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AIBU to think my 20 year old just isn't suitable for university? (As much as she thinks she is!)

(66 Posts)
Glazeee Mon 10-Apr-17 18:38:02


My 20 year old wants to start a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science (I think?) and then wants to do a Physics degree.

She finished school with okay GCSEs (8 Bs and Cs). She then went to that school's sixth form and studied 3 A levels. She didn't pass so left and started at a college where she did the exact same a levels but gave up 2 of them in her second year "because she just didn't have an interest in that field anymore" confused she finished the Maths one with a B. She has spent this last year earning some money and has saved about £5000? I'd say she is definitely more suited to stick with a job now and maybe look into apprenticeships or something like that. She is only in a little corner shop right now but clearly she seems more suited for the work life than study life?

AIBU to think some people are just not suitable for uni and that she is probably one of them?

Reow Mon 10-Apr-17 18:42:40

Up to her. I think you're selling her a bit short. B in A level maths isn't to be sniffed at.

I got average GCSEs, crap A levels, and completed uni with a 2:1.

DangerousBeanz Mon 10-Apr-17 18:43:08

I didn't go to university until I was in my mind 20's and left with a Masters from a Russel group university. I wasn't ready to go at 18 but was later. Your daughter might be the same as me and come out highly qualified and step into a great job.
Leave her to make her own decisions and don't write of her academic potential just yet.

DangerousBeanz Mon 10-Apr-17 18:43:44

Oh and I got 3 E grade a levels.

Fauchelevent Mon 10-Apr-17 18:44:15

There may be people who aren't suitable but she doesnt seem to be one of them from what you've written? She just seems to not know what she wants

Glazeee Mon 10-Apr-17 18:46:22

I agree, she probably doesn't know what she wants but that's why I do think she should stick to a job now really. I don't see the benefit in jumping from course to course in all different subjects?

Trifleorbust Mon 10-Apr-17 18:46:51

You seem to have a slightly low opinion of her. Those aren't awful grades at all.

LIZS Mon 10-Apr-17 18:51:03

Level 3 diploma will take at least 2 years. Let her do it and then she can decide her next step. Mind you she doesn't need your say so anyway.

thelonelyhamster Mon 10-Apr-17 18:51:50

Sometimes, a year or two working in a job where there's no possibility of career progression is needed to provide motivation for people to take studying seriously.

I know I had very average grades because I didn't really put effort in until I'd already been stuck in a boring job for a while!

flibflob Mon 10-Apr-17 18:52:27

Sounds like she's had a good break from education and decided what she wants to do. She's 20 - if it doesn't work out, she can always just start work again.

CottonSock Mon 10-Apr-17 18:54:06

I got a c and two d's at a level.. then a first class double honours at uni and an international full scholarship for my masters. Once I wanted to do well I did. Let her find her own way

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Mon 10-Apr-17 18:55:32

A B at A Level maths is really good, she's obviously quite bright. If she does well in the access course then there's no reason she shouldn't go on to do a degree.

Please don't encourage her to stick with a crap job.

sherazade Mon 10-Apr-17 18:56:04

Yab completely unreasonable :

A 'B' grade in maths a level is not tonne sneered at. In fact it shows great academic potential . Once in uni she might find it much easier to focus on the one subject that she is passionate about . It's so much easier when you are given the focus and freedom, to do better. I was an A student all round but found the constraints of school and college miserable, played truant all the time and I could just as easily have dropped out . I loved the space and freedom in uni though and stuck with it because I loved it rather than because I had to.

QuestionableMouse Mon 10-Apr-17 18:56:13

Would she consider an Access course? It's nine months rather than two years and really prepared you for uni.

Also don't sell her so short. I left school 15 odd years ago with fair GCSE results. Did a National Diploma with okay results. Dropped out of education until this year when I went to do an Access course and I'm doing brilliantly. I've had nothing lower than a distinction in all of my assignments and I love it. Been accepted to a very good uni from it too (York, Language and linguistics.)

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 10-Apr-17 18:56:40

Sorry another one on your daughter's side! It's never too lste for education. B in Maths A level is good. Also It is her life so her choice!

