How to convince DD her life is not ruined by being two years too old

(15 Posts)
Secretservice Thu 18-Aug-16 12:34:23

DD is at a non-Russell uni, just about to start year 3. She's predicted at least a 2:1, so all good you would think.
But ... She has MH issues and has convinced herself that failing to get to the Uni she wanted by one missed grade makes the education she's getting sub-standard and pointless. This has hit her particularly hard today as she would've sailed into her first choice in today's market.
I know there's bigger issues for her, but any ideas how I can make just this one thing easier?

Willberry Thu 18-Aug-16 12:44:23

It all seems so important at the time but the likleyhood is no one will be bothered what uni she went to. I didn't get the A level grades I hoped for but once into uni never got asked what they were again. Got a 2:1 degree think only 1 prospective employer has ever asked my what classification it was and no ones ever asked what uni I went to in anything other than interest if I might know people they know/why I moved to this part of the country kind of way. Theres far more important things to consider when looking at potential job applicants, like life skills developed through extra curricular activities. Thats what will make her stand out from all the other graduates with similar qualifications.

bojorojo Thu 18-Aug-16 12:45:04

Try and find positives about the course. My DD ended up at her insurance due to health issues during her A levels that were not picked up by her boarding school. However , the insurance choice was good and she really enjoyed it. You do not say what subject she is doing, but not all the jobs go to RG university students!!! They really do not.

Although my DD did go to RG, her success in a very highly competitive job market is down to her personality, lots and lots of volunteering and basically being a great person who is intelligent. Employers look for more than the name of the university in most jobs!

Having a career plan is way more important than the 'what might have been'. Clearly your DD is dwelling on this disappointment and doing the right things in y3 will help wipe this factor out. My DD has done just as well as many people who went to the university she should have gone to! Yours will too. Confidence in her ability are key. Try to get her to focus on what she now needs to do because her degree and university will only be one aspect of her application.

Crocodillian Thu 18-Aug-16 13:06:56

I think that there are less than 20 Russell unis and I dont believe that the world's high flyers consist soley of Russell university alumni. It seems like the be all and end all to your dd now but as she gets more life experience and meets people in her chosen field she will see the variation in people's backgrounds. I say that without even knowing her chosen field, but would put money on being right.
I think that it would be worth researching people that are successful in her chosen future field and which universities they went to (in my field the company websites tend to include your gurning picture and a profile blurb about your specialities, achievements, post grad, training, your uni and hobbies; and everyone is most concerned about the achievements and intellectual/worldy hobbies that are posted, rather than the name of the university that they went to yonks ago. I went through clearing and 14 years on often forget that fact.
Most academic institutions dont provide a sub-standard education, and although some employers favour certain universities over others, there are a lot of very successful and well-educated people out there that went to non-russell universities. I know loads of happy, well rounded, well-educated, high achieving people that went to non-russells. I also know people at work that did graduate from a Russell uni and they don't seem to give any impression of believing that their education is of a higher standard. They don't get paid more than the rest of us or treated any better. Our worth is measured in achievement and dedication to the field.
A lot of factors will affect your dd's career not just the university that she attended, but also interview technique, approach to life and many other things. Can she find out what other factors will be relevant and focus on these? Even if she had got into a Russell, few employers just see a Russell uni on a cv and hire that candidate on the spot so either way there was always going to be more to it than just getting into a Russell.
I hope that she will see the bigger picture and be proud of herself when she graduates. It sounds as though she os already doing fantastically well to balabce study with mh issues that cant be easy. Does the uni have any support service for her? flowers

Secretservice Thu 18-Aug-16 13:48:39

Thank you for putting so much thought and consideration into your replies. I think I was expecting harsher responses - 'tell her to pull herself together'!
Sadly, I can't really use the enhance your CV arguments as her anxiety etc means getting out and meeting people is really not her forte.
Crocodilian by mentioning her MH has reminded me that maybe I'm being dragged into her skewed mindset again. She has had quite a bit of help with it - a learning contract is in place - but it's has been worse than pulling teeth to get the health service to treat her as seriously.
I'm also aware that she has succeeded in taking attention from the real question today - why did she take a razor to her wrist last night?
Arghh! Thanks again

bojorojo Thu 18-Aug-16 14:25:48

Oh no! I am so sorry to read that Secret. I can see that the obvious of advice most of us have given is possibly way off the mark considering the difficult situation she has found herself in. I think getting well is the most important thing and I wish you both every success in this. It would be great if she can eventually accept her achievements as being worthwhile and just as good as everyone else.

