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)?

mumblechum1 Wed 09-Jan-13 12:36:10

I suspect that once she's actually enrolled on her course she'll have no choice but to get her nose in her books and limit socialising to the weekends. She won't be able to afford taxis into town every night, and I doubt that many of her friends will either.

So far as your input is concerned, we're in a similar boat, I'll be paying DS's accommodation and he'll have to fund everything else from his loan (he'll just get the bare minimum loan), and I've told him I'll pay for a shared bathroom accom, if he wants an en suite he'll have to pay for it himself. Other than that I have no input, I don't think the fact that I'm paying a contribution entitles me to dicate where he goes tbh.

You've given your dd your opinion and if she chooses to ignore it and ends up having a boring time or dropping out, it's her problem really.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 12:49:44

Yes, your right mumble sad It just seems like a potential waste of money, especially if she drops out, that I get myself so worked up over it. Thats why I posted, I need people to give me a reality check! lol

Could you encourage her to visit the two uni's again? Even if there are no more 'official' visit dates planned they will normally be happy for her to come and visit the subject department to talk about the course. That may remind her what she liked and disliked about them the first time round.
But, at the end of the day, she needs to feel she has had the final choice, even if you think her reasons are daft!

derekthehamster Wed 09-Jan-13 13:12:51

Well if she doesn't have the money to go into town and go clubbing, she'll have to do some work won't she grin, especially if there are no bars on campus.

I think I remember your post before, and if I'm right, she'll have loads of fun at the Uni across the road grin

derekthehamster Wed 09-Jan-13 13:16:06

Also, if I'm thinking of the right seaside city, she won't be clubbing at the weekends much as it's way too expensive. She'll be going to the student nights (tues and thurs in my day) and catching the yellow bus home grin

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 13:18:14

Thank you AMum Yes, she does have the opportunity to go back to both on post offer visits. We are conspiring arranging it so that she goes to the better one last and it is fresher in her mind when she has to choose wink. You are so right about her having to feel it's her choice, whatever. If she did feel we had pushed her to the 'good' uni and she hated it there, she would blame us.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 13:20:17

derek a good point, very well made wink and yes, I'm sure you are thinking the right city, lol.

eatyourveg Wed 09-Jan-13 19:35:15

Can I throw in my pennys worth here? - re the post offer visit days, if you arrange to the better uni last, do you think she will actually go? Might she visit the first and then say she's made up her mind, its not worth it, or maybe go but not really take an interest in what she is seeing/hearing? Personally I would encourage her to go to the better one first, make a mental note of all the positive points and then keep those things you have ticked off as plusses at the front of your mind when you go to visit the seaside one.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 20:01:55

eatyourveg thank you. The reason for this is because she saw the better uni back in July and absolutely loved it. She subseqently had her hols and came back 'I want to go to * uni' '* uni is great' 'the place is great' etc., without even seeing it! When we did visit there in October she had put it on such a pedestal she actually cried when she went because it was such a disappointment and so this is fresher in her mind. However, this hasn't deterred her and we thought if she goes back to that one first, when she does see the better one the good feelings will be fresher in her mind when she makes her choice.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 20:04:37

If that all makes sense? blush

I went to the "wrong" uni because of a boy. I still regret it now, and I'm 45!

boomting Wed 09-Jan-13 21:06:58

With regards to the finance issue, perhaps you could sit down with her and make a realistic budget? You could do it in categories, including rent, food, bus fares, clothes and so on. Make sure you've subtracted expenses that only come in once a year (e.g. paying the deposit for next year's house, which will be £300-400, society memberships and so on), intermittent expenses (e.g. train fares home) and a 'miscellaneous' column (reckon £10 pw on this one, from experience).

After that, you will have a fairly good idea of how much she will have to spend on nights out, which you can compare to how much she has been spending previously (ask her how much she has been spending before you reach that point though!). Try to find comparisons to make with the other university in terms of distance to town, availability of public transport, costs of club entry, variety of clubs and so on.

Will the boys that she has made friends with still be there throughout her degree, or will they be moving away (as young people have a tendency to) for university or work purposes?

