although I know it's only the first day so it may take a while.

fussychica Sun 16-Sep-12 09:06:50

DS just set off with DH for the 4 hr plus drive back to Uni. Decided not to go this time - well he's got loads of mates, is nearly 20 and I do have a tendency to make the odd comment I probably shouldn't about stuff like quality of accommodation etc which I know he hates so I just waved him off. Means I won't see his new home but as he hasn't even seen the room he has rented himself shock it hardly matters and I don't have to spend 8 hours in the car! Probably won't see him to Christmas which will be hard after such a looooong summer at home.
Macbeth I'm sure he'll be fine - worry is what we do best! I'm only getting to grips with really letting go myself. Try not to keep texting him after the first couple of days, just let him know you are there for him and let him contact you. Once a few more people arrive and he gets involved in fresher activities he'll get into the swing of things. In the meantime wine is useful!

fussychica Sun 16-Sep-12 09:09:44

Macbeth the wine was for you not him though I expect once he settles in he'll be raising a few glasses too.

Lilymaid Sun 16-Sep-12 09:26:05

Both my DSs were provided with a bottle of vodka and a home made chocolate cake when they started university. We told them to keep their room door open whilst settling in.
The vodka and cake were consumed by the neighbours on the first night and these neighbours became friends throughout university (sharing grim student houses etc).
If you aren't keen on the vodka, the cake and open door works pretty well!

Faxthatpam Sun 16-Sep-12 09:38:05

Macbeth - I felt your pain this time last year, I was a mess on the journey home, and for at least a week afterwards, Its the thought of them sitting there with no friends and feeling lonely! But he will be fine. Freshers week is great for making friends and they soon get right into the swing of it all. Let him call you, if you have to just send the odd text. We set up an arrangement that he would call every Sunday, which he did....mostly. He will be back in no time for Christmas hols, which are nice and long at uni.

My DS1 is about to go back for his second yr and is so grown up now (although has regressed a bit over the summer - especially with his brothers) and he has had a great time. It is very hard for us to let go, I am still struggling with it. Yours will settle in fine and will have the time of his life. smile

Tressy Sun 16-Sep-12 11:49:49

Mine starts next week. In fact this time next week we will be settling her into halls at the other end of the country sad

MacBath Sun 16-Sep-12 12:01:32

Thanks for the support and advice ! DS phoned earlier this morning. He met up with couple of others last night and they all went out til the early hours and planning to go out again tonight - so phew - ice broken etc... Apparently the room wardens came along and gathered all the 'newbies' to get them introduced to each other - great idea! So feeling lots better and worrying a little less, sort of! Ha ha....

outtolunchagain Sun 16-Sep-12 18:44:36

Dropped ds1 yesterday, still have two at home but it seems very quiet . He drove us insane over the last 3 weeks and I thought I would just feel relieved that he had finally got there , but he gave me a great big hug , and td me he'd be fine and it really hit me how I may not see him for 3 months and I did well upblush.

Still he seems pleased with his room ,one other boy had arrived and 2 girls .He seemed relieved that they all seemed pretty normal and keen to be friends and certainly from first impressions I think he will be fine to buddy up with to start with .Just hope he's not on his own ,I don't think he will be but you never know, not heard anything yet.

fussychica Sun 16-Sep-12 18:44:41

MacBeth knew it would be fine - you can relax a little. We never ring DS unless we have to - just leave it to him, luckily he calls regularly!

DH just back from the uni run - his house as I expected - usual student fare so glad I didn't go as I probably wouldn't have been able to keep my mouth shut! Sooooooooo quiet here and house feels big again! Been cleaning - finally got in to tackle his room - think I'll redecorate instead of cleaning itwink.

Happymum22 Sun 16-Sep-12 21:04:28

Mine are all slowly drifting off after a lovely summer with all 4 of my babies grown-up adult children at home.
eldest DD1 moved in with her boyfriend having graduated, DS ticking on with medcine in London and DD2 moving into a house for second year at Bristol.
Youngest DD3 still at home tackling her GCSEs.

This September/October period does get easier but I always experience the same feelings of deeply missing/worrying about them all as I've been used to a summer of knowing everything and having them about. As DD2 keeps saying I need to 'chill out'! I think it will be easier this year as DD2 had the normal rocky start most girls seem to have, wheras DD1 never told me, DD2 phones lots to have a vent about missing home/worrying the friends she'd made wern't her type of people etc. By the end of the year she was loving it, had a lovely group of friends and a house sorted for next year. So I'm a lot more comforted she will be ok.

