View Full Version : Mature Student living with noisy family - help!

08-17-17, 03:57 PM
I'm returning to university soon to study a masters and right now I live with my mother and sister as it's the most convenient for all of us right now. I'm mostly happy with the arrangement (though truth be told I kinda miss my old flat) and for the most part we are basically like roommates. The issue is that the household is also somewhat stressful, as I'm sure my mum has ADHD as well and I get frustrated when she'll change plans on a whim or expect me to drop everything because she needs my help to do something else. Plus, it's hard to find a quiet place to work and concentrate when the noise levels are really high and I'm getting interrupted all the time because somebody needs me to do something for them (or are just too lazy to do it themselves). As you can imagine, chores are not ever done completely so the place is pretty cluttered. We have been trying to do clear outs and it does help but we really need a battle strategy for our hoarding issues, which we can never agree on so it never gets done.

I bought a whiteboard so that we can write down appointments and important dates so that we all know what's happening and it does help mitigate arguments. Also it's not fair to blame my family for the stress as I distinctly remember being a hot mess when I lived away from home. Still, I'm not as fortunate as I was during my undergrad years as I don't have the freedom to just go to the student library whenever I feel like it and I can't take my work to the library because of the equipment I use.

I've purchased noise cancelling headphones (really good ones, too) so fingers crossed that it will help me be more productive. However, I need to figure out a way to create more boundaries with my family (particularly my mum). Or maybe I should just stay late at the uni and keep my studies completely separate from home?

There must be a system you guys have created. I mean, if people can do this and also have kids to look after then I should be able to find a way around this.

08-17-17, 04:32 PM
Try using the whiteboard to write in a time for studying when you don't want to
be interrupted?

Take breaks to see if you need to take care of something, taking breaks seems
to help our minds anyway.

08-21-17, 11:20 PM
I am in the same living and study situation. There is just nno escaping being disturbed by other people, but closing the door helps a lot. Stick a piece of paper to the door with the words 'do not disturb. Studying' will work wonders.

08-23-17, 03:13 AM
What about a starbucks, or barnes and noble? My son works at B&N and they have people all the time that hang out their using wifi and studying. They buy a drink at the cafe and its not problem. Same with starbucks.

08-29-17, 02:22 PM
Thanks so much for your replies!!!!

Lunacie, I try to implement methods like that with very little success. I bought a whiteboard to put in the hallway so that we can put down shift times and appointments but only my sister and I actually use it. I end up having to write down my mum's hours because she never uses the board, even though I have asked her to comply with one little thing. I don't know if it's forgetfulness or her being passive aggressive at this point. She's not someone that likes to be told what to do and she really resents schedules, even though she also wants more routine (which makes me seriously wonder if she also has ADHD because she's been like this forever).

With all that being said, she does seem more open to making proper lifestyle changes as we are now trying to keep to a stricter budget. I'm also responsible for making sure that I set a good example regardless.

MickeMouseFan, when I lived in halls of residence I was accused of bullying and racist profiling because I asked for my roommate to keep the music down while I was trying to study. Yeah, he was a pretty immature guy who couldn't understand that I was angry because he was a crappy roommate and so assumed I just hated him because of his ethnicity. Notes were treated like some kind of insane microagression. Totally paranoid.

I don't expect my family to read notes on my door. I bought noise cancelling headphones and they help a lot to reduce the noise of the household. I'm considering getting one of those silicone bracelets that tell others whether I want to talk or be left alone. I think something like that would be helpful for when I'm feeling overwhelmed or don't want to be interrupted. Maybe they would appreciate having their own bracelet as well.

sarahsweets, I could do my written work on the train or in a library, but anything else has to be done at my desktop at home or in the studio at the uni. I don't mind that compromise as I need more focus to write essays anyway and it means I don't need to bring more stress home. I like coffee shops but I find them too stimulating and distracting to get work done. The study areas in the library are great. I think I can also go into other uni campuses with my student card so I'm not limited to one specific location. The only thing I miss about my previous uni was being able to go to the library at midnight when my insomnia got bad. That was awesome.