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DD thinking about moving home
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StabInTheDark · 17/01/2014 23:56

My DD is in her first year of uni and has just had her first week back after the Christmas hols. Last night I had a tearful phone call from her, telling me she's missing home like mad and is struggling to settle down again. What with one thing and another she and I have been incredibly close over the past few years and I will freely admit I miss her terribly.

Tonight she phoned again and asked me how I would feel if she moved home at the end of this semester and stayed home. It's getting to the time where they are all having to start looking for flats/houses for second year and she told me she has been looking into commuting daily instead.

While I wouldn't have any problems whatsoever her moving home, I am worried that this decision is just stemming from her state of mind at the moment- homesick, January blues etc. I don't want her to miss out on getting a flat with her friends and regret her decision in a few months time. I'm also worried that the commute would be tough for her- we live two hours and two trains away from her uni, and it would impact hugely on the social side of things for her. On the other hand, the last thing I want is for her to sign up for a flat and be unhappy.

Basically, her friends will be flat-searching in the next couple of weeks, so she needs to make a decision fairly quickly about whether she wants to join them. Is anyone here in a similar situation with their DC? Or want to throw any advice/warnings/opinions at me? Thank you!

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senua · 18/01/2014 11:31

Nothing is set in stone. Yes, freshers will be organising next year's flatshares but there is a chance that someone will fail the first year and a houseshare will suddenly have a vacancy next September so your DD may be able to reconsider in the summer, though she won't be able to pick and choose.

If she was mine I would encourage her to flatshare, but she's not mine. Two hours / two trains commuting each way is an awful lot. Would it be sensible to put the money saved on accommodation into finding a car? - I presume it would be quicker than trains and avoid problems with connections, leaves on the line etc.
Commuting from home will dent the social life but it's not quite so manic in year two anyway, they calm down and start doing some work.

What do they normally do for third year? Flatshare again or back into Halls? DD found a certain amount of movement amongst sharing-groups between years two and three, so if your DD doesn't share in Y2 she might still in Y3.

Alternatively: if it really is bad, can she transfer to a University nearer home?

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rightsaidfrederick · 18/01/2014 22:46

I'd definitely encourage her to stay living at uni. This is one of the peak times for uni drop outs, because students have just been reminded of what home comforts there are with mum and dad, and then they have to return to uni and the stress of exams, with no partying until they're over and done with.

Two hours commuting will kill her, not just her social life. She's going to be so incredibly tired after her commute each way that she's going to be less capable of doing work. Plus, knowing commuter trains, it's very often not possible to get any work done, because there's nowhere to sit down. And what happens when the trains are delayed? She'll miss her lectures and seminars. Furthermore, when she has group work, she'll find that people often need to meet up for a quick 30 minutes - but this will often involve a special trip into uni for your DD, and other people in her group won't feel much sympathy for her (I've seen this happen). Nights out will be very difficult, as she'd have to beg floor space, and she won't be there for the spontaneous nights out and other social activities that also happen. Ditto I've never been involved in a society which was compatible with a two hour commute, and I've never known anyone with a significant commute manage to get involved with a society to any meaningful extent.

That's not to mention the cost. I don't know about her uni, but at mine they make you pay rent until the end of the year unless you drop out of uni altogether. So, she'd have to pay that, plus extortionate (peak) train fares - can she actually afford this? Even next year, it may still be cheaper to rent than commute.

Did she start to settle last semester? If so, this is almost certainly just a case of the January blues, and it will pass, given time. Perhaps you could promise to go and visit her at the end of exams and have a girly day together? That will give her something to look forward to.

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mumblechum1 · 19/01/2014 06:28

I echo what the previous posters have said. She should try to sort out her house share but there's no reason for her not to come home for some of the weekends.

I hope your daughter settles soon.

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senua · 19/01/2014 10:48

Sorry, I think that I mis-read the OP. Is DD saying that she wants to come home at the end of Semester 1?Shock. I thought we were talking about the end of semester 2 / end of year.
It's daft to do that huge commute when the bad weather is just about to kick in, especially if, as fred says, she has already committed to the cost of the accommodation.

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chemenger · 19/01/2014 11:35

I though this Guardian article about "second term blues" was pretty on the money, lots of students wobble in January.
www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2014/jan/14/second-term-blues-tips-students.

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StabInTheDark · 19/01/2014 12:29

senua she's in Scotland so this semester is semester two! Sorry for any confusion, she wants to stick it out until the end of her first year because of her rent. The commute would be from the beginning of her second year in September.

The car suggestion is definitely something to look into, thank you! She hasn't started learning yet but it could be done over summer. She definitely doesn't want to transfer to a uni near home as we are a bit out in the sticks and our university has much different entry requirements/courses.

I don't know about third and fourth year but I'd presume they would be flat sharing again so she'd have the chance to go back up!

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StabInTheDark · 19/01/2014 12:35

fred she wouldn't be commuting until the start of second year, sorry for the confusion! She's at a Scottish uni so this semester is her last one!

She did start to settle and really seemed to be loving it. She only came home for three weekends between September and breaking up for Christmas. Everyone commented on how happy and well she looked when she came home too. I really hope this is just a case of January blues. chenua's article seems dead on.

Girly day suggestion is lovely, I definitely will. Fingers crossed the next few weeks improve and she gets over the wobble. If not, we'll look at it again.

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rightsaidfrederick · 19/01/2014 17:13

Given that she's settled before, I'm willing to bet that she'll settle again unless there's some big reason that you / she hasn't mentioned. This really is a classic case of the January blues.

I'd encourage her to sign for a house, and tell her that she's always welcome to come home for weekends, every weekend if she so wishes (perhaps you could offer to chip in for train fares as an added incentive?) but that you think that she'll be much better off living at uni because the commute will kill her.

I'll bet that if she has that 'security blanket', she'll go back to uni, get settled again, and find that she's not made a decision that she would have regretted (i.e. not living with friends), and she will very rapidly get settled back in and not feel the need for constant visits back home again.

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