university open days (am I supposed to go?)

(63 Posts)
AtYourCervix Mon 22-Apr-13 21:01:48

DD is off to Cardiff on wednesday.
She's being all independent and insisting I'm not supposed to go.

(apart from just working out the train will be £30 and getting stroppy about timings - all of which could have been bypassed if I was driving)

Anyway. Am I supposed to be going? Can I trust her to find out important stuff like money and halls and stuff)

I'm clueless. Help.

AtYourCervix Tue 23-Apr-13 07:25:41

It's very split yes/no. You aren't helping grin

She's going with friends and is perfectly capable and independent. I can get the info off the websites.

<<wibble>> that's my baby.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 23-Apr-13 07:26:11

The money stuff is pretty much the same wherever they go, and you can find out online on the Student Finance website.

The "halls of residence thing" generally only gets sorted out at the very last minute, after the A2 results come out and it is disappointing to have your heart set on one particular hall only to find that you don't get a room in that one. Best not to plan too far ahead on that, ime.

What she should be getting from the day is whether she likes the city, the campus, the course, and the staff. In short, whether she can imagine herself living there for three or four years.

Chopchopbusybusy Tue 23-Apr-13 07:30:56

I went with DD to open days. The majority of potential students were accompanied by a parent. However, if she doesn't want you to go ishe will be fine on her own.
Loads of information on line about student accommodation. Cardiff is one of the cheapest cities for students.
Public transport is difficult from where we live. If I hadn't gone with DD it would have meant overnight stays and would have cost a fortune. DD visited three of her favourites again for either interview or UCAS days, so costs would have really mounted up.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 23-Apr-13 07:31:28

Gosh, yes, I understand you saying "that's my baby". Yes yes, she is.[Flowers]

How about you wave her off on the train with her friends then when she returns take her out for dinner and ask her all about it?

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 23-Apr-13 07:32:02

Bah! flowers

ajandjjmum Tue 23-Apr-13 07:36:07

We went with DS, but made it into a trip during half term week - spent a lovely day in York, visited Durham and Sheffield and threw in a trip to the GPs. It seems everyone at uni years ago travelled alone, but the majority now seem to have someone with them - might be something to do with the fact that we're investing too!! grin

Eeeeeowwwfftz Tue 23-Apr-13 07:46:23

We had over 100 prospective students at our last UCAS day. I would say about half had parents in tow. So that might explain the 50/50 response here.

Ooh, I don't think I'll be able to resist going to these in a few years when it's my DC's turn (even though, back in the day, I remember going on my own - was a little lonely when I went up to Aberdeen for an overnight visit I remember, though I enjoyed the train trip and the actual visit to the department)

Anyway, good to know if I do go I won't be the only one ! And I guess you can always play the day by ear and slink off to a coffee shop for a bit if you're not needed, possibly with another parent ? (and you might even get your own tour with the other "can't let go's !")

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 23-Apr-13 07:55:23

Well, yes, to some extent aj but even in the 1970s my parents made a contribution to my grant. Some people got full grants. Others got a lower grant with the assumption that parents would make up the difference. Yes, tuition was free, but a parental contribution was still expected for maintenance in many cases. From experience I know that many parents pay serious money now, though. (Oh yes, three student DCs this year for whom we are paying accommodation/rent. shock )

Going back to why parents go to open days with their DCs, I think it is partly to do with parents contributing quite a lot financially towards university, and partly to do with a pervasive risk-aversity (that has developed over the last twenty years) that makes it hard for parents to let go.

ajandjjmum Tue 23-Apr-13 08:49:22

It's hard to balance really. I agree totally that our DC need to become independent and capable - I was happy (ish!!) to let both of mine travel to South Africa (on their own), negotiate J'burg airport for connecting flights, and stay on a two month school exchange. But I still liked looking around unis with them. I suppose it's because we could, and in all fairness, they were happy for us to tag along. Trying to analyse, I think we went from an interest point of view, rather than control.

duchesse Tue 23-Apr-13 09:00:59

We haven't been on any university visits I'm afraid. They're 16/17/18 years old, they can manage trains etc, so why drive them there?

