Picture Courtesy of Arkansas 40/29 News
I wanted to share with you the problem that is occurring with college housing for students, at least at UCI. In one of the last UCI emails, they stated that they will be giving priority to second-year returning students that live more than 30 miles from campus. My son is a returning student, and well he lives well over the 30 miles minimum. My son told me that he received an email letting him know that he has been placed on the waiting list because he did not respond to the original housing offer, which he told he never received. So right now, he is feeling a little depressed and anxious because he is worried that he won’t be able to attend college this year, because it so happens that the classes he has scheduled will be all in-person – go figure.
I did find housing near the campus and according to their website, they had available rooms. So, I told him to contact them, which he did right in front of me. The lady that answered the call also confirmed they had available apartments, but that he needed to apply because the rooms are going fast; which he did right away and in front of me. This is the second year and I am not 100% sure how things work, but he followed all the deadlines and has kept a vigilant eye on his emails. I think, and this is my opinion, that returning students that previously lived on campus should get the first chance at housing. Like I said I don’t know how it all works, but as a freshman my son did struggle to get classes he needed because they gave priority to returning students and graduating Seniors, so why not the housing. It is tough because I know a lot of parents are worried about their college student. I joined a Facebook page for UCI parents, and I see a lot of messages from parents asking for help on the housing issue – my heart goes out because I am one of those parents.
I am not sure what is going on, but as I read the hundreds of messages from parents and the screenshots of the emails they receive, it looks like UCI dropped the ball and is causing a whole lot of stress not only for the students but the parents. You know as a parent I only wanted the best for my son, and we did our best to provide him with the tools he needed to move forward in life. I understand the importance of education, and maybe the degree thing is starting to fade out according to employer surveys, but the education they get from a college and the experience they get from living on campus is priceless. At this moment in time, I am feeling helpless and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want my son to begin feeling the stress and later decide that this is not for him. I know that life throws us a wrench every once in a while, and it is those individuals that can get past it will move forward. I try and make sure he understands that and that it might look a little gloomy now, but things will come together. I tell him that he will have a story to tell about his college days, once he graduates, and his story will be one of endurance, patience, and perseverance. It is tough to make a 19-year-old understand this, but all I do is keep reminding him each day that it will all be worth it. To the many parents of college students out there that are going through a housing issue, look for a Facebook community associated with your college, where I believe you will find a lot of information, and other parents going through this as well.
Thanks for reading and I leave you with this thought, “It might seem that all is lost, but never give up because it will come together when you least expected”.