BlingLoving Wed 09-Jan-13 21:12:20

Ok, this is contentious, but personally I think you have every right to have a strong opinion and to make it clear to her. Partly because you are funding her and partly because while she might technically be an adult, she's not really and as her parents your opinion is still important.

If the "good" university is also the one that's much better for her course and long term career, then she really should be going there and she should understand that she is potentially making the wrong decision that will affect the rest of her life.

I certain,y would not be threatening to cut her off if she doesn't go to your choice of uni but I would be mark gut very clear why you think it's a bad idea and what the consequences are likely to be.

creamteas Wed 09-Jan-13 21:17:04

If you can, also get her to visit on non Open Days, to see what the different places feel like without the special arrangements.

If you really, really, wanted to play hardball (and some parents do) tell her that you won't support her financially if she goes to the the 'wrong' uni and she will need to live of whatever loan she is entitled to and work for the rest. But don't expect to stay on good terms grin.

We had one case recently whose parents were so against the degree choice, they refused to fill in the parental income part of the student loan form so they were really skint sad. But they still managed to graduate with a 2:1

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 21:36:02

agent you obviously didn't listen to your parents either wink lol

boomting - done all that. The cost of living at the seaside Uni is much greater so when she is in private rented her money will have to stretch further than at the good uni. We've also pointed out that she would have the cost of travel to work (as there is nothing on campus) etc., She went there for 2 nights in Oct half term and spent, wait for it.......at staggering £250???!!!! - then she ran out of money to put petrol in her car! No, the boys are in their 2nd (maybe 3rd year) of College so will probably only be around for a while!

Bling THANK YOU for at least seeing where I am coming from grin Your point about the long term prospects has also been pointed out to her and this is one of my main arguments. Apart from the level of teaching/learning for DD, in an ever increasing competitive job place, surely employers look at the Uni attended and which ones have the better reputation for the career? Of course we would never cut her off but I'd rather she didn't make such a time consuming, very expensive (more than ever now) mistake!

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 21:42:19

cream Thats a good idea. TBH one of the reasons she was disappointed with the 'bad' uni was the awful organisation (and that was on the open day!). Their level of contact and information has been very poor too compared to the 'good' uni. DH did threaten we wouldn't support her at the 'bad' one in a heated discussion but she just said 'I'm not going to be blackmailed' - but I would never do that anyway because again, if she did go to the good one and hated it, she would blame us anyway. It really does have to be her own decision so long as it's what we suggest wink and WOW! to that DC who's parents did that - and well done to them!

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 21:45:16

* well done to the DC for getting the 2:1 - not the parents for their actions, lol

amillionyears Wed 09-Jan-13 21:50:52

Does your DD actually realise that she is choosing the "wrong" uni, for the "wrong" reasons?

deleted203 Wed 09-Jan-13 21:52:25

I'm with Bling. I would be sitting her down and pointing out that with (presumably) £27,000 of tuition fees plus three years living that her debt is likely to be in the £50,000 region, as you say. This is a massive amount to saddle yourself with at the age of 21 and is only worth doing if you are going to then be in a great position of getting a good graduate job afterwards. And the way of maximising your chances of doing so is by getting the best teaching, on the best course, at the best uni. Going to a uni with poor organisation, with poor results and a poor reputation is foolish in the extreme. Try telling her that it is highly immature to be thinking of choosing your university based on which one looks to be the 'party' place and mention that when these boys move on she may well find that it isn't such a 'fun' place to be. She could always do her partying there in the holidays if she's so taken with it (or even get a holiday job there if it is a seaside town?).

