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Unhappy at university, parents, what can I do?

ucentralfloridaucentralflorida 1 replies1 threads New Member
edited July 2013 in Parents Forum
Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the forum, and this seemed to be the proper place for me to come and ask for advice. A bit about myself, I'm 17 and currently a freshman at the University of Central Florida. I've always been work driven and always excelled in my classes in high school, which was quite an accomplishment for me as I attended the top high school in Florida, and 7th top in the country.

I moved into my dorm over a week ago and have been attending classes, unfortunately my dorm experience hasn't been quite the most positive for multiple reasons. I am a social and going individual but I also run my own companies on the internet and spend a majority of my time working for myself. I haven't attempted to make friends through clubbing/parties/drinking etc, as I grew up with alcohol in my culture and it seems childish for me to spend time with other individuals my age with a main goal of trashing themselves. The issues arose after a few days inside my dorm (I currently reside with another roommate in a suite with 2 other guys), basically majorly loud parties happened and essentially kept me up the entire night. In between attending my classes, I spend the majority of the rest of my time working, which makes it even more difficult for me when I'm kept up all night because of parties in the dorm. Unfortunately, the RA seems to be extremely unwilling to do anything about the noise or all the parties, despite one kid already having been sent to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.

I live about 2 hours away from UCF and therefore can't commute everyday, and unfortunately for me, I never knew truly how homesick I could be until I moved here. My life back home had always been based on academics after having parents that attended top universities in their countries. Essentially, I just feel very unhappy here. The academics here are fine and I have no issues with them, unfortunately it's the living that I have a big issue with. I'm unhappy because I don't want to go out clubbing and partying (And frankly, a majority of the activities here do involve both those things), and because I greatly miss home. I miss my parents, my home, my girlfriend, and my friends.

Here's where advice would be hugely appreciated, I've talked to my parents about my lack of happiness and they've been anything but supportive. Essentially, I want to move back home, and go to CC for 2 years and then transfer back to UCF (They have a program where you get accepted no matter what after having attended a CC for 2 years) and get my business degree then. My parents have been less than supportive because they think I'm essentially throwing my entire life away which makes it difficult for me to even talk to them about these issues. It's a definite yes that I will come back to UCF for my degree after 2 years, and during these 2 years I would also have the ability to expand my businesses and grow them to a point where I'd be far more able to get my own apartment and pay for my masters degree as well.

I know it's tough to make a decision after having been here a week, but frankly, I know my senses very well and I can tell that being this far will always make me unhappy no matter what. I've tried talking to the school counselors whom have been of great help, and still despite that I can't seem to find my source of happiness here. Parents, what kind of advice could I use in order to show my parents that this choice would overall better myself and my future? Has this ever happened with you and your kids?

All advice and replies are immensely appreciated.
edited July 2013
30 replies
Post edited by ucentralflorida on
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Replies to: Unhappy at university, parents, what can I do?

  • CatnPhxCatnPhx 163 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Well, sounds like you already made up your mind regardless of advice.

    I will say that you are experiencing something very common and to give it more time (at least a semester) and your best effort before making any final decisions. Basically, man up for a time, work through it, communicate with your parents, and work with the Student or Health Services Department of the college. You chose the school for a reason so let it play out some.

    Finding your source of happiness? That needs to come from within regardless of where you are located, doing, etc... If you are digging ditches in 115 degree weather then you better find your source of happiness. If you are an attorney defending rapists and murderers then you better find your source of happiness. Finding your source of happiness is a lifelong pursuit so don't give it a week at the school and determine you can't find it.

    I wish you the best but if you were my kid you'd be toughing it out for at least 1-2 semesters unless you had a real good reason (other than homesick). You made your bed (by choosing this college) now give it a chance and stick with it for some time.

    Good luck and sorry I couldn't provide a more sympathetic ear but I do wish you happiness and the best.
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  • TranquilMindTranquilMind 1084 replies18 threads Senior Member
    One week is not long enough. It sounds like you are happy with the school, but unhappy with your roommate/dorm situation. It makes perfect sense to me. I never lived in a dorm, by choice, and instead, spent several years in my own apartment. I don't do well with noise and lack of sleep.

    I think I'd try a different plan first before dropping out and moving to CC, which makes less sense to me.

    Can you find your own inexpensive place somewhere? Or rent a room with some quiet people, maybe grad students, using the money you would have spent on a dorm room, while continuing your studies? Should be doable. Try Craigslist and come up with a concrete plan first. Also figure out what would happen if you change your accommodations and whether any money spent would be refundable.

