Dealing With College Students

March 29, 2010

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Over the last few weeks, I have written several articles about dealing with everyday problems, from dealing with aging parents to dealing with aging yourself. This week I will discuss dealing with college students. My eldest son is a freshman in college, therefore he knows everything about everything. His biggest desire right now is to NOT live in the dormitory next year. The primary reason for this is the lack of privacy. Sharing a bathroom is bad enough, but having a common hall with people who are not quite as interested in study or sleep as he is, has caused him much distress.

He has been hunting for apartments to move into with his current roommate, a friend from high school. Although we support this effort (the proposed drop in food costs alone is encouraging), he, being the all knowing college student, has refused to listen to any sage advice from his parents. We must remember that from a college student’s point of view, no one has ever thought of anything before. No one has ever had the great idea of finding his own apartment, no one has every figured out all of the problems of the world, and most importantly, no one has ever discovered sex.

Luckily, he is only telling me about the apartment. The apartment search has revealed several very interesting misunderstandings, the most exciting of which was the idea that if you roommate decides to scamper, the landlord will find you a new roommate. It took quite a while to make him understand that the landlord does not care about your problems, pay the rent or get out. He was also unaware that some of the apartments are in no way associated with the university. This little tidbit was a shocking revelation, that a landlord could care less about your career at college, again pay your rent or get out.

The cost of an apartment was also a revelation, to think that the Neanderthals that are your parents might have known something about that, to bad they didn’t tell you before you went looking. Their plaintive comments that they had told you are just attempts to hide how backward they are. Parents also seem to think that just because they went to college, they might know some of the problems the new college student is facing. How could that possibly be true, no one has ever experienced this before.

Well, that is enough mocking for one night. He is listening, albeit late. He will continue searching, and with luck, he will not sign anything until his mother or I get there to read the fine print. Good luck with your own children as you try to send them off into the world

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Squeaky
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 11:23:16

    Wow, I’m getting stressed already and my kids are 4 & 7. I remember those days of not appreciating my parents for who they were. I also remember that changing and realizing that my parents are great friends and care more than anyone else.

    Good luck making it through this part of your struggle. Enjoy the time coming up in which your son will look at you with amazment and finally see you as the brilliant and loving father that you’ve been all along. It will make all the pain worth it.



  2. kosmo
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 08:06:22

    Wow – hard to believe that it has been almost 17 years since I first set foot on the hallowed grounds of that very same campus.

    Back in the “old days”, none of the apartments were controlled by the university. I believe that started around 2000.

    “Joint and several liability” is a good legal concept to explain 🙂

    I lived in an apartment my senior year, but it was by myself. It’s the lower level of the house right next to “Prints” (copy place) near the corner of Welch and Chamberlain. It was a tiny little efficiency, but absurdly close to campus (closer than most of the dorms).


  3. maggie
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 02:22:36

    your problems are the problems of humanity. college students! how about being 5 and going on the bus yourself and not wanting any one to meet you with an umbrella even when it was pouring. and, being so shy it took a caring teacher to push you into “doing”. rules: 25 years old and a decent job before you marry. GADS these parents!! To realize that your “child” is exceptionally intellegent, and may have answers you never considerd, is a huge step into reality for any parent.
    It is time for you and the woman you love to recognize the wonderful offspring you have created. children, young or old, just wonderful, if fate allows.


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