Secretservice Thu 18-Aug-16 14:30:09

Thank you Bojorojo.
I'm sorry for that huge drip feed 😳
She's very adept at getting me to focus on the trees not the wood, so if nothing else this thread has helped me to refocus. Off to do battle with the MH service - again

GobblersKnob Thu 18-Aug-16 14:37:28

I think it is great that you want to make this feel easier for her, but I only did my degree recently (am 40) and although I got a first I constantly tell myself it was because the course was quite easy, the lecturers raised my marks as they were aware of my illness, that it was a fluke, that I was just lucky.

I also know if I had got anything less than a first I would have felt a total failure, in fact when I got my results I felt no sense of jubilation at getting my first just relief that I didn't have to tell people I got a 2.1.

I am about to start my MA and am already telling myself that I only got on because they must have been short of people or it's a rubbish course or something.

Some of us judge ourselves very harshly and it is almost impossible to stop, years and years and years of therapy and I talk about this kind of stuff in company like it is funny, daft old Gobbler eh? But in reality I find it quite distressing.

I think all you can do is reiterate how proud you are of her and proud you will be regardless of what she achieves.

Becca19962014 Thu 18-Aug-16 14:43:48

It's likely today has been a catalyst for her mental health crisis.

I can relate to that. I failed all but one of my GCSEs, and was made to feel a total let down to my school and family. It was the first year of GCSEs so there was a lot of media around, much more so than subsequent years, and I was pushed off to the side for failing.

I managed to get to uni and have had a successful career, though I cannot work anymore due to health issues. I struggled a lot going into my third year around GCSE results time, I have depression, anxiety and PTSD (no help possible) - it shouldn't but it's still an upsetting day for me. I really wish there was more done to help GCSE and a-level pupils prepare for whatever results they get and help them find a way forward for them in what they want to do. Instead of what I got which was a sarcastic comment about being thick and directions to my local supermarket as I couldn't expect more and I wasn't allowed to talk to the careers advisor.

I did more, but it left its scar (as well as others I won't go into here). Your DD can totally achieve whatever she wants, honestly. I have one GCSE yet I have been a researcher for a uni, a lecturer, I've represented my university at a world conference and taught and managed a NHS department. I have a undergrad, postgrad and professional degree.

I had two interviews where I was asked why I failed my GCSEs and didn't do a-levels. The first I fought for the job and it was horrendous. The second time they refused to discuss anything but my GCSE choices so I got up and left.

I have other things on my cv like playing an instrument but I never followed any guides when doing a cv, none of the stock phrases and the jobcentre have always hated it but employers generally have been happy with it.

When my school asked for people to talk to those doing their exams this year they wouldn't let me do it because they didn't want a failure talking to the students - despite everything I achieved afterwards those results are still what counts to them. It can be very very difficult to see beyond such things, depression can and does mean you latch on to things others might not.

Becca19962014 Thu 18-Aug-16 14:46:28

Bugger that was meant to be a PM. Which I meant to proofread. Sorry everyone. My point was careers aren't limited by what uni you go to or what your a-level (or GCSE) results are.

Yes, I know I should take my own advice, but when dealing with mh it's not so simple as that.

InternationalHouseofToast Thu 18-Aug-16 14:55:00

Does she have a part time job? The most important thing she can do to enhance her career prospects, russell-group uni or otherwise, is to get relevant work experience and she can start getting that now. In interviews, relevant experience will be much more important, with the range of skills that will give her, than which university she got the 2:1 from.

I've seen plenty of adverts specificy a degree grade but never an institution. What you've done is always more important than where you studied.

Willberry Thu 18-Aug-16 15:05:02

I struggled with MH at uni too, battling with severe depression throughout my final year. The uni support was great, the NHS support was in tablet form and my GP writting a supporting letter to the exam board. Unfortunately there is such huge underfunding for MH treatment at least she has you on her side.

From a positive aspect though I survived, I got 2:1degree, I got a good job and now hold a senior position. I was still fragile when I started out but I gained confidence and as I've got older I care less and less what anyone else thinks! Most importantly I like myself. Let her know that this will pass, it is possible to survive this and suceed. Big hugs to you both.

realhousewifeoffitzrovia Thu 18-Aug-16 15:19:19

have her read this article

Helenluvsrob Fri 19-Aug-16 09:12:08

Just posted a thread about the fact that plan B can actually be the perfect path for you as an individual.

Her life is in no way "ruined " she can make it the best ! Any chance of pulling that up to 1st ? Then move can ever say it was in anyway substandard smile

Secretservice Fri 19-Aug-16 12:08:24

Thanks all, I'm very grateful. I'm not sure whether she will accept all your lovely responses in the mind set she's in, but it's been great at reminding me that it is her MH stuff talking and I don't have to buy into the despondency.
It's particular difficult for her because her academic prowess seems to be the only thing she rates about herself. Like you Gobbler she believes her current course must be shit because she's doing so well and finds it relatively easy despite her problems. Then again it took me until my 30s to realise I wasn't actually 'lucky' to get on my degree course at 18!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now