University visits - helicopter parents?

(155 Posts)
higgle Sat 16-Mar-13 12:37:58

DS 2 is off to uni this year, hopefully. We discussed as a family which universities he might like to apply to, weighed up the pros and cons of various accommodation with him but the choices have been entirely his. He went to Leeds last week, which is his first choice and where he has an offer we think he will be able to meet, for an open day. I simply bought him some rail tickets and left him to it. He returned home quite shocked that all the other applicants had had at least one parent with them. As a result of this there was not much opportunity to talk to the others who would be on the course, though the tutors spent more time discussing various things.

When I was off on this sort of visit nearly 40 years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of inviting my parents along ( although they wre footing 100% of my expenses). We will take him if and when he starts, and of course visit fairly regularly. Am I very odd to be the only parent who didn't go or send spouse?
Does the fact that all the others wanting to do this course seem to be girls explain this?

whois Mon 18-Mar-13 22:29:11

My mum went with me to all of the open days I attended, we had nice days out together and it was helpful to have someone to chat through the pros and cons of each course/uni with.

Dadowado Sun 17-Mar-13 22:41:16

DD went to one tour with some friends. I gave her a lift to the others because it was cheaper for me than paying her train fare. Once there I was invited in and was surprised to find lots of other parents. I was interested to see round but left her to ask questions and she made her choices.

exoticfruits Sun 17-Mar-13 22:36:44

We downsized while DS was at university- he is back with us. He can't afford to do anything else. He has a good degree and the interviews he has had have been good firms- unfortunately lots of others are chasing the same jobs. Each time they have gone to someone with experience and you can't get experience if you can't get the job. He is building up his CV with unpaid work.
If you are not in that position I don't think that you can have any idea about the graduate job market if you don't know any recent graduates. Copthallresident has the accurate picture.

ggirl Sun 17-Mar-13 22:33:16

That's a comment about graduates btw

ggirl Sun 17-Mar-13 22:32:17

I feel very sorry for youngsters these days..we had it easy compared to them.

noddyholder Sun 17-Mar-13 21:35:14

Copthall you are describing what I have seen. Careers take years and sometimes working for free to establish Rent locally to me is about 450 a month plus bills.

Copthallresident Sun 17-Mar-13 21:28:43

iclaudiusThat is all very well but you are totally out of touch with the job market. All of my friends with older DCs who have finished uni have them back home because they haven't yet managed to embark on careers, they may have jobs but not that pay well enough to fund an independent home. They may be building up a CV with relevant work experience but that is likely to be low paid or unpaid. The only ones who are not at home have sought work overseas or are travelling. This includes Oxbridge graduates. I know one Oxford graduate with a CV full of work experience she managed to get on merit at Sky, loacal radio etc etc etc. Doubtless once upon a time they would have marched into the BBC with a sense of entitlement, they are three years on.....

DD is in third year at elite uni, she will go on to do a master and PhD en route to a research job but none of her friends who are in their final year have jobs lined up, and for some going to live at home means a rural village in the middle of nowhere. The same applies to her peers from her very selective indie, just one has an internship lined up, arranged by Daddy.

Building a career is something they have to work long and hard at.

YokoUhOh Sun 17-Mar-13 21:04:28

Oh and I do remember seeing one person at an open day with a parent; the parent asked a ridiculous stealth-boasty question on behalf of her son and the rest of us cracked up, she made her son look utterly foolish. I do understand that it's different these days and parents want to know what they're getting for all those thousands of pounds.

ThedementedPenguin Sun 17-Mar-13 20:50:00

My mum came with me to two different university's, and my auntie came to another. I was going from Northern Ireland to England/Scotland. We booked flight first thing in morning and last thing at night and had a brilliant day shopping, checking out local area and around the university.

I'm 22 now, have a ds and my own house. So it's not always the case.

