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Am I crazy not wanting my son living on campus?


Replies to: Am I crazy not wanting my son living on campus?

  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    OP is appeasing son in the near term, but is just enabling the perpetuation of his neuroses for the long term.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,649 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    JHS wrote:
    The main advantages of dorms seem to be that kids have some eyes on them, no one has to walk very far to classes (usually), they don't have to worry about meal preparation, sociability is more or less enforced, and being a student is normative. Frankly, those advantages are only advantages for kids who are really pretty immature. Lots of freshmen ARE really pretty immature, of course, but putting them all together in one place is in many ways an accident waiting to happen, and I don't think it does much to reinforce norms of scholarship.

    Living in the dorm as a frosh may be a gentler transition from living under often-constant (helicopter) parental supervision to living completely on one's own. For many frosh, it may be too big a transition from living in the parents' house to look for an off-campus apartment at a distant college in an area where one is not familiar with landlord/tenant laws and rental market prices, or generally what to look for when looking for housing (or roommates) -- i.e. they may be more likely to fall into really bad situations. Sure, the parents can help, but it may not be convenient for them to take time off to help the new frosh look for off-campus housing (and the parents might be more or less picky than the student would be). The OP's may be kind of a special case, where the school is close enough that the parents can conveniently assist finding off-campus housing, even though it may not be close enough for convenient commuting.

    Non-frosh are generally much more familiar with local conditions, so they are much better able to choose off-campus housing and roommates without falling into really bad situations. Non-traditional students are also more likely to have had experience with rental housing, so they are more likely to be able to avoid some problems that naive traditional frosh may fall into. Obviously, commuters continue to live where they lived before starting at the school.

    I.e. college dorms are likely of more value to traditional frosh (and their parents) than to non-frosh and non-traditional students.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,110 Senior Member
    OP is appeasing son in the near term, but is just enabling the perpetuation of his neuroses for the long term

    Do neuroses go away when people force themselves to do things that they find uncomfortable?
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,848 Senior Member
    "Do neuroses go away when people force themselves to do things that they find uncomfortable?"

    Yes, they often go away or get better. You just described the basic theory behind exposure therapy for phobias.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,841 Forum Champion
    Just a general question. What do people like Tonia39's son do when they get a job and are assigned to sit in a cubicle in an open-floor-plan office, and the co-worker in the adjacent cubicle eats lunch at his desk loudly and the other co-worker across the way talks loudly on the phone and another adjacent co-worker clears his throat frequently?

    You ask your boss to move...I was between "Wants help on her non-iphone that i don't know anythign about/Cat lady" and "Talks to himself man" so I moved.
  • brantlybrantly Registered User Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    Do neuroses go away when people force themselves to do things that they find uncomfortable?
    Yes. The literature bears that out. It's mostly because they find out that their worst fears do not materialize.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,199 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I think that two freshmen sharing an apartment is a recipe for disaster because none of the fail-safe in the dorms (RA's, social activities) are there to "catch" any problem. In addition, the dorms mean no cooking, no shopping, no planning. All that time is freed up for studying. Managing an apartment is not simple and adds to the challenges of a first year in college, distracting from learning.
    In addition, not living in the dorms is very alienating for freshmen - keep in mind that the residential part of college education is huge.
    I understand that he has special challenges to overcome, but it'd do him a disservice to let him get an apartment rather than seeking accomodations in the dorms.
    If he doesn't want to share a room, he can look for universities that have suite-style apartments. There are lots of them nowadays, from Sonoma State to Loyola Maryland to Mansfield University.
    If your son wants peace and quiet, there are "quiet dorms". If he doesn't want partying, there are "substance-free", "wellness" communities on every campus.
    BTW: Studying should be primarily done at the library, leaving the "room" space for relaxation.
  • BeeDAreBeeDAre Registered User Posts: 1,164 Senior Member
    Right ^ OP's son will spend his first year off-campus at a university that has decided to put an emphasis on the residential aspect of campus. That won't be to his advantage socially, or academically.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,183 Senior Member
    My D2's college intentionally mixes frosh with other age groups, there are no frosh dorms. Older students are expected to mentor and help them. There are strict rules about being dry during the first week or two on campus (and during accepted student days) that my kid says are followed. A couple of assistant res life deans live in the dorms and keep an eye on things. Not the case at every college, but my kid would have missed out on a lot that makes her college great if she had not lived in the dorm.
  • greenwitchgreenwitch Registered User Posts: 8,484 Senior Member
    Late to the thread here but geez, give the OP a break!

    All my 3 girls moved off campus as soon as they could. For D1, she loved her roommate but hated the tiny space, the food, the loud drunken people, the other noise, the invasion of stink bugs, etc. Sure, it was a "learning experience", just like all the abnormal psychology you learn about when you have crazy coworkers. You do it if you have to, but not if you don't.

    Then we found out that her school had a four year residency requirement. Luckily, all the dorms were carpeted and luckily D1 has allergies (which got considerably worse her freshman year). We got her a medical exemption. She moved into an apartment with her old roommate and set out becoming the wonderful cook that she is today.
  • greenwitchgreenwitch Registered User Posts: 8,484 Senior Member
    I also found the dorm experience to be unique. Since I didn't join the military or become a resident counselor at a sleep away camp, I can't say it trained me for anything. Taking care of my own life with my chosen roommates in an apartment of our own was much more practical training for adult life.
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