    Get your ducks in a row and then present a plan that allows you to solve your problem and continue your studies. Or, if you absolutely MUST be home (and I think you should give it more of a try first), calculate how much money you could save by driving the 2 hours daily (yes, it would be tough, but doable). That would be impressive to me, as a parent if you do some work first to solve your problem and then show me your various solutions that don't waste money.
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  • LonghaulLonghaul 2616 replies137 threads Senior Member
    You sound exactly like my brother did back in the 90s.

    He rented a room in house. He loved it. He could socialize when he wanted and had a quiet place to return.

    His landlord (divorced in his ealry 30s) lived in the house. One of the other housemates was a grad student.

    I would recommend giving it until Christmas. Try and find a different place to live for the fall.
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  • beermebeerme 840 replies38 threads Member
    Buy earplugs, you are stuck for at least this semester.
    Hopefully, the noise will calm down once people realize they have to do work to stay in college.
    I would continue to communicate daily with Housing to see if a single comes up in a Honors, non drinking, or non party dorm.
    Perhaps they will find something to get rid of your daily inquiry.
    Exercise to exhaustion to get out your frustrations and to make you so tired you can sleep through the noise.
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  • sosomenzasosomenza - 2091 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Find a different room on a different floor. Gradually the serious students will find each other and the same for the loud guys, If the RA's are smart they will start loading the floors with like kind students. Find a quiet floor, if possible. GL
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  • GreatKidGreatKid 628 replies16 threads Member
    Unfortunately your circumstances are not uncommon. Maturity levels vary greatly among students of that age. It will settle down once they realize that they will have to exert effort to not fail out.
    I don't think going home is the answer. I would suggest you make due as best you can, ears plugs, sleeping mask. Nap during the day if you have the free time. Study in the library or some other tucked away place that's quiet.
    Good luck! It will get easier.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Can you move off-campus?

    That would solve some of your problems, and having some of the problems solved would make the others easier to deal with.
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  • ucentralfloridaucentralflorida 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks to everyone for the replies and advice.
    Just to clarify, I was going to stick it up for at least one or two semesters to see how my overview on college would change. Unfortunately, the Orlando area is quite pricey in terms of apartments and single living, and I'd prefer to be fully financially stable prior to placing myself in my own apartment. The reason I'd want to settle back in my town for a year or two is just to have some time to get my personal businesses together while being alongside my family. I'd still take equally as many classes (and evidently earn as many credits) while continuing to work to open my second online business. This would also give me even greater financial liberty as far as getting my own apartment goes. I've devised a serious plan as to how this wouldn't affect my studies because I would earn the same diploma, from the same school, I would just be spending the two first years in my area.

    Once again thanks for all the advice, it is hugely appreciated.
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  • ddahwanddahwan 586 replies5 threads Member
    It is important for you to be true to yourself and know exactly what you want. If the problem are the room-mates I think you got already some good advise already. Think about finishing this semester so you can give the college experience a chance. It is not uncommon to feel uneasy the first few months away from home. I know you want to build your business, but your isolation from peers( and I am sure that you can find academically driven people like you) will only make your time at UCF more difficult. Look for people with the same interest as you. Spend less time in your dorm. Go to the library. Work outdoors. All those things will help alleviate stress and may bring things into a different perspective. Good Luck.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30730 replies197 threads Senior Member
    Work with your RA or with someone a couple of levels above them to find a better living situation for yourself. That will make a big difference.

    If your business can be run from your laptop, then go run your business from a carrel in the library, or a table in a corner of the student union. Every university has quiet spots, so you can escape the loud drunken summer students if you make an effort.

    And do remember that some of this craziness will slow down as soon as those students get their first quiz grades back.
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  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 6200 replies28 threads Senior Member
    My advice would be to focus your efforts on finding a more acceptable living arrangement before making any decisions. You have stated that you are fine with the academic component of the school, so now you need to find somewhere other than a freshman dorm to live. You are probably stuck for the first semester, but it will fly by and you can spend most of your time out of the room. You might even find another student or two that feel the same way.

    Going home now with the intent of returning in two years makes little sense to me. You most likely will find yourself in a similar situation 2 years from now. Dorms are not for everyone and I think many more students than you might think feel as you do.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    It is the first week of the summer semester. Kids are excited. They're going to be loud. I can guarantee you that this will die down once the semester gets into the swing of things.

