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Am I crazy not wanting my son living on campus?

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

  • SnowdogSnowdog 2206 replies37 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    Your son sounds like mine....needs alone time to recharge, modest and quiet, doesn't do well with a lot of stimulation. - classic introvert. He is doing very well (with a lot of advance preparation) living in a single room on campus. He had anxiety about the bathroom situation but it has worked out okay. Again with preparation, the right supplies, managing expectations. He has grown a lot in one month living in the dorm.

    Edited to add - I see you've worked it out. I'll just say, I was as anxious as my son about him moving out from under my care and protection and encouraged him to attend our local commuter university. But I let him decide and he's succeeded so far beyond both our expectations.
    edited September 2015
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80228 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Tonia39 wrote:
    Wonderful news! Panic for nothing -- I just heard back from the housing office at NKU and because of the credit hours he will already have earned before he gets there, both he and his friend will be considered sophomores and exempt from the residency requirement.

    It may have been a panic for nothing anyway, if you live in one of the exempt counties listed in
    https://housing.nku.edu/content/dam/housing/docs/Apply Here/First Year Student Residency Requirement.pdf
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  • brantlybrantly 4081 replies72 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    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?
    edited September 2015
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  • Madison85Madison85 10350 replies411 threads Senior Member
    Who Moved My Cheese?
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  • SnowdogSnowdog 2206 replies37 threads Senior Member
    @brantly, if you had a special needs type of kid you wouldn't be quite so flip. These are questions that parents of kids with LDs and other disabilities, like the OP, ask ourselves all the time. I get where the OP is coming from. We made a different choice and so far it has worked out. But it doesn't mean her child will never, ever, become a functional adult, which is what your question seems to suggest.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23859 replies17 threads Senior Member
    But @Snowdog , you can't learn all these skills without ever trying new situations, uncomfortable situations. You can control some things, but not others. If OP's son never wants to share, it's going to make life pretty difficult in both work and social situations.


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  • brantlybrantly 4081 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Actually, the OP never said that her son had a disability. She has just indicated that this is his nature.

    I AM wondering what happens, in general, to people who have restrictions like this that have nothing to do with a diagnosed disability.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40174 replies320 threads Senior Member
    I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I push myself out of my comfort zone at work all the time. That's how you grow and become successful. As I said, I love alone time. But I also have to socialize w clients and coworkers. The world is made up of many types and you need to figure out how to be adaptable and engage.
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  • PickOne1PickOne1 704 replies0 threads Member
    edited September 2015
    Agree with someone ... the odds of your son ever having more than a cubicle, let alone a private bathroom, are very small ... cube farms are all the rage, you only get an office if you have sensitive info and need to lock it up, not because you need a quiet space.

    Have you never traveled and shared a hotel room with a sink in the room? He has never used a public toilet? Washing your hands is not a private activity.

    Similarly, do you tiptoe when he is working ... he has a private wing ... what !!!

    And what your son ever wants to get married ... can he share an apartment, bathroom, whatever?

    Only children do need to adapt to the world at large and many thrive with a step up to a more social life. Many of the dorm interactions are really innocuous, seeing folks in the hall and saying hi, and then lead to friendships (introverts have trouble with people they don't know, after 2 weeks, you know everyone on the floor, and presto you can be friends) The noise is easily solved with earplugs or a walk to the library or focus. The small room, take less stuff and keep it neat and together in one space. Getting away from people, learn to focus on your work, which is also the main goal here.

    I would have him evaluated and see if he needs 4 years of special treatment or if he needs 4 years of learning to live in the real world, including street noise, noisy cube farm neighbors, public bathrooms ... and people to talk to and be friends with.

    I guess the friend is not going to NKU, or the obvious solution is to share a room with the friend although really a stranger may be more inclined to not chat with your son.
    edited September 2015
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  • PickOne1PickOne1 704 replies0 threads Member
    As an only child myself, very shy as a child and young adult, now very out-going, practice makes perfect. The innocuous small talk leads to longer conversations leads to friendships maybe in a group. You talk to more people, you find more people like you or maybe interesting and nothing like you, you then talk to more people .. and so on and so on. The people you have talked to grows, they now say hi to you, not always you to initiate, they introduce you to more people.

    The longer you hide in your private room with your private bathroom sink away from noise and people, the longer this process may take. Who wants to learn to be social in the senior home?

    Also since only children have lots of practice with adults, and considering college students are almost adults, some of the awkwardness goes away. College environments are less judgmental since there are so many flavors of people there, so there isn't an in or out crowd, there isn't a huge risk at approaching someone you know and having them talk about how weird you are at the cafeteria.

    OP does not say why dorm life wasn't ideal for her, but is your son like you or were you some big party animal?
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  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians 1374 replies0 threads Senior Member
    My guess would be that there is no diagnosed disability. If there was some medical issue involved, it seems likely that OP would have immediately considered that as an out as far as requirements to live in the dorm. She said they said they looked specifically for schools without the requirements to dorm. I think a fair number of schools allow exemptions for medical reasons so if there was one the search criteria would likely have been different.

