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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?

  • cmsjmtcmsjmt 295 replies3 threads Junior Member
    People are wired the way they're wired. Some people are just more sensitive to noise than others, because they have much more sensitive hearing. I would say let your son live in the dorm but help him find a dorm that is the quietest, most academically focused with the least amount of partying. The counselors on campus can probably help you identify which one fits the bill. Also you can get him those noise cancelling headphones to study in his room, they cost about $300 and work really well. He can also continue to come home on weekends to study.
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  • Jamrock411Jamrock411 500 replies0 threads Member
    wis75 wrote:
    Poor, smothered kid. Looked up NKU- Northern Kentucky??? I wouldn't be surprised if her kid locks the bathroom door to prevent invasion from mom. "We" picked out ...U.

    The best thing for young adults is to leave home. Living on campus freshman year is the best for many, many reasons. Introverts need, and get their privacy. Hopefully this kid can blossom despite his parenting.

    The realities are significantly more college students commute to local colleges than live on campus. The average family cannot afford $10K+ for Room & Board. My son had a very bad "dorming" experience his freshman year and never quite recover. I commuted for 4-years (over an hour each way) and thoroughly enjoyed by 4-years at college and made tons of friends at this 100% commuter college. Frankly, I fail to see all these net positives of living in student dorms over commuting from home, especially for students who are very active in clubs and other activities on campus.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11785 replies31 threads Senior Member
    @Jamrock411, the option of commuting was not discussed by OP. I assume it is too far? Some schools require anyone over 30 miles away from school to dorm. Not sure what the requirement states for NKU. So if they live 33 miles away it could take 45 min depending on traffic one way. Maybe he doesn't drive, or they don't have an extra car. It all depends on the situation.
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  • wis75wis75 14281 replies64 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    OP- do not attack extroverts- they will not be attacking your kid. My introverted son had no problems doing his own thing, as do most introverts in our extroverted world. "Protecting" your son will not be in his best interest- he can protect himself (such as locking doors against parents).

    I do strongly believe the BEST option is to live on campus as a freshman. A lot of students have to settle for the next best option due to circumstances- life isn't fair. Those at commuter campuses miss out on an aspect of the college experience I wish everyone could have.

    I can't imagine having such a bad dorm experience a resilient young person can never recover from it- there are resident advisors and a whole system to help events from getting out of hand. A learning experience about other people.

    College is a learning experience far beyond the books and lectures. Commuters do miss out on aspects of campus life. It does not matter what percentage do this. A student also does not need to be active in organizations to benefit.

    The best college experience also includes not needing to be on an extreme budget or work during the school year. I did not have the best experience, but the money spent to be on campus was worth the costs- especially when considering commute times just across town. I also was lucky to be at a vibrant campus instead of a commuter one.

    When parents worry too much about their child living away from home that is a definite indicator the young adult needs to. btw- the college was chosen- surely the student body must have been considered as one to be associated with.
    edited October 2015
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80228 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Apparently, the OP lives just outside the frosh-housing-requirement-exemption zone of nearby counties from which students are assumed to commute from. It is not entirely clear whether OP's son will commute or live in off-campus housing if he does not live in a dorm.

    Hmmm, looking closely at the housing types, it does look like NKU has some suites and apartments with single rooms (within 3 or 4 bedroom suites or apartments):
    http://housing.nku.edu/content/housing/campuslivingoptions/woodcrest-apartments.html ($3,150 per semester)
    http://housing.nku.edu/content/housing/campuslivingoptions/university-suites.html ($3,125 per semester)

    Meal plans are $1,655 to $1,805 per semester. Prices for dorms and meal plans are in
    http://housing.nku.edu/content/dam/housing/docs/Apply Here/Terms and Conditions- Academic Year 2015-2016.pdf

    If the OP intends to have her son live in an off-campus apartment (as opposed to commuting from home), it may be worthwhile to see if he can get into the on-campus suites or apartments with the single rooms, and if the price is competitive. That may avoid the disadvantages of living in off-campus housing in frosh year (less connection with both the school and other students).
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  • digmediadigmedia 3123 replies209 threads Senior Member
    @JHS - Great post. Thanks.
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    I had a huge post ready.

    But I have to ask - if the family has enough money to pay for the "cubicle-sized room", and either have the son live at home and commute, or rent him an apartment that is "big enough", is there really an issue?

    Sign him up for the highest occupancy = cheapest room possible, and pay for his/your preference of having him live off-campus. They can make you pay for the room, but they can't make him live in it.

    (one part of the huge post was that a single doesn't mean that the student won't be subject to noise and over-socialization - happened to me as a freshman in a single, and now for my son as a freshman in a single)
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  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD 3085 replies9 threads Senior Member
    So I guess I don't think it's crazy to want to live off campus, even during one's first year.

    I don't disagree with this assessment. I also agree that many people have terrible roommate experiences (I'm one) and introverts may have a greater need for solace. BUT I think the child has to discover himself his limits. *IF* he had lived for a month or two in a dorm and was suffering to the extent the OP imagines, I would agree he needed to switch. However, the OP isn't even giving her son the chance to "fail". People will argue why put her son in such an intolerable situation - but no one knows that it will be so intolerable. If she is so certain that her son is that anxiety-ridden around other people (she insists he is not), then there is a much more serious issue that needs to be addressed. In other words, for all the people who said they found that they hated the environment, did they know they would hate it? Did they think they would like it and only to find the opposite were true? How many people assume they would hate dorm life and end up liking it?

