Worried that StepDD has lied about graduating!

(21 Posts)
Jules0042 Thu 31-Jan-13 11:47:59

My StepDD has been at Uni and supposed to have completed the degree course last summer. However we are aware that she missed some time off uni in her final year when we got a telephone call from the uni as they were worried she hadn't showed up for several weeks. When we tracked her down shed gone to stay at a friends in Bristol and hadn't bothered to let anyone know. We had a long discussion with her about this as we didn't want her to feel pressurized into continuing to study if she was unhappy, however she assured us all that she only had a few months left and was adamant she wanted to complete to course.

She had decided from the very start of the course that she didn't want to attend her graduation ceremony which wasn't surprising as she hates that sort of thing. So as a reward for completing the course she received a new car when she returned one which was funded by various family members contributing quite significant amounts of money. The issue is we have an awful feeling that she hasn't completed the degree, she still hasn't received any certificate or formal qualification.

Her mum contacted the university before Christmas and was initially informed there were some incompleted modules but wasn't given any more details. Her DD disputed this and apparently tried to contact the uni to find out where her degree certificate was and she has told everyone it will be posted out in January.

Her mum has contacted the uni yesterday to be told that due to confidentiality they can not share any further info as whether her DD has completed the course or not. Does anyone know if there is any other way of finding out if she has passed or not?

boomting Thu 31-Jan-13 12:21:35

Unfortunately your Step DD will just have to tell you herself - she's an adult and as such the Data Protection Act will stop them telling you about her graduation.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 12:25:03

I think everyone needs to step back a bit. She must be in her 20s and it really sounds like you are all treating her like a child.

Jules0042 Thu 31-Jan-13 12:41:19

I agree that it's up to her to tell people if she hasn't passed, she's an adult at 21 yrs old but I'm worried that she's dug herself a big hole that she feels unable to get out of. I think that she is quite vulnerable in a lot of ways and has a history of being quite dishonest with her family, I wont go into any details but it goes way beyond the usual teenage and young adult things. I think if her family find out that she's lied about completing the course that it will be the last straw for them, especially her mum.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 12:43:11

Last straw how, though? What will the consequences be?

Of course you're worried, I'm not saying you shouldn't be. But all this phoning the university and stuff on her behalf will just make her dig her heels in more.

DowntonTrout Thu 31-Jan-13 12:47:54

But she has been given a car as a reward for completing the course!

Of course you need to know if she has, in fact, completed it.

ThingummyBob Thu 31-Jan-13 12:53:30

Last straw how, though? What will the consequences be?

^^ I agree with this sentiment op.

She is an adult and as such none of you have any 'right' to know if she has or hasn't graduated.

I think its a bit odd to give such a generous reward gift, presumably with conditions attached, on the say so of someone who has form for not being truthful and who had already had issues with attending the course which were known about before the reward gift was given hmm

Jules0042 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:10:06

I agree about that the car was an over the top reward or gift. Initially it was going to be a second hand car that her dad was going to buy her as a combined 21st birthday and graduation present and he was going to spend about £2000, however her mum and stepdad decided to get her a car that was nearly £11,000 which other family members such as aunts, grandparents etc all contributed towards. I think the issue is that if she hasn't completed the course she won't admit it and when her mum finds out she will kick her out of the house, I know that she will be able to come and live with us but I am realistic that she would probably not want to do this and I wouldn't want her to end up sofa surfing at various friends houses.

In terms of it being the last straw, her mum, stepdad and we have had a lot to cope with her for the last 10 years or so, dont really want to discuss this, some of this has been that she has got her own way far too much of the time, nobody to blame other than people who let her do so I suppose! It's been quite a struggle for me in relation to my own children as I have always been firm but fair and my children aren't spoilt by any sense but they have observed my Step DD and the way she has been spoilt and not had the same boundaries, but we can't really do anything about that as when she spent time with us she was treated the same as the other children/young adults.

nipersvest Thu 31-Jan-13 14:13:39

oh dear!, dh might be able to shed some light as he's a uni lecturer but he's in india right now. all i can offer is i find mostly in these cases your gut instincts are right, and your gut is obviously suspicious.

can you engage her in a conversation, talk about what she's going to do now?, jobs to apply for etc. if she hasn't got her degree behind her, any lies she's hiding will soon trip her up.

dearth Thu 31-Jan-13 14:17:54

You have included many unnecessary potentially identifying details. Perhaps you might consider having your OP deleted.