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 22:10:33

amillion all I get is 'it's my decision' - you can see we have made all the relevant points to show why it is the 'wrong' uni for the 'wrong' reasons but to no avail angry I don't want to fall out with her - we have always had a great relationship, but she is really digging her heels in and I feel so frustrated.

sowornout Yep!! precisely! We've told her all that too <sighs a big heavy sigh> I don't think there isn't a point we haven't made. I like the summer job idea. We did tell her she will only get one chance to be a student but the rest of her life to party after if she so wishes! We even said if she loves it that much she can relocate there when she graduates. My idea box is exhaused sad

deleted203 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:15:55

I know...(have wine and sympathy). I've got a 20 yo who dropped out of uni after 18 months (fortunately only £3,000 in fees), because she took a crap course (against our advice). Now has about £10,000 of debt and doesn't know what she wants to do in life. Try telling her that she will be too far out of town to easily party and that seaside towns are dead in the winter (we live in one). Summer is when all the hot holidaymaker lads are about. NYE might be bouncing but it's one night of the year! Summer job would be definitely the way to go! (Good luck!)

amillionyears Wed 09-Jan-13 22:18:58

Yikes.
What do her friends at home say?
Peer pressure can sometimes work wonders.

Also, I could be wrong here, but her final choice doesnt have to be made for a few months does it?
In which case, if that is true, there is still some hope and time for a change of heart.

lalalonglegs Wed 09-Jan-13 22:21:34

Do you know anyone of your daughter's age at Good University Town? Can you get them to take her out for the night there? I feel for you - my children are still at primary school but I would be gutted if they chose a not-so-good course or college for flaky reasons.

takeaway2 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:26:56

Find her some nice boys at the good uni?? grin

Not really but I recall being v rebellious at a similar age too and I have no real solutions except to maybe get her inspired with the good uni's course (find out about the professors there, what have they done, jobs their graduates end up in, career paths etc...) and as a last resort, stake out the good uni and their clubs! Surely there are nice party boys there too?!! wink

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.

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 09:21:21

hully I'm with Bling too wink

GirlsonFilm Thu 10-Jan-13 09:26:30

senua I didn't say whether it was right or wrong, merely that it was the company policy. There were 3000+ applicants for less than 5 positions each year so the bar was incredibly high.

Also, as I stated it was in a previous life so perhaps I didn't agree with it.

I would think either Leicester or Brighton could be good.
Don't forget that it's good she wants to go to Uni and is likely to be able to.
I just don't think it's worth falling out over - important to keep a sense of perspective.
And, possibly unfortunately wink, it does really have to be her choice - though certainly I'll be talking everything through and sharing my opinions fully when my DC's are choosing Uni or making important life choices !
I did notice somewhere though you said that knowing your DD she's bound to make the wrong choice ?! Now, that's an interesting thing you've said ? Maybe you need to trust and believe in her a bit more if you can to help her do her best with whichever option is taken ?

senua Thu 10-Jan-13 09:36:27

I hear you girls. I hope that you recruited some total plonkers just before you left!

Maybe, just as a place, I'm feeling I might prefer to spend 3 years in Brighton compared to Leicester ? I like the sea ! But some decent veggie curry places in Leicester I know (as it's quite near us so I've found myself in Leicester on the odd day) - could be good for some fun, cheap student nights out ?

takeaway2 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:43:50

what is the subject that she's studying? Brighton isn't all that badly ranked amongst the ex-poly's I don't think...?

Ponders Thu 10-Jan-13 11:02:32

I was a bit stunned at we only looked at applicants from the top two universities in the subject we were recruiting for as well

top TWO??? I have been looking at league tables for various subjects over the last few years & the rankings change yearly - what was 1st or 2nd last year might be 5th or 6th (or lower) this year. That was a very short-sighted approach (presumably done for ease of admin hmm)

OP, my DD had a offer from a very desirable university for her course (they only offered to about 1 in 20) but instead went for one much nearer home - still a good university, just not for her course - so that she would be able to see her boyfriend regularly.

She dumped him after a couple of weeks & spent the rest of her course regretting her choice, because the dept was so badly organised & she hated the course structure. Luckily she's in a field where she'll always be able to get work, but she still wishes she'd gone to the other one, & always will sad

amillionyears Thu 10-Jan-13 11:11:04

I can only think of 2 more things.
Yes, I was going to suggest you show her this thread.
Is it really that bad if she blows a gasket as it is so important a decision to her life.
Thinking about it from her pov and going by how you describe her, especially as she seems to be near enough the leader of her peers, I can see how Brighton might be more appealing than Leicester.
What would happen if she changes her mind after 1 year, so she would only have the one year of debt? Would she be able to go to Leicester after that and start again? In other words some sort of compromise. And this all supposes that Brighton is indeed bad for her course baring in mind Brighton is somewhat untested, course wise.
Dont know, just musing.

