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to think DD should not be forced to go to uni because a friend spent £70?

(185 Posts)
Bluemoon49 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:14:02

Apologies for the length of this but wanted to give proper backstory.

DD got accepted into uni this August, is due to start in two weeks. She has long term general anxiety and low self esteem issues. Since results day she has been having second thoughts about going and considering the idea of taking a year out and going to university next September. She definitely wants to go to uni, she just doesn't feel ready for it this year due to a number of reasons. She says she will get a job and do some volunteering in charity events as this is something she's interested in as a career. I have said she can do whatever she wants but she has been very confused and kept changing her mind one way or the other as it's a big decision to defer for a year and she's worried about being a year older when she starts etc

Have told friends that she is having doubts about going this year. There is one in particular, who has known DD since she was 4 and is more like an aunt to her, who is very much of the mind that DD should go this year as it's 'now or never' and if she doesn't go this year she never will. This friend has said to me very firmly that it's up to me to tell DD that she doesn't have a choice and basically force her to go his year. She gets annoyed when I tell her that DD is 19 and can make her own choice and I will support her. She thinks that I am holding her back and DD is being soft/just needs a push from me to get on with her life and that it will be best for her to leave me and be with other young people. I agree with this, but at the moment DD is really depressed, can't get excited about university at all and really feels that it's all happening too fast. I'm worried if she forces herself to go she could end up having a break down and coming home, or at least not making the most of uni.

Now the complicated bit is that DD went to have meningitis jab on Thursday and because she has a phobia of needles and needed someone with her, and I was working, this friend went with her. They then went back to friend's house for lunch. At this point DD was of the mind that she was going to uni as planned this year. My friend had said to me the day before that she would "draw DD out" and "make sure she goes to university". I arrived to pick her up at end of day to find that friend had taken DD out to The Range and bought her a car load of stuff for uni - plates, trays, mugs, cutlery, utensils, pans etc - costing £70. She did this as a 'uni present' for DD as she knows that I couldn't afford to buy her lots of new things and DD was just going to take a few things from home. DD was thrilled with all the lovely things and said that she would go to university this year.

However, as days have passed she has admitted to me that deep down she still doesn't want to go this year and would feel much more comfortable taking a year out. She feels guilty about the £70 that friend spent and feels this means she has to go now. Friend has also planned a party for this Saturday.

Saw friend the other day, along with another friend. Other friend said "so, is it so and so date that DD goes to uni? - that is if she goes!" and friend 1 looked at me meaningfully and said "oh she's going, she has to go, she doesn't have a choice, isn't that right Blue?" and I said "no, she can choose to do whatever she wants." This seemed to annoy friend and she said "yes, but you're not going to tell her that! You tell her she hasn't got a choice!"

DD is very worried that if she chooses not to go to university this year my friend is going to be annoyed. She hasn't said outright that she would be annoyed because of the £70 shopping trip but it seems likely. I know it's an awkward situation and it is embarrassing after she's spent so much, but she chose to do that and DD can still take all the lovely things with her when she goes next year. AIBU to think that DD should be free to defer uni if she wants, despite friend?

Quimby Tue 06-Sep-16 15:16:59

Tell your friend to fuck off and possibly don't be as polite as that.

Dons1975 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:17:27

No your not being unreasonable it has nothing to do with your friend!

RealityCheque Tue 06-Sep-16 15:17:56

Her choice.

Goods can be returned.

Weird.

PuntasticUsername Tue 06-Sep-16 15:18:27

YANBU. It sounds as if your DD has made a very sensible and considered decision to defer University entry - I did the same at her age, and it was definitely the right choice for me.

Your friend is being a massive twat - please tell her to fuck right off, for your poor DD's sake sad I think your daughter should return or reimburse the £70 of stuff to her, so that there is nothing owing and she doesn't feel beholden because of it.

lougle Tue 06-Sep-16 15:18:36

I think you need to support your DD to make the right choice (not 'whatever she wants' because that can cause as much anxiety as pushing her into a fixed position), which may or may not be to go to university this year, regardless of your friend's expenditure.

I do think that your friend has a point about the anxiety stopping her from going next year and I don't think it helps to say that she can do whatever she wants it just piles pressure on her to make the right choice.

ifyoulikepinacolada Tue 06-Sep-16 15:18:40

Yanbu AT ALL and I can't believe your 'friend' is being so manipulative! If she's that upset, I'm sure your DD would happily return the stuff anyway but god, what a horrible thing to do!

Uni isn't for everyone and it's certainly not for people who aren't sure they're ready for it this year. Your friend has massively overstepped the line here.

MunchMunch Tue 06-Sep-16 15:19:20

She only bought the stuff to blackmail your dd into going and to let her know "she hasn't got a choice"

Your dd has to do what is right for her, if deferring for a year is what she feels is best then that's what she has to do. Of course it might not be for the best in the long run or she regrets doing it but she has to make her own choices in life.

