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Old 05-08-2019, 05:50 AM
Location: Brew City
3,887 posts, read 2,350,563 times
Reputation: 5157


Originally Posted by LieslMet View Post
We're in NY state. Room and board (then there are the incidentals of regular life) and living-on-campus fees are generally $15K+. At SUNY. At private schools, it's more. Vehicle costs are more away from home. We hear all about the costs, from friends and family with college students. With all the extra expenses over the most basic package of room and board, it comes to about $20K.

For 8.5 months.

This is why WE are strongly considering moving. Of course, they can always choose to take on student loans for that... but that wouldn't be wise, financially, for their own futures.
Is this the lawnmower parenting I've heard about?
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:00 AM
722 posts, read 294,219 times
Reputation: 2129
Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
Is this the lawnmower parenting I've heard about?
Yeah, sure.
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Old Today, 09:37 PM
977 posts, read 1,325,196 times
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Wow. No. Just no.

Our daughter stayed at home as an undergrad because she started college at 16. We chose not to have her move into the dorms the first year because of the age difference. She never expressed a desire to live in the dorms once she started college, so it just never came up again. My one regret is not to have had her spend at least one year in the dorms at some point. I think it is worth every penny for students to live in dorms...roommates, laundry, time management, relationships, academic opportunities. She finished in four years and had no debt since she qualified for lots of scholarship money. But I would have gladly paid for a dorm for one year. And although she lived at home and commuted (chose public transportation because she hates to drive), she did not live in our house but in another building on our property. So she had a lot of personal privacy and had to manage her own schedule. On the other hand, the time on campus was dictated by public transportation schedules so she missed out on a lot of campus involvement.

After undergrad she received a fully funded grad school position 3000 miles away. Her stipend paid for her rent and food, but was still low enough that the grad school held info sessions on applying for food stamps. Obviously she became a pro at managing her funds. It was a good experience from our point of view but she hated it. She has spent her whole life in our city and did not like the place she went to which was just slightly smaller. She had her own studio apartment at first, but even she admits that living alone in college is not the way to go. She then moved in with roommates. As you can imagine, it is not all sunshine and roses. But she learned to adjust. Obviously she was already good at academics and time management, but common sense is not her strong suit. So it was a learning curve. But the best part of being 3000 miles from parents is that she had personal privacy and responsibility. She made mistakes, and recovered. She endured a two separate major health issues in three years and managed on her own with moral support from us. Of course, we would have gone to help her if she ever indicated it was needed. But she got through it. She had her own vehicle (used we bought for her as graduation gift) that she had to maintain. Yup, it got broken into because she left electronics in the car one night. And yup, she had to replace her ID and credit card. But those are all learning experiences. She's not a joiner or a person who finds friendships easily so she did not thrive in her new location.

After grad school she did a few unpaid internships that were all across country from home. She chose to rent a room or guest quarters because the internships were only 6 months each and she was relying on her personal savings. Renting a room in a strange city and not making friends easily did not make things easy for her. But you start something and you finish it. Life experience is good.

After the unpaid internships and realizing this was the norm, not the exception in her field she chose to move home in search of a job and a place to live until she figured out Plan B. She has now been home for almost 3 years and is back to living on our property though not in our house. I don't think she has quite flown on her own yet. And common sense is still lacking. There are still no livable wages in her industry (science and soft money are not all they are cracked up to be under certain government administrations) so she has been working for a company that is providing a management training program to gain business experience. She would really like to work in science though. So we have been encouraging her to follow her dreams and find that next step as it appears that there is no end in sight for the lack of jobs in her field. In the meanwhile however, she has met up with 20-something/ almost 30 yo cohorts who (for the most part) never left town, did not go to college, and are struggling in $12/hour jobs. She is very comfortable financially with plenty of savings and a good income. So we feel she is being taken advantage of by guys in personal relationships as well as her girlfriends. She has dated a continual string of starving musicians who are usually working jobs in food service. Many of the jobs here are tourist related. Her co-workers in the management training job are all younger than her (and 99% male) as they were hired right out of undergrad so there does not seem to be a ready social group there.

So my 20/20 hindsight is let them go away to college and keep your distance. They need to fly on their own, have the privacy to make their mistakes and live their own lives without parents looking over their shoulder. It's part of their education to learn how to live and be the person they are meant to be. It's hard to do that when your family is always around sometimes.
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