She wants to chuck her course in TODAY.

(29 Posts)
LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 13:25:29

OK. DD (18) has been on a residential 6th form since leaving school. This was engineered by her DF (my ex H) after he left for OW just before DD's GCSE's - his way of relieving his guilt was to throw money at the situation. She boards which is what costs, not the course itself. He pays her residential fees.

The first year I managed to get her into a local 6th form which offered the exact same course but she remained at home with me. I strongly felt that :

1. She was in no way ready to effectively leave home at 16, only months after her DF left.
2. The course was attractive to her for one reason only - it had associations with a very famous and Premier League football club.
3. We would have to sell the family home in order for her DF to fund it and I was not in a position to buy another house at that stage.

At the end of the first year at the local school (which she did brilliantly at) her DF and DD arranged without my knowledge for her to go to the residential college which meant boarding and repeating the first year all over again. It was a done deal and I rolled with it.

House had to be sold very quickly and at a loss. She is now 6 months until the end of this course and hates the course, hates being away from home, has developed an anxiety disorder, and has repeatedly said she wants to come home. We've weathered it, I've always said she can come home if that's what she wants. BUT. She actually has had enough and wants to leave the course NOW, without completing it. She doesn't want to go to Uni (fine by me) she wants to get a job.

I've said this:

Finish the course, it's 6 months to go and you'll have a qualification which could get you into uni if you change your mind, or which makes you more competitive with other YP's who are also job hunting. Otherwise you have wasted almost 3 years of your time with nothing to show. Your DF must have considered the possibility that this might happen and it was his choice to pay the (non refundable) fees.

OR - yes leave, but not before you have secured yourself a job back here so you can support yourself and contribute something toward your keep.

OR - ask the college if they'll let you distance study and come home, finish the course and get a part-time job to give yourself spending money etc.

She seems to think I'm being unreasonable and I'm having a go at her. I think that many sacrifices were made to give her what she thought was a dream opportunity. I can't even contemplate what her DF is going to make of this but I can imagine. So - am I? Can anyone offer feedback or suggestions as to where we go from here?

TIA and so sorry it was long.

farrowandbawlbauls Mon 09-Dec-13 13:30:26

Tell her to stick at it.

6 months left,

2 weeks off for Christmas
1 week off for half term
2 weeks off for easter
and other week for another half term then it's her exams.

In reality she only has 4 and a half months left and that's without adding up weekends, training days etc.

NotYoMomma Mon 09-Dec-13 13:30:40

I was doing a computing degree and I hated it, I was distraught and felt pressured hugely to 'stay just for the year' 'its not long' 'you'll have wasted all that time' etc etc

I was miserable, I stayed but cried a lot thinking what have I done?

after my 2nd year I took control, rang another uni during clearing, got myself on an English degree and was so so happy. I got a 2:1 and felt amazing.

I think you should back off. she sounds young and unhappy and has been through a lot. ask her ideally what she wants to do.

the likelyhood is she wont find a job quickly so you are effectivley trapping her on the course

shewhowines Mon 09-Dec-13 13:31:49

Difficult one. Yes, she should stay and finish the course BUT it's no good making herself mentally ill to do so.
If she will just be a bit miserable, then tough, she should ride it out. If you think her anxiety will get to crisis point, then you have no option but to let her come home.

What a shame if she does have to give it up. Short term pain for long term gain and all that.

LEMisafucker Mon 09-Dec-13 13:46:56

She has an anxiety disorder so i would advise that she gets signed off for a few weeks by her doctor. That will give her some breathing space to sort out what the problems are. Many many people feel like quitting courses midway, there is so much to be done and the end point not quite in sight but if she gets away from it for a bit then she may well finish.

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 13:47:41

Trapping her into staying is precisely what I'm trying to avoid by thinking of options, but I see where you're coming from Momma.

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 13:56:17

Also, I'm aware I might sound harsh. But she knows how much I'd love her home and happy, actually happy would do me just fine.

But she's unhappy, mixed up, still quite immature and impulsive. She's had CAMHS input but what with her too-ing and fro-ing between home and college it was patchy and now she's too old to qualify for their input.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 09-Dec-13 13:56:54

Is that you, W... er, name-changed poster? The story seems strangely familiar!

Bear in mind that DD was only 16 when she was sneaked and railroaded into this by her twit of a DF. She is a normally sensible person but is still young and has been through a fair bit (including, if this is the family I think it is, an emotionally draining relationship whilst at college). Some slack needs to be cut. LEM's suggestion of reducing the pressure whilst not burning her boats is I think worth exploring.

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 13:59:27

Yes tis me. It's come to a head and quite honestly Annie I'm now at a loss. So maybe I just say come home and we'll deal with whatever comes up.

livinginawinterwonderland Mon 09-Dec-13 14:13:26

I think it's hard to be stuck away from home, at a young age, somewhere where you don't want to be (and don't really need to be either).

I had this problem at university. I struggled a great deal in my final year (relationship breakdown, exam/general uni stress, living with a nightmare housemate and dealing with depression and anxiety on top of it all). I was SO close to jacking it all in and coming home. The only thing that stopped me is that I would have had to start to pay back my fees straight away and I couldn't afford to do so. If I hadn't been locked into a contract re. fees, I would have dropped out and come home.