We took them informally round a few universities when they were younger than that though- say 15 ish.

noddyholder Tue 23-Apr-13 09:07:20

I agree def not a control thing I went with what ds wanted I could have happily not gone but he wanted us to come. I do think university has become less of the end of living at home etc as it was in my day and more the next stage in education and independence. I also think families are closer now my mum was totally not interested in my university applications etc which was horrible but I wasn't alone in this at the time. I have said before I have about 5 or 6 friends with graduates back living at home and they are independent and contribute to the household and quite happy.

rubyrubyruby Tue 23-Apr-13 09:13:06

It's not about taking control, its about taking an interest.

DS1 valued my input and opinion and still does. I still value my Mums opinion and I'm almost 50.

Poledra Tue 23-Apr-13 09:17:10

Back in the dark ages, when I went to uni, it was unheard of for parents to come. I can still remember going to the open day for the uni I eventually attended - nobody else from my school went, and I got there on the train by myself and felt very proud! I met another girl there and, at the end of the day, we sat in the bar at the station having a drink together before our respective trains left. God, I thought we were the ultimate in sophistication!

With regards to finances, my parents paid a full parental contribution for me. So, any information that came in on finance I shared with them, and they helped me work out costs etc. However, the open days were more about deciding if you liked the look and feel of the dept and town rather than hard facts.

Anyway, I'd go with what your daughter wants - maybe after she's done one, she'll decide that it would be quite nice to have you there for the others?

senua Tue 23-Apr-13 09:23:42

It's not about taking control, its about taking an interest.

Totally.
And it's fun to have a day out!

senua Tue 23-Apr-13 09:30:16

Back in the dark ages ...I got there on the train by myself and felt very proud!

Perhaps that's the difference. Back in the day, my visits to University were also my first solo ventures. These days, DC have gone on intercontinental trips with school or have organised their own post-GCSE holidays so a trip up the motorway is no big deal - nothing to prove so no need to go solo.
If the car is easier and cheaper than public transport, then why not do it?

Weegiemum Tue 23-Apr-13 09:35:32

OP, where is she applying for Geography <asks the Geog teacher> apart from Cardiff?

Poledra Tue 23-Apr-13 09:36:12

Good point, senua - we really had been nowhere solo before at that age!

noddyholder Tue 23-Apr-13 09:42:51

Sensua thats probably right My ds has been abroad with his mates skating and been to loads of festivals.

alreadytaken Tue 23-Apr-13 09:46:55

in the days when I went off - on my own, on the train - to open days they were relatively small and calm events. They are now complex, crowded events with lots of different talks.

I have taken my child to some open days/interviews, driven them to at least one where I dropped them off and went somewhere else for the day and let them go on entirely on their own. For some they have not wanted me there, others they have and on more than one occasion I've been told they'll go alone only for them to complain afterwards that everyone else had their parents with them.

The only thing you can be sure about is that a mother's place is in the wrong! Therefore my recommendation is to do what you would like to do. You will notice some things that your child misses but it doesn't justify the loss of a day unless you want to go.

AtYourCervix Tue 23-Apr-13 10:49:16

Weegie - she's thinking cardiff, exeter,, lancaster. Fancies Bristol but probably won't get the points for there (doing IB).

Where else can I guide her towards?

fussychica Tue 23-Apr-13 11:25:24

I went alone donkeys years ago.

We were living abroad when DS went. He flew over alone for a couple then we took him to one whilst we were in the UK for other reasons. You'll not be alone if you go but equally loads of kids will be on their own. If my DS can fly over on his own at 17 and stay over night in a B&B I'm sure your DD will be fine.

Other Uni's for Geography - Sheffield, Nottingham or Aberystwyth.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 23-Apr-13 11:38:16

More universities for geog - Leeds, UCL, Durham

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 23-Apr-13 11:42:10
gazzalw Tue 23-Apr-13 11:48:23

I would definitely say that it should be a rite of passage - it's all part of the growing ready to go off to Uni process. If you can't get yourself to a Uni independently, however nervous you are, really you are not ready to spread your wings to one in six months time.

Harsh but fair. It is an anxiety inducing experience but really it is one that a 17/18 year old should be capable of managing alone.

We all did many moons ago and I think we were generally less savvy teens in those days too. I know that I had scarcely ventured out of my home county at 17 when I had to go off to Uni interviews.

However, I can see that now, with Uni no longer being free, parents are more involved in decision-making because they hold the purse-strings (to some extent) for fees etc.... So from that point of view can well see why parents wish to go if only to see what their hard-earned salaries will be spent on.

Nevertheless, at the most I would suggest accompanying your DC and then going off to look around the city/town and chill :-).

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