    My point is, we really don't know how the child will behave or react in any particular dorm situation. Maybe he ends up in a quiet dorm (there are such places); maybe he finds he actually can tolerate some noise on his own. Or maybe he makes the decision that second semester, he wants to change his living situation - move back home and rent an apartment the following year. Just give the child an opportunity to find out.
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  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom 2365 replies41 threads Senior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote:
    . It is not entirely clear whether OP's son will commute or live in off-campus housing if he does not live in a dorm.

    The OPs son wants to live in an off campus apartment with a roommate. And it's already been resolved, the kids are considered sophomores because of their credits. (Post #38)
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    If he is truly that modest to lock the door if he washes his hands in the bathroom, and he were my child, I would have a safety net available, *if* I had the money to do so. If I didn't, I'd find another university.

    And I think the OP is neglecting the fact that just "getting an apartment off campus" may not be easy, and may be subject to even WORSE distractions than in a dorm, where at least the university is in charge.

    The only options realistically would be live at home or live as a boarder with a relative who lives near campus.
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  • aj725aj725 564 replies36 threads Member
    OP -- you and your son got your way, congrats. Now he has 4 yrs to live with the person of his choosing with his own bed/bathroom and avoid all inconveniences a dorm could throw his way.

    What you and many helicopters seem to be missing is that young adult life (after college) requires a lot of flexibility and resilience, and these aren't things that are bestowed upon you at age 22 but learned over time through small experiences -- like living in a dorm. The college dorm is one of the few experiences to prep him in these areas -- and both you and your DS want to avoid that at all costs. I realize that in the working world he won't be living or showering with his coworkers. But what's he going to do when he has a conflict with a coworker or a boss? When he ends up in a noisy open floor plan or cube office where everyone is talking and he needs to produce work product? When he has unruly apartment neighbors or God forbid needs to take on a roommate to share costs and a high school friend isn't available? When he is "forced" to go to office Christmas parties or office retreats/team building activities a few states over that involve traveling, eating, and sharing rooms for 3 straight days or join the running club that all the guys in the office do together and then shower after? Or when he ends up on some awkward and random business trip that somehow involves sharing rooms?

    These situations sound dumb and I'm sure you're thinking -- he'll handle it just fine. But the reality is, he won't have the practice in how to handle them -- and it will show -- bc he will have gone from 18 yrs in the comforts of his parents' home to his own private apartment with the roommate of his choosing and away from all of his peers -- or at least the peers that he doesn't clique with as BFFs? You've set him up in a situation where he nurtures his introverted ways, where he goes to school and comes home and avoids anything he doesn't like -- that's not how it'll be in 4 yrs.

    Dorm living gives you a real course in these skills bc it forces you into a room and floor with all kinds of people who may or may not be anything like you and forces you to learn how to deal with them, while taking care of your own needs as an introvert. It's fine to take the easy way for now bc it's available, but he'll be thrust into situations where it isn't available and he'll be shocked and miserable.
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  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom 2365 replies41 threads Senior Member
    My H and I both lived on campus for 4 years and loved it. Both of our kids will do the same. However, I think the importance of doing so may be overstated. I think there are plenty of people who lived at home or off campus who manage to function in life.

    I think the discussion should be focused on whether it's advisable for a freshman to live off campus. That i do agree is an area of debate.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40174 replies320 threads Senior Member
    "Most extroverts are just big jerks at times. They simply do not get it"

    I don't think it's right to attack extroverts. Neither type has the monopoly on jerk-dom.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    I'm an introvert. And one of my kids is as well. And I still think it is best for frosh to live on campus if possible. Did I love my freshman dorm? No. But the friendships from the dorm experience have lasted s lifetime. Every student is looking for new friends fall of freshman year. The student who lives off campus has to work harder to meet people and just have the experience of hanging out, which is part of what deepens the connections. An 18 year old introvert generally is not going to be very good at making the extra social effort required to build those friendships.

    If your son has a diagnosable anxiety disorder, you can ask for a single for medical reasons.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40174 replies320 threads Senior Member
    I agree completely. We introverts find it harder to bridge the gap because we're happy in our own heads and often don't make the effort.

    We wanted our kids living on campus all 4 years, frankly. They have the rest of their lives to hole away in an apartment and deal with cooking and cleaning. Both of mine did wind up with singles later on, but not freshman year.
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  • billcshobillcsho 18315 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Thank beyond college. What will he do after college? He needs to develop his social skill and over-protecting your child would hinder that. Check if the dorm has single room option for freshmen. A community bath room is nothing different from any public bath room and changing room in school. If he can use those, he should have no problem with community bath room. Sorry that the thread is getting too long that I do not have time to go through all the other responses.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    We wanted our kids living on campus all 4 years, frankly.

    On the other hand, I was pleased that my kids did not live on campus all 4 years (something that was inevitable anyway because both attended colleges that do not guarantee on-campus housing for juniors and seniors). You learn something from searching for apartments, hunting for roommates, paying rent, dealing with the landlord and the utility companies and Internet service providers, and sharing a kitchen and bathroom in a situation where nobody is going to clean up those places except you and your roommates. You might even learn enough about cleaning to get most of your deposit back (Yes, children, it is possible to clean an oven that isn't self-cleaning, and your mom knows how.)

    Dorms are a unique experience, and for many young people, a valuable one. But off-campus apartment living teaches you skills that are directly transferable to post-college living situations.
    edited October 2015
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12526 replies545 threads Senior Member
    DS, an introvert and only child, was on campus only 1 year, because, in great part, there were only enough beds for Freshman.
    He is now much more mature, knowledgeable, social and far less of an introvert due to learning to live with many others in various appts through out LA.
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