Let her do what will make her happy. If the next six months could break her emotionally (anxiety is awful to deal with and what happens now could affect the rest of her life), then let her come home. Of course she's immature - she may be 18 but she's still a teenager and it sounds like she still needs parental support and the security of living at home. If that's what it'll take for her to grow up and settle down emotionally, then the money shouldn't be an issue. Good luck smile

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 14:16:52

living your experience at uni mirrors DD's at 6th form - she's had all that off the back of her parents divorcing.

I just want to look after her really, she's had such a shit time.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 09-Dec-13 14:19:55

Aww, bless. Of course you do. However big and clever she is she is still, and always will be, your baby.

And then of course when she's stronger you can lay the "next time listen to your mother" line on her for ever and ever!

livinginawinterwonderland Mon 09-Dec-13 14:27:03

It was hard, I won't lie. I struggled a lot. Like I said, if money hadn't been an issue, I'd have come straight home. I "only had six months left" but it felt like the longest six months of my life!

I know you can see the benefit of her carrying for the rest of the course, it's much easier to say "stick at it!" when you're not the one experiencing it personally, and when you can see that, long-term, the benefits of staying outweigh the negatives.

But, I think that she's 18 and doesn't need to be there (legally speaking, at least). Is it possible for her to defer and finish later, or to come home every weekend? It might make it more bearable if she can come home regularly and "get away" from it. I know when I was struggling, I went home a lot more often than I ever did in my previous 3 years at university, and it did help a lot!

TheListingAttic Mon 09-Dec-13 15:15:33

I think what you've said is fair and sensible. You've asked her to think about sticking it out, but you've given her two equally viable alternatives if she really can't bear it. You're letting her choose the best of those three for her, and they all offer a much better solution than simply cutting, running, and having no job, no qualification and a three year gap to explain away.

It's been suggested she gets signed off sick for a few weeks. I think this would be a really good idea. A few days on the sofa to regroup and calm down, then a very careful think about the different options available and the best one to pick.

Poor thing. Sounds like this is the peak of a real rough time of it!

ElenorRigby Mon 09-Dec-13 15:23:47

I developed a severe anxiety disorder whilst at a sixth form I hated.
It continued on through my 20's into my 30's.

OP if I were you tread carefully here. Your daughter has been through a lot. Personally Id not push it and just reassure her she can pick up her studies a little later when she's ready.

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 16:07:21

Thank you.

I've been sitting and mulling it all over. No it's not possible to defer because it's for 16-18 year old young people, this is it for her.

It's just awful and made worse by the fact that she has to work all Christmas week in her temp job (up there )which means spending Christmas day at home and the rest of the holiday lodging with a family she doesn't know. FFS. No wonder she's all over the place.

intitgrand Mon 09-Dec-13 16:10:21

I agree I'd get her signed off and fetch her home

ElenorRigby Mon 09-Dec-13 16:31:27

". No it's not possible to defer because it's for 16-18 year old young people, this is it for her."

That's a lot of pressure especially when ill!

I buggered my A' Levels due my anxiety disorder. I went on to BTEC. Later I did an Access course and was accepted to degrees at red brick uni's.

I'm sure she can take up he studies later.

thebody Mon 09-Dec-13 16:36:19

you know what op, tell her to fuck it and come home.

why should she stick it if it's making her ill. she's young, she has no responsibilities. let her come home, heal, get a job and there are always jobs doing something and let HER decide what she wants to do with her life.

life is too short and to precious to be unhappy.

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 16:49:52

I have just spoken with DD who has been talking with college staff all afternoon. They have agreed she can do a week on campus and a week at home during term times between now and the end of the course.

She is also looking for a weekend job down here because that's partly what keeps her away too. She said she feels happier now.

But I've reassured her that if this arrangement still doesn't resolve how she feels she can come home and we'll work it out somehow.

I feel better too, and proud of her for negotiating something which feels right for her.

Thank you, too smile

Anniegetyourgun Mon 09-Dec-13 16:55:21

Sounds great, hope that works out for her.

MammaTJ Mon 09-Dec-13 16:56:31

Oh, that sounds like a good plan!

I was thinking, having read this earlier, that she is an adult and needs to sort something out, rather than just give up.

Life can be tough sometimes and we don't always get to do exactly as we want, we have to do what we need to too!

Naoko Mon 09-Dec-13 17:00:54

Does she need the temp job? And how long is there left of the term before she (presumably) would come home anyway for Christmas?

If there isn't much left of term, and the temp job isn't absolutely critical, I would be tempted to suggest she see her GP. She sounds unwell, and he may well be willing to sign her off for a few weeks with stress/anxiety. She could then come home immediately, not work Christmas (I appreciate she may need the job but it sounds like she needs space to think and recover more) and recuperate. Then, once the pressure is off, you and her can start thinking of workable solutions for the rest of the year. She'll have a clearer head for having had the breathing space, and the benefit of having been home for a family Christmas where she feels loved and cared for.

WilsonFrickett Mon 09-Dec-13 17:14:37

Oh that sounds great - I'm glad I scrolled down before I added my 2p worth which was to say 'talk to the college before she makes any big decisions.' Good work DD.

LivingWellNow Mon 09-Dec-13 17:16:53

Yes she needs the temp job - her DF bought her a car for her 18th and she can't afford to run it unless she works. plus she's got a work ethic, she wants to stand on her own feet.

She's coming home at the end of this week and goes back Boxing Day for her job - they've given her the week running up to Christmas off so she can spend some of it with her family. She's liked you see. Wherever she goes smile.

And yes, I'm making an appt with her GP.

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