DDs uni choice aaaargh!

(67 Posts)
amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 12:28:43

Ok, I've posted about this previously so sorry to bore people but I really just need to get this off my chest and any comment would be welcome.

DD has offers from her two top uni choices (along with two others) - one is the top performing Uni both as a uni and for her subject and is relatively local to us (an hour), though she would have to live away and has a great student life. The other is a vibrant seaside city who's Uni has poor results for her subject. On visit days she was absolutely taken with the 'good' uni (you know that initial gut reaction) and cried with disappointment at the 'bad' uni. However, when on a girls holiday this year she met up with a group of lads from the seaside city who encouraged them to go and visit. She's been down there clubbing several times now (inc NYE) and has spent an absolute fortune (of her own money) in doing so. As far as she is concerned it is the be all and end all of places. DH and I both know that if she chooses to go here it will be for all the wrong reasons (given her disappointment at the visit), her primary one being the clubbing scene. She doesn't take into account that the times she has been there already she has had plenty of money to enjoy herself. It will be vastly different when she is a student. Also the campus is a train/bus ride away from the city, with no student bar and very little social activity. She seems to think she will have the recources (somehow) to party like she has been doing. We know that if she goes there she will regret it when she realises that she has very little to do for 5 or 6 nights a week. I know a lot of people will say (as has already been said to me) that she is an adult, it's her choice, we have to let her get on with it. Whilst I agree with that in principle, DH and I do not want her to spend 3 years and accrue almost £50,000 of debt just to party and go clubbing. It pains me to say it, but if that were the case I'd rather she left school, moved down there and got a job. The other thing is, we will be helping her financially, so what level of input does that give us (without it sounding like blackmail)?

creamteas Wed 09-Jan-13 22:32:43

Where I work we have a student shadowing scheme so applicants can come and spend the day with current undergrads a good way to meet some nice boys

eatyourveg Thu 10-Jan-13 07:50:06

What do school recommend? Are any of the teachers alumni of either place? Our school has a dedicated ucas officer who sits down with each student regularly to talk through their application at each stage and she always insists on feedback after visits/open days. Whilst at the end of the day it is always left to the student to make the final decision, it certainly helped having a neutral voice who knew ds well, offering an opinion. Could you contact school and share your concerns?

andadietcoke Thu 10-Jan-13 07:56:07

Is the grade offer for both the same? If the seaside town's offer is lower she could have that as her insurance? If she's adamant come August that she still wants to go there she can get released from her first choice (even if she makes the grades) so she can still go to the seaside. She doesn't necessarily have to commit to one or the other now and close off an option (unless they both have the same grade offer in which case it would be better to have a lower insurance offer, just in case)

sashh Thu 10-Jan-13 08:05:42

Sit her down and talk.

Regardless of how great this seaside town is for visits she will be at uni to study.

The fact it is such a great party place is a good reason not to study there as there will be so much temptation to party.

Could she take a year out, move to party town and attempt to get a job?

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 08:35:49

sworn thank you and we have said that she would have to travel to party but never thought about the 'dead in winter' approach, although I think maybe the clubs here are buzzing all year. Sorry about your dc situation...they never cease to be a worry do they?

amillion Well she has now recruited most of her friends on her little clubbing excursions down there and she acts like the authority on it all! 'I've been there, I know it, I know where to go' and they love it too...though I think only one other has applied to the uni - but will be at a different campus (campuses spread right along the south coast) No she doesn't have to make her choice until May but this is part of the worry..she hasn't wavered since August and time is running out! sad

lala at Christmas she bumped into a lad that was a year above her at primary that goes to good uni and he told her it was 'sick' (their word for awesome/amazing etc. I believe wink ) and she told me this! (I sometimes wonder whether she is mentally torturing me!) In all honesty I can't pretend the nightlife at good uni is anywhere near as good as bad (and we've admited that) but the focus is more on the student life and activity where at bad uni, there is practically nothing on campus (except a cafe bar) probably because the city has such a great clubbing scene so not much student life at all. This is why I tried to explain that half the fun of going to Uni is to experience the student life. We have pointed out though that the good uni is in central England with great transport links to other big cities with great clubbing scenes etc., where down south her only other option really would be London. I think it's like anything at that age, if she were actually living down there doing the same thing week in week out and had exhausted the clubbing scene in one place (plus the reality of not much money to do it with) she would get bored! Thats when she would realise she has made a mistake. Which, knowing my DD, I am quite certain she will.

takeaway Really not such a bad idea, lol wink I did actually say to DH that probably our only hope of her going to good uni would be if she met a boy from our home town and then she would probably feel she would want to come home more often which she could easily do from there!

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 08:37:23

sashh - suggested that too! I thought if she did that, she would get it out of her system and then pick the uni for the right reason - but she said no!

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 08:38:35

anddiet - same grades for both so she has to choose between them for her firm

noddyholder Thu 10-Jan-13 08:40:22

Is it Brighton grin

twentyten Thu 10-Jan-13 08:41:58

Gap year living in seaside town and earning some money?(and spending it?)

larrygrylls Thu 10-Jan-13 08:50:08

I don't think that making financial support contingent is blackmail at all. My children are small but I have often thought that, as far as unis are concerned, I will only support them financially if they either go to a good uni (Russel group) or do a vocational course at another uni which will give real skills and lead to employment. I would never finance a history/sociology/media studies degree at a "new" uni (i.e a poly). If they want to do the latter, they are adults and can work hard/borrow to make it happen. I think this generation are enthused to continue childhood way too long. Making a uni decision on the basis of the clubbing scene is completely juvenile.

I would definitely make financial help contingent on making a sensible decision based on the final academic qualification and where it may lead. It is being a responsible parent and you will be thanked for it in years to come.