YokoUhOh Sun 17-Mar-13 20:41:01

My parents (both teachers) left me to my own devices on the Open Day/interviews front (late '90s) as they were at work during term time. Slightly resent the insinuation above that they didn't care; quite the opposite. And I moved to London for a boy job the minute I finished at Oxford and met a different boy my husband on the first day at said new job, so never moved back home smile

I think the fees element has been a real game-changer in terms of parental involvement.

iclaudius Sun 17-Mar-13 20:36:28

Isingsoprano not at all
I do believe a HUGE part of parenting a late teenager is to encourage independence - I don't think that the child rocking up back home at 23 is a good thing for anyone.
I may be old fashioned but I am a believer in children over 18 ish living away from their parents and independent of them and the whole university thing is a stepping stone
I want my kids to make that choice independent of me - as I and their daddy did- I will HELP but going along to an open day with them etc - cannot FAIL to sway them in my book

Milliways Sun 17-Mar-13 20:34:06

Maat - yes, empty nester here and DH is already planning weekends away!

Awks Sun 17-Mar-13 20:21:00

When I was 12 my mum gave me an alarm clock and told me mornings were down to me from now on. Doesn't mean it was a fab idea grin

Nishky Sun 17-Mar-13 20:14:50

Or maybe they work Ising - which is why my parents did not come with me.

Horsemad Sun 17-Mar-13 20:09:47

I expect DS1 to work abroad but DS2 has already said he's going to the local uni. I'm not surprised really as he's a real homebird.

ISingSoprano Sun 17-Mar-13 19:57:59

Well I went to applicant open days with ds so that clearly makes me a 'helicopter' parent.

Or does it....?

Maybe those parents who don't go to open days with their children just can't be bothered or aren't interested. After all, it's their life, their money, their problem isn't it?

chocoluvva Sun 17-Mar-13 19:53:50

Hah! I'll see your going to open days on your own and raise it to not attending open days at all as I lived in a remote area and couldn't afford it!.

I got the boat and train with my friends the day before the start of term and went home on the last day. My almost non-existent self-confidence was greatly helped by realising that I was much more independent than many of my peers (out of necessity).

Hope my DD wants me to go with her when her turn comes though.....

mumeeee Sun 17-Mar-13 19:53:23

DH or I went with all 3 of our DDs ( not at the same time) to varios open days. Parents are now actually actually encouaged to come and thier is often a parents talk. When I went with to UWE open day there was an oppetunity for DD3 to talk to students who were doing the couse and the prospective students were encoraged to ask thier own questions as well as parents,

Maat Sun 17-Mar-13 19:28:34

Milliways will you be an empty nester when your DS goes?

I will.

It's going to feel very strange. I've only just got used to DS1 not being around but it will feel really different when there's just me and DH and we have to talk to each other grin

Milliways Sun 17-Mar-13 19:23:22

Noddy - I was amazed that DD never cam home after Uni. She got engaged at Uni, they both got jobs to start immediately after graduation so they got married and they rent their own house now.
It will be odd when DS goes too!

ivykaty44 Sun 17-Mar-13 18:10:01

I shall let dd go of and have a look at where she wants to study etc, I will gladly listen to all she tells me on her return.

Plenty of my friends have dc who have looked for themselves and not taken parents

noddyholder Sun 17-Mar-13 17:57:52

I agree badguider I think my ds mates who have dropped out did so because they have been living a very student type life here in Brighton and they were very disappointed with university. I feel sorry for them though as they have been there done it got the t shirt a bit.

badguider Sun 17-Mar-13 17:55:35

Depends where you live ime - if you live somewhere with no work prospects or social life for people in their 20s you will find they miraculously find a way to houseshare elsewhere smile whereas if you live somewhere cool and convenient then they 'can't possible afford to move out' hmm

Eeeeeowwwfftz Sun 17-Mar-13 17:45:32

Who said Unis didn't want parents' involvement at open/UCAS days? Thought we'd established they'd put on special talks for them etc in response to demand. And that was pre-fees.

noddyholder Sun 17-Mar-13 17:31:48

grin I know Most of my mates have their kids back at home and all are 23 plus so I am going by that

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