Glazeee Mon 10-Apr-17 18:58:47

Yes she actually wanted to do an access course and I think I put her off because I said it's only if you want to go to uni and that the diploma would be beneficial even if you didn't go to uni? I'm sure I read that about access courses.

Seems I'm probably thinking in the wrong way. She is my youngest and my 2 older DC did A levels and then went to uni, they all graduated at 21 and are working full time. I just can't imagine her in education for another 5 years!

GardenGeek Mon 10-Apr-17 18:59:09

My sister failed all her A-levels and had to retake, ended up with Ds & Cs and went through clearing to fill a space at Bournemouth on Business Studies. Left with a First; better than me with my 6 A-B A-levels who got a 2:1, and better than all her friends who passed A-Levels first time.

You have no idea what shes capable of; and tbh its academic anyway because if she wants to go she can. Shes 20 fgs hmm

HellonHeels Mon 10-Apr-17 19:00:25

You've posted about her before, haven't you? I remember her B in maths at A level because it's a good result.

Suggest you go back to the extensive advice you were given in that thread - you're selling your DD very short IMO

Bantanddec Mon 10-Apr-17 19:01:28

I hope she goes to university and reaches her potential, how will she know unless she tries. I find it sad you are not more supportive of her, no wonder she loses interest in her education with you behind her telling her how 'unsuitable' she is. hmm

frieda909 Mon 10-Apr-17 19:01:47

I think she should go for it.

My sister and I went to a very pushy, high-achieving private school. I was a very academic, straight-A student because I was good at passing exams. That's basically all it comes down to. My younger sister was and is incredibly bright but she struggled with exams and came out with 'average' grades at GCSE. Those were actually still pretty damn good grades, but the school and my parents decided that she wasn't bright enough for A levels, let alone uni, so they encouraged her to leave school at 16 and get a job instead.

Long story short, she ended up going through similar channels to the ones you describe your daughter wanting to go through, and is now a Maths teacher. She is teaching the A levels that her school literally told her she wasn't clever enough to even take.

She's done amazingly well and it all worked out in the end but I can't help thinking she could have been saved a lot of stress and difficulties if she'd just been encouraged to do those things in the first place, rather than being written off as 'not smart enough' just because she got Bs and Cs instead of As in every exam.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Mon 10-Apr-17 19:04:07

Well if she isn't up to it and gets offered a place which the Uni won't do if they don't think she's up to it, the worst that could happen is that she fails the first year and fails the resits (or doesn't get offered the chance of resits) and has to leave. It won't be the end of the world and she will have debts but not massive ones by that point. So I would suggest you discuss your concerns with her but also support her in what she chooses to aim for. She may get her act together and surprise you.

RayofFuckingSunshine Mon 10-Apr-17 19:04:08

YABVVU. Firstly, she is 20. It really is none of your business.

Secondly, as someone who was shit at college, was told I would also be shit at uni and should just work instead so put it off - I was fabulous when I eventually went to uni because it was an entirely different ball game.

Even if she does go and hates it, what's the problem? She is 20. She has her entire life ahead of her to make stupid mistakes and then correct them later.

frieda909 Mon 10-Apr-17 19:05:11

She is my youngest and my 2 older DC did A levels and then went to uni, they all graduated at 21 and are working full time.

Ah, there we go. I was just about to ask if she's the younger sibling of 'smarter' kids by any chance. It does sound a lot like the situation I've just described and I've often wished that my parents wouldn't have used my own academic success as a benchmark to decide that my sister must be thick.

IHeartDodo Mon 10-Apr-17 19:05:30

What about doing a foundation year? There are some very good ones and it's a great way to see if university suits her. They are often transferable to other unis as well so if she liked it but not the place she could move (it's kind of informally transferable, they don't advertise it because they want to keep students obvs).

Shakirasma Mon 10-Apr-17 19:07:32

My 24 yo DSD is excelling at uni, now nearly at the end of her second year. She got mediocre GCSE results followed by 3 years in college gaining poor a level results and a pointless nvq.

After a while working her bum off in a poorly paid caring job she decided to go back to college to do an access course to get her into uni. Best decision she ever made and she is doing so, so well at uni whilst still working in caring part time.

Not everyone is ready for the same things at the same time, please encourage your DD to go to uni if that's what she wants. It sounds like it's her time now.

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