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Lonely DGD

(31 Posts)
Newquay Fri 28-Jun-19 00:18:58

DGD, aged 21, is now back home having completed her second year at Uni. She's worked very hard and done really well. She now does some work in her parents' business.What concerns me that she doesn't seem to go out at all and spends all her time in her room.
She goes with her family to church on Sundays but little else. I am concerned cos her parents don't go out much either.
What can I suggest she does to get her out?

crazyH Fri 28-Jun-19 00:25:53

Well, she has done well in Uni, going into 3rd year. She goes ro church with her parents. So what's wrong? Perfect child in my eyes. She can have all the fun she wants after her education.

janeainsworth Fri 28-Jun-19 05:46:21

What’s her social life at uni like, Newquay? I would think that’s more relevant. Without knowing what sort of place your GD lives in, it’s hard to comment. Perhaps there’s not much going on, or perhaps her friends from school days aren’t around to go out with.

By the way you might want to ask GN to move your thread to the Chat Forum, or Ask a Gran or something.

I nearly skimmed over it because it’s in the dreaded Games forum, which I never read.

BradfordLass72 Fri 28-Jun-19 08:21:08

I was constantly in trouble from my parents for staying in my room reading and listening to radio whilst my sister was out each night at discos and parties.

But I was and still am, a solitary person and that suited me fine.

Don't worry. At 21 she's capable of finding her own social interests - and maybe after hard work at uni she just needs to rest and have no pressures.

TwiceAsNice Fri 28-Jun-19 08:37:07

Has she always been quiet? Was she like this before she went to Uni or was she more sociable when she was at school? I think it’s more of a problem maybe if it’s a big change but if she’s always been a bit of a loner that’s just the way she is. You could ask if she wants to contact old school friends on social media to go out or maybe ask a uni friend to come and stay but if she’s tired she may just want to chill out for a bit in peace

leyla Fri 28-Jun-19 08:37:22

The most important question is whether she is contented with her life as it is.

4allweknow Fri 28-Jun-19 09:45:58

Perhaps GD has her social set at Uni now so when home she will have little contact for going out. Do you know if any of her contacts from school are still around? If so perhaps encourage her to make contact with one or two as they may well be looking for social contact whilst home.

nannypiano Fri 28-Jun-19 10:01:48

I don't think at 21 she would welcome interference from anyone. She is old enough to run her life as and how she likes. Everyone is allowed to choose the way they are. We are all different. Unless she shows signs of being unhappy or depressed or other worrying symptoms I would not interfere.

Luckygirl Fri 28-Jun-19 10:07:19

Has she said she is lonely?

Does she have friends in her home town, or has she moved away from those she went to school with?

jaylucy Fri 28-Jun-19 10:09:06

Not much that you can do, I'm afraid. We seem to be raising a generation of children that don't really have the first idea of how to have a social life as we did!
You could try asking her to go out for the odd afternoon tea with you, if you are able - or even go to a park with a picnic.
Try encouraging her to get back in contact with anyone she was friends with in school. But maybe she didn't have much of a social life even then and because she is now at Uni, that you expect her to be out partying every night?

Daisymae Fri 28-Jun-19 10:14:32

Can't help but think that suggestions from nana to improve her social life are going to miss the mark. She's a quiet girl who is probably going to have a quiet life. It's all she knows. No doubt that when she gets a job outside her horizons will widen.

Castafiore Fri 28-Jun-19 11:41:48

Could you raise the issue of friends and social life with her in a general way? (E.g. ask her if she thinks that uni students who live at home do better than those who move a long way away to go to uni - this will probably bring you onto the topic of social life.) If she really does feel lonely, you could suggest Meetup to her - these are groups (of mixed ages) that meet up around mutual interests.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 28-Jun-19 11:57:20

Has she said she is lonely, or is this just your impression?

If she feels lonely and confides in you, then make some of the helpful suggestions mentioned above.

If it is only your impression, you could mention to her that you wonder if she is lonely. She may just be bored stiff at home helping out in the summer. I know I was.

You risk her seeing any comments as interference, so tread lightly.

tigger Fri 28-Jun-19 12:08:29

She's obviously worked hard and now taking a breathing space, don't worry she'll be fine

stella1949 Fri 28-Jun-19 12:35:14

That would have been me ! I was always a solitary person, always preferred my own company with a good book. Maybe she likes to read, or is playing computer games. I'd leave her be.

Gonegirl Fri 28-Jun-19 12:45:38

So, (sorry Maw), has she completed the university course, or has she got another year? I wouldn't worry if she is going back in September, but it seems a shame if her life is panning out like this as a forever thing.

Don't think you can do anything about it though. Perhaps she jut wanted to get the right qualifications to take on the family business in the future.

Niucla97 Fri 28-Jun-19 13:35:05

I often worry about my granddaughter as she is in a similar position. She is twenty four and very much a loner. When she was in high school she would never smoke or do drugs just to have a friend or be one of the gang,

Where she lives is somewhat isolated . It is a farmhouse, down a track off a country lane in rural Wales. She has to walk over a mile in any one of three directions to catch a bus (which are very infrequent) It 's not safe at night.She spends a lot of her time on her own or with the dogs. She doesn't drink, smoke , do drugs , sleep around.

She did get herself into a deep black hole a couple of years ago after her beloved granddad died. She has worked hard, turned her life around and is now in Camp America and hoping to go travelling when she has finished Camp.

Now her twenty two year old brother is a different kettle of fish. he is naturally clever but didn't get the grades he should have achieved in college - too interested in girls, they swarm round him like bees round a honey pot. He works hard , plays hard , drinks like a fish, smokes and plays the field.

