Truly Embracing Labour Day and Higher Education

This past weekend My Beloved and I worked like dogs to prep the room in the house Number One Son arranged to live in with 4 other guys this school year. (The boy himself was busy all day and late into the evenings working as a Frosh leader.)

The room had a couple of features that made him especially excited to move in. It was large, away from the others so he could work there at night and had a full bathroom next to it that none of the others were ever likely to use.

It was a basement room - not a choice his mother would have made - but the other features sold him on it.
The house and the room has had students in it for years so we cleaned and freshened it and the adjacent bathroom. We painted, added a fan, air purifier and another smoke detector, fire extinguisher and re installed the safety bars over the window, ensuring the sliding panes would allow him a safe exit if, as happened to a student his age just this past weekend in Markham north of Toronto, a house fire should break out and he not be able to use the stairs to the side entrance close to his room. With all that work done Saturday and Sunday we laboured on Labour day to move his things in.
Most prominent and exciting among those, the new uplit desk Number One Son designed and My Beloved built for him last week at the cottage...

Fortunately this piece was built to travel and breaks down into a flat pile for ease of moving
We proudly took photos as we left his fresh, clean little "nest" Monday evening. The plan for last night was to install a window blind and some hooks. We were done!
This is only part of this 200 sq ft room!
There were other parents in the house over the weekend also working on various aspects of the house. We all noted issues with the house, told the boy in charge of dealing with the landlord, who passed on the information. Yesterday various professionals visited to check out the needed repairs.

Lets just cut to the chase now, shall we? On the strength of the pending critical repairs and how they will affect life in that house over the coming weeks, with our blessing, Number One Son went to see the Landlord late yesterday afternoon to advise him he would be finding elsewhere to live. Between 5:00 and 6:30 he was back leading his Frosh group in a House Cheer Competition while we moved everything back out of the room.

Last night he stayed with friends. Today - there are options to be explored.

He says its a big life lesson learned. He feels very badly we worked so hard and all for naught. (Although the next resident in the room will no doubt appreciate the improvements.) We have been invited to attend viewings of potential new locations with him this time.

Maybe we should have gone the first time and saved ourselves trouble. But then the only lesson he would have taken away is to always take his parents along. Not the kind of responsible, independent thinking we hope results from the various aspects of his post secondary education experience. Now though, he has learned there could be value to consulting us before making a commitment. We, and other more experienced people might have good observations to lend that could save time, money and trouble. He has also learned what to look for himself. The prospect of living in a dream house with your buddies (or down the road your partner) might be the most exciting feature of a real estate search but it cannot be the most important. He has had to step away from a super fun prospect. It was a difficult and mature thing to do. In future he will no doubt view accommodation or real estate decisions differently.

We are big believers that real estate decisions are expensive so should not be made with the heart alone. They need to make sense first. Over the past four days he has learned a lesson that will no doubt save him many times the amount we will spend this year on his tuition and all before classes even start next week!

(Now I just hope that desk fits into the next room!)


Brendaknits said...

Great desk. Too bad about all the work. Great lesson though, as you said. He might still have learned to always take Mom and dad along. Hee hee.

Sandra said...

This sounds so much like my nephew's situation with one major difference. His parents signed the lease sight unseen based on his recommendation. THey can't get out of the lease without taking a major financial hit. Then they went to see the place. It's a dump, and way overpriced for what he's getting. He oversold it to his parents, because it was going to be "so cool to live with his buds". Now he's stuck in a dump, 3 hours from home, and his mom is freaking out. It's a hard lesson to learn.