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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?

  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,288 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.
  • aj725aj725 Registered User Posts: 589 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.
  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom Registered User Posts: 2,378 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.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 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.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 33,796 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.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 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.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 18,405 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.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,932 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.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,524 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.
  • mathyonemathyone Registered User Posts: 4,223 Senior Member
    You're assuming that this apartment will be oh so much more quiet than the dorm. I wouldn't count on that. I had far worse experiences in apartments than I ever did in dorms.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    As an introvert, I kind of like how a dorm forces you to interact with others in a way an apartment doesn't.
  • boolaHIboolaHI Registered User Posts: 1,956 Senior Member
    A bit of an aside, one of my longest lasting friends from college (aside from folks who I played sports with) is a terribly introverted Asian gal, who despite her considerably shyness, made a concerted effort to live in the dorms. Now, 30+ years later, she still tells me, despite earning a PhD later in life from an Ivy, one of her biggest accomplishments in her entire life, was living in the dorms. She has more than a couple friendships that have lasted her adult life, and she is the better for it.......something to consider.
  • aj725aj725 Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    If he needs perfect silence to be academically successful, look into a library or an apartment complex further from campus catering to working professionals who are gone 40 hrs a week. Apartment right near campuses are typically fairly loud and often party central - hate to break it to you. A lot of partying does not (and cannot) happen at the dorms due to underage alcohol issues as no one wants to get caught, so parties are often held at apartments of upperclassmen living near campus. There's a better than even chance that if he and his HS friend find an apartment near campus, they will be near noise.
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