Ignore your "friend"

MidnightRunner87 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:19:33

Yanbu! Who does your friend think she is to interfere like that? is she that stupid that she doesn't realise that she's adding more pressure and anxiety onto your poor daughter?

laurenandsophie Tue 06-Sep-16 15:20:24

Why are you talking with this other child about your child's life choices?
You opened the door to this pushy person getting involved and now she thinks she's the boss of your daughter, who can't make her own decisions or tell this supposed friend to stop trying to manipulate her.
Just leave it alone. Tell your daughter to do what she wants and tell the other person it's not up to her to dictate so you won't be discussing it with them anymore.

PeaceOfWildThings Tue 06-Sep-16 15:20:30

Things keep. Mental health needs looking after.

DD also has anxiety etc, and the advice she and I were given was that it comes down to the motivation of the individual. It sounds as though your DD is very well motivated to take a year out. No one should be forcing anyone to do what they don't want to in these circumstances.

Wellywife Tue 06-Sep-16 15:22:05

If she doesn't go this year, when her friends are all going too, then it might never happen. Or she might decide to go in her 20s. Either way, it's her choice. Certainly no concern of your friend.

Lovewineandchocs Tue 06-Sep-16 15:22:14

What queenbean said. Who does your friend think she is? She's being a bully and completely disrespectful of your DDs right to make her own choices! Spending £70 is neither here nor there-you can give her the stuff back or pay her back-this should have NO impact upon your DDs choices.

bigbluebus Tue 06-Sep-16 15:22:59

Your DD can absolutely decide not to go to Uni this year (assuming the Uni will defer her place) as indeed lots of youngsters do. She will by no means be the only non 18 year old, straight from school student if she delas until next year - or indeed the year after. Your friend is being unreasonable and controlling. The decision has nothing to do with her. Give her the £70 worth of stuff back to go and get a refund if she's miffed about the money she's spent.

flippinada Tue 06-Sep-16 15:23:51

YANBU at all - it's your DDs decision and that's that. Besides, it's not as if deferring your place at University for a year is at all unusual and in fact for someone in your DDs position it could be really beneficial in terms of experience, confidence building etc.

Thee"friend" (who doesn't sound that great of a friend tbh) is being weirdly controlling and acting like a bully.

MammouthTask Tue 06-Sep-16 15:25:05

A 'Uni present' can be for this year or the next. it doesn't matter.
Your dd needs to choose what works best for her.

At worse, offer to repay the £70 and tell said friend to get over it.

Lovewineandchocs Tue 06-Sep-16 15:25:25

Sorry, what quimby said blush

expatinscotland Tue 06-Sep-16 15:25:54

Give her the stuff back. She's a bullying cow.

shovetheholly Tue 06-Sep-16 15:27:36

Two possible ways of reading this:

1. Your friend is being intrusive and insensitive and needs to be told to butt out.

2. Your friend thinks that your parenting is the source of your DD's anxiety and is trying to get your DD away because she genuinely thinks she will be better off just taking the plunge.

My guess is that (1) is closer to the truth, but it's worth looking (2) straight in the eye in the spirit of enquiry. I've watched several kids be unable to leave home until their 30s due to cossetting and controlling parents who have created as much anxiety as they have 'solved' by keeping the children close by.

purplefox Tue 06-Sep-16 15:28:53

Why is your friend so desperate for your DD to go to uni? It really is none of her business.

If she goes when she isn't ready she's going to find it all overwhelming, especially with anxiety and she's likely to drop out and not want to go back next year.

CharminglyGawky Tue 06-Sep-16 15:29:01

Don't force her!

If this is nerves then yes she should go. If you think these anxieties and nerves will be exactly the same next year then going and getting the scary beginning of uni over ASAP may be best for her. But I remember loads of people who just weren't ready to go who ended up dropping out, several after really suffering for ages first.

I was really unsure and my mum didn't force me but I struggled to see any other option, she made my alternatives sound really bleak and believed that if I took a year out I'd just never go back! Since then my mum has apologised and admitted that strong arming me into going is her biggest parenting regret. I did ok but didn't get anything out of uni really.

Going a year later won't make any difference to her experience as there isn't a huge gap in age and loads of people plan gap years without issue. She could earn in the next year and save for uni which could help her next year. Working in her chosen field is also a really good idea, I know a couple of people who did this and found out they hated it... Much better to discover that before spending tens of thousands at uni doing a course that will turn out to be useless if you don't continue onto your planned career!

The £70 is a non issue, all that stuff will be just as useful next year as this year!

Rachel0Greep Tue 06-Sep-16 15:29:21

YANBU. The last thing that a person suffering with anxiety needs is to feel pushed into something. This could be potentially detrimental to her wellbeing. She needs to feel ready, and being pushed like that is not the way to go. The goods can be returned if necessary.

freelancegirl Tue 06-Sep-16 15:29:24

As an aside, whenever your DD goes to university (I took a year out, did a first year of a course I hated, took another year out and still managed to get a degree and post grad at a later date) she will probably be eligible for a DSA and be able to access technology support and also mentoring support to address issues with anxiety. Something to look into it/when she does go.

SolomanDaisy Tue 06-Sep-16 15:30:23

She's got no right trying to use £70 as a bribe to force your daughter to go. But if your DD doesn't go this year are you sure you won't just have the same issue again next year? It's possible she wants you to give her a bit of a push to do it now. But obviously you know her best!

LauraMipsum Tue 06-Sep-16 15:32:41

I thought the same as shovetheholly

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