    You cannot give up on moving away after one week. One week. You're goin to be sad. Everyone goes through with it and the majority gets over it.

    If you're in the west coast of Florida why don't you just move back home an just take classes at USF-Sarasota? I don't know if they have your degree. It's an option. Any Florida university will take you if you attended a Florida community college and a have a good GPA. Don't forget about that.
    Unfortunately, the Orlando area is quite pricey in terms of apartments and single living
    I know there are apartments across campus (they might be affiliated) that are the same price as the Towers suites. They tend to attract more serious students and are more strict in noise levels. I toured the apartment with my friends (when we all considered UCF) and it was extremely nice. Computer lounge, game room, pools, zen garden, everything.
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  • katastrophickatastrophic 285 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I'm sorry that you aren't enjoying your experience so far. I think that after the first couple months of college, it should calm down with all the partying and such. They are still excited and celebrating their independence. Perhaps you can stick with it for this first semester and see how it goes.
    I suggest asking the housing office if there is something like a living-learning housing (I think that's what they're called) where students are all of the same major, interests, etc. Or a room with very quiet hours that require it to be quiet most of the time.
    You could always rent an apartment or house with friends for your sophomore year
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  • csfmapcsfmap 507 replies14 threads Member
    You are in summer housing, correct? Many universities compress summer students into one or two dorms so there's not a lot of choices. Maybe you should explore different options for fall. I bet UCF has many of the typical offerings such as living-learning, substance free, private rooms, quiet and honors dorms. Maybe there is a open spot for something more suited to you in the fall. Talk to housing and tell them your issues with the current arrangement and see if they can come up with an improved situation for you starting in the fall.
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  • BrownParentBrownParent 12597 replies179 threads Senior Member
    I think you are really premature to try to convince your parents of your plan, and it is great that you will give it a semester, or preferably a year. (I would go crazy myself if I heard mine throwing in the towel after just one week!) It is normal to feel out of place and homesick at first, maybe even the first year, to some extent. One week is no time to adjust at all or to convince yourself that you won't change, or change the situation. You have no plan to try to change your situation there. Put your effort into that. Fall should be better and give you options. You got good advice on trying to find your people. And for shared off campus housing which will solve quite a few problems for you, and should help with the cost. You can move into your own place once you have the money, but don't overlook the benefits of sharing with like minded people. Look into sub-free or equivalent housing as well. Don't start another business until you have taken care of school business.
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    What made you choose UCF? Did you apply to/get into UF?
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  • momofbostonmomofboston 875 replies26 threads Member
    Go to housing and see if you can get into a substance free dorm...I am sure there is alot of movement and they usually will try to accommodate you if at all possible.
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  • LonghaulLonghaul 2616 replies137 threads Senior Member
    Not UCF, but in my experience, summer students are one of two polar opposites -- kids who need to get remedial work out of the way before fall and kids who want to get ahead.

    Fall semester tends to bring more types of students into the mix who burn out of the party scene in a few weeks.

    Agree with others -- look into a substance free or quiet dorm
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  • Kei-o-leiKei-o-lei 1592 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Part of what you learn in a college setting is how to deal with situations and navigate within the rules to get what you want . . . with patience. Here are some options that you can explore:
    1- asking for a change to a different floor
    2- asking for a change to a substance free dorm
    3- asking for a change to a quiet floor or dorm
    4- exploring off campus options for next semester

    It's normal for dorms to have some level of noise/distraction/parties. Whether your dorm is abnormal in that way is moot . . . you don't like the current living situation, so why not try to change where you live? The fact that you don't like the living/partying situation does not mean "leave college." It means find a change that works for you.

    Which brings me around to this observation: only someone who wants to leave college makes plans to leave college. The noise/distraction may be your excuse, but it sounds like you really don't want to be there.

    So be honest with yourself about what you are really after. Sounds to me like the noise is really just a distraction (pardon the pun) from your real issue.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    What made you choose UCF? Did you apply to/get into UF?
    It's a good school. I don't think UF would be a better choice. There's a larger fraternity presence and drinking on campus.
    Not UCF, but in my experience, summer students are one of two polar opposites -- kids who need to get remedial work out of the way before fall and kids who want to get ahead.

    Fall semester tends to bring more types of students into the mix who burn out of the party scene in a few weeks.
    I definitively agree with this. The summer semester and fall semester vary with the types of students.

    OP, I suggest for your fall semester to a) Move into the towers or b) Move into the Lake Claire community and perhaps join the Healthy Knights Living Learning community which is a substance free community.
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