So amazing the difference in two of them.

crazyH Fri 28-Jun-19 13:42:11

5 fingers on the same hand , come to mind Niucla

pinkjj27 Fri 28-Jun-19 16:28:40

I work as a lecturer and I work with young people. I have noticed that the typical stereotype of a young person that parties isn’t there anymore. Many actually don’t actually see partying as cool any more. Social media is very important and that is how many of them socially communicate. She may be in her room connecting with friends.
I find many young people are realistic about the future and know its hard so just want to focus on that.
There are other signs that might suggest something is wrong but from what you have said here nothing rings any concern bells.

Tillybelle Fri 28-Jun-19 16:43:22

Newquay. You are a very loving and caring Grandmother.

I think you are right to be concerned because it is best to notice one's children and grandchildren and think about their well-being than to just assume that they are OK. She may be fine. She is quite likely a quiet girl who enjoys reading and doesn't notice the time passing by. For all we know she is on the internet with a boyfriend met at university and the time is flying by.

But you need to just gently and unobtrusively make sure she is happy.

I think the best way is to be open. If she knows you well and knows you love her and only want the best for her, she will understand if you simply ask her if she is feeling ok. You could take her out for coffee and a bit of shop browsing (maybe she can help you choose something you need). Then ask quite directly and very kindly how things are going. Tell her you are a bit worried. Is she lonely? Does she wish there was more to do in the holidays? Make absolutely sure she knows you are not prying into her private life and you are not there as a spy for her parents.

Doing well in her exams is not a guide to whether a student is actually enjoying university or school. I know a student who won many awards but attempted suicide. She was being bullied. Possibly because she was so clever and not the most social kind. She was shy and nervous around the very confident party-animals which appear to predominate among the student mix. They are not the majority in fact but just the loudest and the ones who say the cruelest things. I would try and encourage her to feel relaxed and confident enough to tell you about university life. You can say you can't really imagine it and would love to know, or it was so different in your day.

I am sure, that having noticed her quietness and how she spends time indoors alone, and being worried enough to write here, that you are the ideal sensitive person to approach her. You might well be far better than her parents for this. Sometimes it's very hard for a young person to open up to parents. They do not want to upset them and want to make them proud. A kind granny with a gentle manner might be a real blessing to a highly intelligent girl who is feeling upset.

I am not saying she is upset! I am preparing for the 'just in case' scenario!

I do hope your DGD will turn to you with a smile and say she his fine. But should she be feeling low, I think you will be the perfect person to put your arm round her and tell her how important to you she is and that she can tell you anything she likes.

If you find out that she is depressed, then you'll need to see that she sees her Doctor. Also that the Mental Health Services at the University know and are ready to support her. They can be excellent. So in case. she needs help, be prepared to support her this way, which I know you will. Also to tell her how very normal it is to feel depressed especially when you're at university!

Once again, I'm only saying this in case that is the situation! I hope she is fine and just taking a well-earned break! That would make complete sense too!

I wish you and your DGD much happiness, and good wishes for your chats with her. She's so lucky to have you! Take care of yourself and her! Elle x 🌼 🌺

Tillybelle Fri 28-Jun-19 17:21:07

pinkjj27. I still go back to the university where I last lectured. There are special nights in the Students' Union and on the evening I usually go they have a themed night. There is a big party atmosphere which includes dressing up and the students are running around in the road which goes through the campus and is access only at that point. Often, in the Winter they are in flimsy clothes too! So I do see quite a bit of partying still!

Because of my background in Psychology I have learned I have to look at the worst case scenario and make sure it has been protected against. I think to assume a friend or family member is fine when they have come to your attention is very common and what we normally do. I just like to make sure that they are fine! I've worked with so many people who weren't and their family said "We never knew".

I too have reason to be aware of the terrible death last year of a student from Bristol. Natasha Abrahart, in her second year and suffering social anxiety, committed suicide. She was meant to be getting help from the University Mental Health services. Her parents are suing them. The numbers of death by suicide in the Student population are incredibly high, 95 students in the UK in 2016-17. It is the leading cause of death in young people.

My mottos are learned by life:
Always play safe. If in doubt, check it out. It's better to be safe than sorry.

If you don't worry about your family, who will? For one thing, I would like Granny Newquay to have a chat about it with her DGD even if just for her own sake, to reassure herself. She is her Grandparent and presumably has seen her DGD growing up so she must have some intuition as to whether this is different behaviour.

I did say (above) that the DGD is quite likely to be on the internet! But maybe even this isn't the best way to spend every day! Still, that isn't up to me, and I'm not a good example either!

I think it's best that Grandmother and DGD get together and talk. It's a lovely relationship!

Tillybelle Fri 28-Jun-19 17:23:54

Student from Bristol = Bristol University. Her home town - Nottingham

Mebster Fri 28-Jun-19 17:43:37

Young people conduct friendships on their phones these days. Studies in the US have shown their social development is stunted but what can you do? Perhaps offer to pay for a hobby class of some sort that will get her out?

Newquay Fri 28-Jun-19 19:18:05

Thank you ALL so much for your contributions. Will take them all on board. Spent time with her this morning. She seems fine, looking forward to next final year. Will keep a (discreet) eye on her. Family annual holiday end of August for 10 days so will take advantage of that time too.

GoodMama Fri 28-Jun-19 19:34:30

Newquay, you are too sweet to worry about her so. I want to hug you smile
When each of my sisters and I were at university my parents would call each Sunday night to catch-up. We’re all adult now and with children of our own. But we were talking about those calls not too long ago.
My parents always asked my sisters if they were going to class, studying hard and or getting too out of hand. Me? They only ever asked me what i was doing for fun. And then encouraged me to have more fun.
I think I was more like your granddaughter smile
Never fear, once I was out of school and on my own I more than made up for my lack of fun!