    I will just add that I am a only child and I survived just fine in a tiny single-room quad mr freshman year. Only children are not all incapable of living with other people.
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  • blossomblossom 10179 replies9 threads Senior Member
    The only person I've ever worked with who had a legitimate medical need for a solo office was deaf- we were prepared to accommodate with a private office, able to shut the door, just so her technology which had flashing lights instead of pings on the email, a small strobe on the phone with a teletype device etc. wouldn't bother her office mates. She asked if we could try to keep her in the cube farm first- and of course would move to a private office if her technology was too disruptive to the team.

    Worked fine in the communal space- she kept her overhead lights on so there wasn't a flash of bright red every time an email came in, and anyway- the lights were no more disruptive than the pinging that everyone seems to get used to by day 3.

    I can't imagine what my memo to building services would look like if I had to accommodate a new employee who just needed privacy (since we ALL need privacy, which is what the nursing rooms, private phone call rooms, two person conference rooms, etc. are for).
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  • SnowdogSnowdog 2206 replies37 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    I push myself out of my comfort zone at work all the time. That's how you grow and become successful.
    No one said it isn't. But I'm guessing you don't have a disability nor do any of your kids. It may take just a wee bit longer for some people and their parents.

    @brantly - you're right, OP did not say her son has a diagnosed disability. Mine does, and let me say this - I am beyond humbled at how hard he has worked to push the envelope on his comfort zone. I'm incredibly proud of him. He went away to college and so far loves it, although at least two professionals told me it was a bad idea and likely wouldn't work out at this time. It took a lot of preparation and it *never* would have worked to simply drop him in the deep end -- Be an adult! Get used to the real world! -- before he felt at least halfway ready. The lack of awareness is what I get from many of the comments from the neurotypical corner.

    I'm not saying that I agree with the OP - my son (and I) made the opposite choice after a lot of struggle - just that I can understand her concerns. Going away and having it end in failure would be worse than commuting from home for a period of time at least and progressing toward a degree.
    edited September 2015
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  • 2muchquan2muchquan 1998 replies32 threads Senior Member
    Seriously: "Who Moved My Cheese"?
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  • brantlybrantly 4081 replies72 threads Senior Member
    @Snowdog I hear ya. It is a struggle for students with disabilities. And your son's success is a direct result of all the preparation you did with him.
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  • PickOne1PickOne1 704 replies0 threads Member
    Dang cheese book, I got a copy about when I realized that the company had no cheese and just wanted us to stop hanging around the cheese station whining (the problem was a lack of work assignments, not us hanging around the cheese station instead of working) ... anyway ..

    Not really a tough love person, despite my post, just pointing out that only children may need more not less nudging to be social.

    So, I would try to address some of these issues over the next 6 months before decision day, and would look for some alternative schools.

    I would stop the washing hands in private thing ... unless he is OCD, in which case he needs treatment. Obviously he can close the door to do whatever, but if it's just hand washing ...

    I would encourage him to try studying now in say the local library. If he is a commuter, he will have to learn to study in the library. If he is living in a single, there still could be a loud party the day he has a paper due or a final the next day or a big truck could pull up to unload supplies. Or start with studying a bit say in the family room, rather than in his room, so he sees if your walking around is really a distraction.

    I would see if I could find something short and away from home where he could see if he can stand dorm life or a roommate. Say, a weekend program somewhere. If he hates it, you know for sure. He may like it and see that he can make it work out.

    If these exercises are too much, seek an evaluation for anxiety disorder or other issues. Introversion is OK, quirkiness is OK, but if your anxieties are prevalent and uncontrollable, they need to be worked on (again Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, work on adapting to environment ... drugs as last resort).

    If these exercises are too much, you can either pick a real commuter school, make a good case for exemption from freshman dorm or for a single, or figure out other options. The knowledge of how much stretching he can or cannot take is useful in figuring out the best plan for him.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80228 replies720 threads Senior Member
    As noted previously, NKU does exempt students living in nearby counties from its frosh dorm requirement. So this thread looks like much ado about nothing, unless the OP lives outside the exemption area (but that probably would mean a long and inconvenient commute to NKU).
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  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 6200 replies28 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    Count me as one who thinks dorm life is overrated. Sure, you learn a lot about flexibility and tolerance but you can learn that just as well in a shared apartment. And if you get that nightmare of a roommate it can really ruin a freshman experience.

    My D was away for high school so already had 4 years of dorm living when she entered college this Fall. She wanted to live on campus as a freshman to get settled and make some friends. After that we have agreed she can do what she wants. She likes her "creature comforts" so my bet is she is off campus by junior year. She is tired of cramped living quarters, cafeteria food and group bathrooms. 8 years of that might just be too much.
    edited September 2015
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  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians 1374 replies0 threads Senior Member
    OP didn't say her son was planning to commute from home, so I would not assume they live in the exempted nearby counties. The plan was to get him an apartment.
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