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To think I regret applying to university?

(29 Posts)
Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 14:20:37

I've been offered (and accepted) a place on a Healthcare Science undergraduate degree fully funded. I already have a degree and in theory could have applied for the postgraduate programme but I know it's highly competitive. However I'm starting to regret my decision to do the undergraduate. I'm 30 this year and DP is 35 and in an ideal world we'd love to have a baby soon. We're also getting married next year. If I do the undergraduate we wouldn't be able to have a baby until I graduate so we'd be 33 and 38 when ttc and preferably we'd like to have 2-3 DC if possible.

Sorry this has turned into more of a WWYD than an AIBU. It's too late to apply for the postgrad route now as applications have closed for the year but would I be mad to pull out of the undergraduate and apply for the postgraduate next year and risk ending up with neither?

GeorgeTheBleeder Wed 03-Apr-19 14:23:18

Have you had a meeting with the people who run the postgrad course?

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 14:24:54

No I haven't @GeorgeTheBleeder but applications are definitely closed this year, they only open once a year for a short period of time as it's part of the STP national programme.

gokartdillydilly Wed 03-Apr-19 14:36:12

You could try contacting them. They might say yes, they might not. Then you'll have another decision to make. Good luck!

GeorgeTheBleeder Wed 03-Apr-19 14:38:51

I understand applications are closed for this year - but if they were to say that you would definitely get onto the postgrad next year then you could re-assess what you do in the meantime.

Is this, by the way, the best possible degree you could take? (Not my area!)

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 14:40:17

I see what you mean about contacting them. I don't think they can say for definite though as it just depends on who applies that year.

Is this, by the way, the best possible degree you could take?

Sorry I'm not sure I understand your question?

Excited101 Wed 03-Apr-19 14:41:48

How long is the postgrad course in comparison? You’re still young for having children really, I wouldn’t worry about that side of it.

125678katie Wed 03-Apr-19 14:49:00

How about getting started and ttc anyway, then taking a year out if you do fall pregnant? They have to keep you on the course and have to allow a year out.

HeathRobinson Wed 03-Apr-19 14:51:08

I had my kids while doing my degree.

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 14:54:28

How long is the postgrad course in comparison?

Both are 3 years but the "fully funded" undergraduate works out to be really minimal funding, the equivalent of a part time job on minimum wage. The postgraduate on the other hand is salaried and therefore much more money and have annual leave, maternity etc.

How about getting started and ttc anyway, then taking a year out if you do fall pregnant? They have to keep you on the course and have to allow a year out.

We've thought about doing that but have 2 issues - I'm not sure we could afford childcare and also because of placements I could in theory end up on the other side of the country for 3 months sad

@HeathRobinson if you don't mind me asking - what was your degree in and how far through were you when you had them? How did you cope financially?

stucknoue Wed 03-Apr-19 15:02:31

It's always worth calling directly about courses as there's sometimes last minute places, or you could delay a year and get hands on experience

worldsbestprocrastinator Wed 03-Apr-19 15:52:24

I understand the salary aspect, but don't really get why you'd be able to have a baby sooner if you do the post-grad? Surely you'd need to take time out and then add that on at he end? Am I being a bit thick? grin

GregoryPeckingDuck Wed 03-Apr-19 15:53:35

I did an undergrad with two kids. Lots of people I know have had kids while studying. It’s really not a reason to delay.

MeetMeInMontauk Wed 03-Apr-19 16:01:18

What specialism are you looking at, OP? As you know, the applications process is fairly savage and demanding for the STP but, if you are willing to be flexible regarding the pathway that you choose, some placements and disciplines are much less heavily subscribed than others and you will hence improve your batting odds considerably. You can check out the applicants per post ratio for the last few years on the STP website.

HeathRobinson Wed 03-Apr-19 16:22:29

Languages.

I had my first in my first year. Had to defer one of my exams till the autumn as my babysitter on the day was ill.
3rd year for my second. I was pregnant in my year abroad.