Not looking forward to DD3 leaving, shes talking of boarding for 6th form next year but I secretly hope not!!

soapydishcloth Sun 16-Sep-12 23:31:48

Another one here been fighting back tears - dropped DS1 off today. He is shy and quiet and doesn't drink, and knows he will need to put sustained effort into making friends. His accommodation is great and he's happy with his room. I'm so proud of him as he's not the most academic but has found and got onto the perfect course for him which will give him the best chance of getting the job he wants, but I am bereft. I daren't go into his room.

MacBath Mon 17-Sep-12 20:24:37

Hi soapydishcloth - no real advice being in the same situation myself, just support. Hope your DS1 manages to settle in and I'm sure he will make friends. My DS1's house warden dug out all the new people on his first night on Saturday evening and introduced them all so maybe that'll happen for yours too and congratulations to him on his achievement!!

Skynorth Tue 18-Sep-12 12:56:35

I totally sympathise with everyone whose young person is leaving to go to Uni; well done them, and well done you guys too for all the encouragement etc you've obviously raised them with!

My youngest has just started a biomedical sciences degree, though he's studying locally so living at home for the first year. He got a grant, student loan and also travel scholarship, the grant was based on my income for the previous full tax year; if you're on benefits or earn under a certain amount they get the full grant. Of course if your young person is living away from home they will of course have more outgoings, but if living at home I feel it's good for them to contribute something to the household so they get used to the responsibility of paying bills etc. If they work part time this will boost their income but of course this means they are having less time for study.

I do empathise with all the parents who have had to say goodbye to their kids who are studying away from home, as my youngest spent most of his gap year in Australia. I knew he would be safe as he was staying with his girlfriend, then travelling with her, but it was still really horrible before he went and for a few weeks afterwards, because the house felt so empty! He is not the quietest lad so the absence of any noise whatsoever was weird and really awful.

However the food and utilities bills dramatically decreased ha ha!

He had been away from home regularly, visiting friends round the country, since about 15 years old, but the fact he was so far away made it different. And he was away over Christmas (thank goodness for Skype!!)

As he's my youngest it did mean I had much more of a life though. I always thought I had a really great life anyway, I'm a single mum and have always worked, also I've traveled a lot with them so I think this has made them more independent and getting from A to B is normal for them. i think it must be harder for parents whose young people are not used to being away from home (and the parents not used to being away from them?)

It's hard isn't it, you want your kids to grow up and move on with their lives independently and achieve their ambitions, but it's still a bit of a wrench once they actually go!

Incidentally, my eldest didn't go to Uni, he went straight into work after A levels and I thought he would never move out! (Did so last year age 26!!!!!)

Anyway....will look forward to reading more on here as it seems like a great community :-)

outtolunchagain Tue 18-Sep-12 17:56:42

Have finally heard from PFB,a text asking how everyone is and wanting to know how to make tomato sauce.!Difficult to tell how things are going in a text but at least he wasn't asking to come home

AlmostAGoldHipster Tue 18-Sep-12 18:02:18

My girl has been out every night and has made lots of new friends - I'm so relieved and proud of her! It feels so strange her not being here though. Thank goodness for Skype! smile

Tressy Tue 18-Sep-12 18:35:31

We are having a little farewell party tomorrow then off on the train with 3 suitcases. Have to buy the household stuff down there. We had some good news today. They said she might have to share her bigger room but due to less numbers of undergraduates they have told her she won't have to afterall, huge relief.

Mine is fairly reserved and you do worry that they won't want to get smashed every night and as a result might not mix well.

alemci Tue 18-Sep-12 18:52:55

dropped dd off at weekend. it feels strange here with 2 dc but very calm. she seems really happy there.

tbh she really got on my nerves for the last year so i think it is for the best. there is also less mess.

gotaproblem Thu 27-Sep-12 14:10:46

Just a word of warning, two of my DD's friends (different unis, different towns) had their drinks spiked. One with more alcohol (yes it's possible she drank more than she realised) but the other with something more sinister, she ended up in A and E, she is better now, but a warning to keep hold of your drink and be very wary of letting somebody buy you one.

crunched Sat 29-Sep-12 19:30:57

Two weeks in, and it isn't as bad as I feared.

I cannot imagine how I would have coped were it not for mobile phones. As others have said, it seems to be my DD who needs reassuring that we are still interested in her life, and I have got a few smiley faces at 2am and a few ' piles of poo' icons at 9am!

It is just so nice to know they are still our 'little uns' as her Grandad would have said smile

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