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 08:50:52

eatyourveg she's never told us that the UCAS officer has been that engaging, in fact she has said they have been quite poor. DH suggested speaking to someone at the school, which might be an idea...but I'm not sure she'll really take that much notice of them! When we went to a parents evening and the subject of her uni choices came up, her form tutor said 'wow, who wouldn't want to go and study in **', damn teacher!

noddy The cat is out of the bag! and the good uni is Leicester - you can see the difference on the uni league tables and Leicester is top uni for her course where Brighton has only recently introduced the course hmm

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 08:56:21

Can you find any info on graduate employment and earnings from the two places for her course? Ought to be fairly easy to find.

The other thing I would point out to her, is that although she will have some financial backing from you, there will be many people - probably the majority - who will be looking to save every penny. Lots of students will have part-time jobs alongside their courses, and Friday and Saturday night are prime earning time - so she may find herself short of people to party with in the way that she does at the moment.
Cheap student nights and bottles of wine drunk in halls is by far the most usual kind of socialising. She isn't going to make many friends if she is trying to cajole people into expensive nights out that they can't afford.

The money she has at the moment - is she earning it or are you giving it to her? Could you reduce her current budget to one more in line with what she will have at university so that she has a more realistic idea?

Just thinking if it's still the same as in my day (yonks ago, but I think it still is in this respect) don't you keep two offers ? One could be a probably slightly higher offer from the Uni you prefer - and she did originally ( with better course and actually probably better student social life ?! ) and keep the seaside town Uni as her second / back-up choice ? If she feels positive about both of them then that's all good ! Then just let her results determine the outcome ? HTH smile

GirlsonFilm Thu 10-Jan-13 09:03:38

As a graduate recruiter in a previous life I know the importance of the right uni - we only looked at applicants from the top two universities in the subject we were recruiting for and didn't even read the applications from any other uni (regardless whether the applicants got a first, had better work expereince etc).

I'd suggest that she looks at a summer job in the seaside town during this summer, live there and enjoy the clubbing etc and she'll come to realise that actually earning and paying for the lifestyle she had tasted on two or three occasions is not quite as glamourous as a weekend visit (she'll find renting in the seaside town expensive too).

Perhaps some bribery along the lines of "go to the good uni and we'll fund a couple of weekends in Brighton" may be a more positive carrot than if you don't go to the right uni we won't fund you at all.

noddyholder Thu 10-Jan-13 09:04:44

I live in Brighton and my best friend son finished last year and daughter in year two. Both done/doing well Her son is the only one of his mates straight into work and daughter has done one placement already so not all bad. My son will only consider one uni so I know what you are going through I think it's up to them though. Some people go to the best and do nothing. I am letting ds make his own decisions though. The 50k debt seems like water off a ducks back to them as they will all,have it.

CelticPromise Thu 10-Jan-13 09:06:54

I lived in Leicester as a teenager and in my early twenties. It is a BRILLIANT place to be a student. It's cheapish, there are loads of events laid on for students, and there are good clubs and bars once you know where to go. I imagine rent is quite low when living out and it's easy to live close to uni which makes life much easier.

How you can communicate this to her though I don't know! I went to uni in London but had much more fun home for the hols in Leicester...

noddyholder Thu 10-Jan-13 09:08:29

It will be hard to convince a teenager in love with Brighton to look elsewhere. Most of ds mates already at uni miss Brighton like mad and are home a lot.

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 09:08:37

alibaba - yes, the graudate employment is greater at the good uni and really, once she has graduated she could relocate anywhere so the earnings would probably differ. We have said that to her too..that even if she got a job abd could afford to go clubbing, a lot of her fellow students might not get a job and even if they did they may not be getting any financial help so would need to make their money go further. She just nods (think I might start calling her Churchill!) The money she spends is what she earns..we would never fund excesive spending like that! We really have no argument with her there because she works every weekend and saves for her own car insurance, fuel, holidays, clothes, make-up etc

Seems like we'll all have to try not to worry about the 40-50k debt !
Not easy for our generation (who had lovely free Uni ed)
But if it's water off a duck's back to them maybe that's a good thing ?
I think it will become similar to mortgage debt or like a graduate tax ?

senua Thu 10-Jan-13 09:11:08

If the choice between the two is as stark as you say then you have to go down the 'blackmail' route. Say to DD that she is an adult and it's her choice but you cannot morally justify colluding in, encouraging or subsidising the wrong decision. If it's that blunt then she may listen.

You will only be doing now what employers will be doing in three years' time. Do you have statistics on employment in graduate-level jobs at each of the Universities?

noddyholder Thu 10-Jan-13 09:13:29

Blackmail? Jesus we are parents we don't own them hides thread

Maybe she should be giving you something towards living expenses too ?
Seems like she has quite a lot to spend on luxuries ATM ?

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 09:17:45

juggling its the same grades for both unis so she has to choose between them and then choose an insurance from one of her other offers

girls & celtic THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU - I just wish I could show her this thread but I think she might blow a gasket! girls - just as DH and I suspected and celtic this is what we thought too!

Thank you all so far for your comments. I did actually start to think that maybe I was being an overbearing mum but your comments all confirm otherwise. To be honest I actually now feel like crying because I know the way I feel isn't wrong but there seems little I can do about it! She has a re-sit next week and DH and I have told her we will sit down with her next week and have a 'proper, adult' conversation with her about it all, including how much we can help her financially

senua Thu 10-Jan-13 09:17:59

As a graduate recruiter in a previous life I know the importance of the right uni - we only looked at applicants from the top two universities in the subject we were recruiting for and didn't even read the applications from any other uni (regardless whether the applicants got a first, had better work expereince etc).

You should be ashamed of yourself. angry

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 09:19:12

I'm with Bling too, of course she shoudl go to the better uni.

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