Jules0042 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:20:51

Hi dearth, omg you are right, how can I get this deleted, as you probably guessed I'm new to starting threads!

boomting Thu 31-Jan-13 14:34:27

On your first post, click on 'report' and follow the instructions

Jules0042 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:35:07

We have tried to engage with her but she is definately avoiding us as much as possible. When we've seen her and talked about jobs she's considering employment that doesn't have any relevance to the degree whatsoever such as hospitality, recruitment etc and moving several hundred miles away. The last thing that she needs is to feel she has to move away rather than just openly talking about thing with her family, but I'm worried that she's got herself caught up in a big mess of dishonesty and doesn't feel able to get out of it.

I always worry about things like this, I've heard too many things around young adults committing or attempting to commit suicide as they feel unable to talk about things. We have always told her that nothing's too big that we can't sort it out, but I fear that she's just totally closing herself off from us.

Jules0042 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:39:29

Thanks boomting, I've done that so hopefully mods can edit op.

LoopsInHoops Thu 31-Jan-13 14:45:38

They don't have a right to know and were totally bonkers for buying any adult such an expensive gift.

DontmindifIdo Thu 31-Jan-13 14:55:52

I would sit her down, ideally without her mum or dad around. Say that you aren't asking her one way or another if she's graduated - or what her classification was overall if she has, but what you are going to say is this - if she wants to go back and resit any courses, you'll get her dad on side to make sure she can do this. If not, even if she hasn't passed, then that's fine - but she needs to find a job and she should understand she will be asked about the degree from any employer, they will want to know if she passed, what grade and if she failed, why she didn't go back and resit. She needs to think about what she'll say in any job interview.

Make it clear that it's now down to her, you wo'nt let them take the car away, but she needs to see this has more reprocussions than just her mum being upset. Part of being a grown up is admitting and dealing with your own fuck ups. And realising it's down to you to do it.

ThingummyBob Thu 31-Jan-13 15:08:31

Aargh, I just lost a longish reply angry

In a nutshell OP, the mother sounds stifling, the family who bought the conditional-gift without checking conditions were me first are just barmy and whats wrong with a job in catering or recruitment if thats what she fancies doing at the momoent?

Plus some of what Dontmind has said re being supportive for any further education.

Lastly are there any actual reasons why you might think she would take her own life? Does she have a history of depression or anxiety in general? Are there reasons for you taking a skiving 21 year old and putting it together with failure to graduate = feeling suicidal?

There is no way in hell the university will tell you anything. Sorry. They're not allowed to.

If you're going to get the information, you'd have to get it from her.

A bit of me does really feel bad for her - I can see why it is frustrating if she's lied and if she's wasted her time, but she must be in a rotten state to feel she has to lie about finishing her course.

sashh Fri 01-Feb-13 07:13:31

Because of data protection and privacy the uni cannot give out information about your DD and I'm surprised they gave information before.

But, universities usually publish the names of those who are graduating in the newspaper and at graduation ceremonies.

That information is in the public domain so you can access it.

Xenia Fri 01-Feb-13 07:48:55

It would not be that hard to find out if you paid an investigator who could speak to her friends. She may well have stuff on her facebook page about it. If you get someone to chat to her friends either in Bristol or where she was studying they could probably find out. I agree the unviersity is not allowed to say.

Why give the car before seeing the degree certificate? That's weird. The car was given on the basis she had graduated. If there is no doubt then you go and retrieve the car - still the family's property until she graduates and say if she shows you the certificate she can keep the car. If you not you take it away there and then... all sorted.

You could try the local authority too - they might although ought not disclose - say she is considering resuming the 3rd year and what is the procedure and they may well - ah yes she stopped after term 1 of year 3 and the LEA did not pay the fees for that period or otherwise or they may say she did graduate.

If she hasn't help her to go back and complete year 3.

However she's an adult and you are not even her mother so best to leave it to her parents really. If she has graduated you could all offer help with CV vetting, job discussions etc.

givemeaclue Fri 01-Feb-13 12:21:24

Unfortunately it does sound like she has been a 'problem' for some time...yet this behaviour has been rewarded with a car. It doesn't sound like she has completed the course.

What is she doing now for job/money?

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