The other option is one I did with one of my DDs.
She was somewhat coasting with her GCSEs. I couldnt see her changing her behaviour anytime soon.
So I got her one day to tell me the grades she thought she would get if she coasted. And those if she put a good effort in.
Another day or later, I asked her to come to me and I had written the coasting grades on a piece of paper, handed it to her, and told her to imagine it was results day with her friends. How did she feel?
A few minutes later I gave her the piece of paper with her grades if she had put in the effort. How did she feel now on results day?
It did the trick, and she never looked back. She and I still remember it.
Might something like that would work for your DD?

Sympathique Thu 10-Jan-13 12:10:09

Parents aren't gravy trains - and most definitely not champagne trains. You go to university to learn, not to party. Of course you shouldn't go somewhere you think you would be miserable, but that doesn't seem to be the OP's DD's problem. If she is serious about wanting to go to university it should be course content, course content, course content - not to discount everything that's been said above about institution reputation and graduate employability. If she isn't seriously looking at what she's going to get out of the course she shouldn't be going. Eighteen is very young. A year or two might make all the difference.

Whatever age you are, if someone funds you, they have some say in how their money is spent. In my field they tell me exactly how to spend it in very detailed budgets. Again, maturing is called for until she understands that.

OP, it looks as though you aren't going to change her mind, but you've worried enough and certainly shouldn't be thinking of handing out your hard-earned money for her to party. If she goes to Brighton it's to work hard, and party when work allows and only then.

But to be devil's advocate for a sec, are you absolutely firm on your information about both places? Even if a course is 'new', Brighton might teach it well. She'd still be going for the wrong reasons but it might turn out OK. (Not every employer is as daft as to look at graduates of only the top two courses, so discount that worry). And 'top' courses don't suit everyone, & though there's usually a good deal of angst in deciding not to take them if offered it's sometimes the best decision. I daresay you have done your homework, but best be sure.

Sympathique Thu 10-Jan-13 12:15:27

2nd para: that looks a bit dictatorial on re-reading. It wasn't meant to come out as harsh, but I'm willing to face the flame throwers! I don't suggest DCs do only what we choose, but that we don't have to fund antics we thoroughly disapprove of. One of my DCs had a change of heart and I thought she was throwing a lot away and heading for uncertainty, but I kept mum as she'd thought and talked about it a lot (!!!), her reasons were serious - and it's her life.

Startail Thu 10-Jan-13 12:42:58

DH did his post grad studies at a University right on the edge of town with next to no near by services.

It was a total pita, he got very fit cycling between there and his rented house. This was also a dive as, rented accommodation is far scarcer in a nice small "city".

I went to a big city RG uni. loads of buses out to our flats and into town.
Train near by.
Bars on campus and cheap pubs on the street outside.

Other universities and collages in the town so night clubs, bowling ally cinemas etc all did cheap nights.

Down to earth, slightly scruffy city so lots of rented accommodation, fast food joints and cheap shops.

I'm of the very last generation who got a grant. So I didn't work in term, but given the no. Of bars, small restaurants and fast food places it's the sort of city where you ought to be able to. Very good transport into the night too.

(I was very lucky, I come from a tourist area and so had a job Easter and Summer back home).

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 13:24:47

Thanks again for the coming comments. I agree with all the comments about the course content/quality and prospects. . I also agree that DD may flourish at Brighton and do well. But I just wish she would make the decision for that reason. She is a peer leader and I know first and foremost on her mind is the appeal of the nightlife.