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 16:54:25

I understand the salary aspect, but don't really get why you'd be able to have a baby sooner if you do the post-grad? Surely you'd need to take time out and then add that on at he end?

Yes I would but the difference is I'd be getting paid maternity pay which as it's with the NHS, is really good. The undergraduate on the other hand I'd get nothing so we wouldn't be able to afford it.

Thank you @MeetMeInMontauk I didn't know you could check out that. It's actually one of the lower ones which is good to know. I'm not flexible in that respect, I know which I'd like to go into so for me it wouldn't be worth going down one of the other ones.

@GregoryPeckingDuck and @HeathRobinson how on earth do you afford childcare as a student?! I'm also worried I'd end up on placement miles away with a young baby at home sad

GregoryPeckingDuck Wed 03-Apr-19 17:00:08

I had some small saving and DH picked up the rest either doing himself or paying for nurseries etc. We’ve barely managed tbh (2 kids plus paying my fees at increased international level up front). Obviously I’ve misssed out on quite a bit and we’ve used help from family whenever offered. Most people I know who have done this have either had help from parents or they used extra childcare funding from the government (ifyou are a UK citizen you will probably be entitled to this).

GregoryPeckingDuck Wed 03-Apr-19 17:01:56

You also need to remeber that being miles away doesn’t necessarily mean not being at home. My commute to uni was over two hours at one point.

HeathRobinson Wed 03-Apr-19 17:04:17

No tuition fees - I went a long time ago!
I had a mature student element to the money I received. And mine went into the university crèche, so possibly fees were lower than they could have been.

Placements sound a nightmare with a baby.

Have you looked into any bursaries or grants you might be entitled to?

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 17:19:47

You also need to remeber that being miles away doesn’t necessarily mean not being at home. My commute to uni was over two hours at one point

I'm totally fine with a 2 hour commute. I'm talking 4-5 hours away sadly.

I've looked into finances and it sounds like we'd get a bit extra but nowhere near enough to cover full time childcare for a baby.

MeetMeInMontauk Wed 03-Apr-19 17:24:23

Just to add that studying with children is doable, provided that you have a decent support network at home because coursework submission periods and exams basically equals hours tied to the desk. I have in fact been doing the undergrad studies in a very similar field for the past two years, with a weekly day release commute to London which, for me, equals two hours each way. Not sure about squaring it with placements, however. As I understood it, most STP programmes are based out of a single physical location such as a teaching hospital? And, if you are selected, you choose the one that fits you best geographically on a first-come, first-serve basis? It may be different for some specialism, perhaps; I've only looked into the few that I'm considering.

MeetMeInMontauk Wed 03-Apr-19 17:25:42

Sorry, forgot to add the very important detail that I have 2 under-threes myself!

GregoryPeckingDuck Wed 03-Apr-19 17:51:09

Is there any way your DH boost his earnings to save before hand for a year and then afford childcare that way? Or maybe he could do the childcare? What is his company’s paternity leave policy like?

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 17:51:40

As I understood it, most STP programmes are based out of a single physical location such as a teaching hospital?

As far as I can tell yes that is the case. It's the undergraduate placements I'd be worried about, hence being okay ttc on the STP but not the PTP (undergraduate).

I have a decent support network in the sense that DP is really hands on and open to helping a lot during busy study times, sorting out his work schedule as much as feasible to help in terms of limiting his travel during exam periods etc. Very limited family able to help but DP is really good.

Did you have yours whilst studying or were they born prior to you starting? Just wondering how you found the early days, possibly taking time out etc.

Platform975 Wed 03-Apr-19 17:54:33

@GregoryPeckingDuck his company's paternity policy is crap. It's the standard 2 weeks and then shared parental leave but we wouldn't be entitled to that as an undergraduate student. I don't think he could boost his earnings sadly. He regularly does unpaid overtime as he's salaried and sadly the company sees it that you're "paid to do a job not specific hours" whilst regularly piling extra work on.

I don't suppose it helps we're getting married next year which wipes out some of our savings.

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