DH & I had initially agreed on an amount we thought we might comfortably be able to afford to help her financially, knowing that this would be enough for her to have a bit of a social life. However, we have now come to the agreement that during our impending 'adult' converstation, we will tell her that DH work isn't as busy (he's self employed) and that we can only commit to an amount we are confident in sustaining. This will only be enough to take the edge off starvation being penniless and certainly not enough to fund her clubbing. So, if she insists on going where the party is, to party, she will have to get a job to fund it herself. If she chooses the good uni DH's work will have picked up enough to help her a little more wink. If she chooses the bad uni and in time, proves that she is working hard, we will help her out more then.

larrygrylls Thu 10-Jan-13 14:01:54

Amum,

I am just not sure why you feel the need to fabricate reasons for not funding your daughter's expensive lifestyle, especially when she is clearly overly attached to it.

There is only one reason to choose/go to uni, to work hard at a subject you enjoy both for pure academic pleasure and to give you benefits which last for life career-wise. Of course, a corollarly is fantastic lifelong friendships and a lot of fun while you are there, but it seems wholly wrong to choose a university on the basis of the social life, especially one way beyond the means of the vast majority of the students.

There seems to be a (very modern) idea that a parent OUGHT to provide large quantities of dough to support their adult children through uni. I appreciate things are much harder than when I received a government grant and had to pay no fees. On the other hand, I still worked every holiday in whatever job I could get and my social life was the (subsidised) college bar, the odd student night at the one terrible disco and friends' rooms. I think that your daughter needs to understand that you are doing her a huge favour subsidising her uni life and the quid pro quo for this is that she chooses her uni in a considered manner and also takes her course seriously once she gets there. Why can't you have the above conversation with her rather than dissembling?

Fair enough, but I'm not sure I'd go as far as offering different levels of financial support based on her choice. It is meant to be her choice ? She might feel a bit bribed and if she did go to Leicester and it didn't work out so well she might blame you more ? I'd just put my case/ opinions fully and strongly and maybe say that the level of support you can afford wouldn't cover much socialising/ partying so for that she may need to think about getting a job whilst there.

Will be interesting to see what others think of your plan for the big convo !
Good luck to you all with everything smile

takeaway2 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:17:59

FWIW I agree with larry. You go to uni to learn more about a subject you supposedly like/love and would ideally have an eventual career after that in that same area or related. Especially if you are funded by others (e.g. parents), you need to be 'responsible' towards your funders. If one receives a scholarship, the scholarship board usually dictates which group of unis you can choose from, and what sort of subjects/topics they wish to fund. In return you get your tuition fees paid, a stipend towards living expenses and possibly a job after graduation.

I think 'choice' is a very emotive word. On the one hand, yes she's the one studying it, the one who's going to be living there. But if she's self-funded, fair enough. If she's not, then she'll need to consider what her funders' choice/preference is.

amumthatcares Thu 10-Jan-13 14:49:56

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. We have no intentions of offering different levels of support, purely for the reason that she would view it as bribery/blackmail and we totally agree that should not be the basis of her decision. She will get the agreed amount no matter which one she chooses. If she chooses Leicester we will probably increase it a little sooner because we know she is there for the right reasons. However, I refuse to fund a passion for clubbing and once she has proved that she is not in Brighton just to party and piss our money up the wall waste money, we will up it for her there too - to the same amount. Larry I agree she did waste an obscene amount of money on one trip she had down there, but it was money she had worked hard for and saved. I think it is rather unfair to brand her as 'clearly overly attached to it'. TBH she was pretty gutted she had spent so much herself. What and how she spends her own money whilst she has it to spend is her choice. When she is a student and doesn't have it, it will be a very different story and one she will learn and she knows she will have to get a job, that doesn't frighten her, she has held her current, first job down for 13 months.

That sounds much better - it's just as you said you don't want her to feel heavily bribed into something do you ? I guess we have to start letting them make some of their own decisions at some point and I know I will find that hard too (a few years off the big ones just yet - but we have a GCSE options evening tonight ! - DD pretty settled on her choices actually)

My DNeice has been at Uni a couple of years and chose somewhere that would have a good social life (so, a big city) She seems to be enjoying/ doing well with her course too though smile

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