my daughter hasjust been rejected from oxford she is devasted, should i let her have a gap year and try again, i am at my wits end here. help
Well, first off huge hugs to your DD.
Practically, she has to see this year out. And she has til March for more offers. She will feel differently in a week. When she has other offers, then she needs to decide, as I think if you accept a firm, and then don't go, there might be student finance penalties.
So, your job as mum is to love her to bits, and give her space to see what other offers she gets.
DS's wonderful gf, who had it all going for her, was rejected by Oxford, St Andrews, and Warwick despite straight A*s and glorious statement, etc. It is a lottery. In the end she got offers through Adjustment from York and a shedload of other great places. She is at Sheffield now with DS and loves it.
Gaah, tiny screen on phone. Meant to say almost DIL was in pieces. But after a couple of weeks she got over Oxford. Is was the other 2 that hurt. But it came right in the end.
Gap years look less attractive as all your mates go off to Uni. Unless she has good plans for a gap year, and knows what to do to improve, I would not recommend.
It is too early to make any decisions. I'm assuming she has 4 other applications and she doesn't have to make a choice for a few months. She is probably sitting some modules at the minute and if she concentrates on them she will help her chances of another application. I am in favourite of gap years if they are planned. 6 months working to raise funds and 6 months working in a third world country is life enhancing. I have experience with one of my dcs. Going to uni a year later than their peers was not a disadvantage. the problem with a gap year while reapplying is that you have to be available for interviews etc. All oxford interviews will be in the first half of the year but you need back up universities too. There seem to be lots of students who have reapplied and been accepted but I know of a few who have applied and been rejected again. It is a bit of a lottery. For what it is worth another of my dcs is an Oxbridge reject. she will be disappointed, especially if she is a high flier, for some children this is the first time they have experienced rejection as they are so successful in all areas of their life. she needs extra TLC for a while .
Agree your DD needs to wait and see what her other offers are -- and what the course she want to do is like at those unis. My DD was rejected by Oxford but went to Bristol and now says the course there is so fantastic that she has no regrets.
Also, be aware that if your DD does want to aim for Oxford again next year, the stakes are very high -- DD has a friend at Bristol who tried for Oxford while in 6th form and didn't get an offer, took a gap year just to have another go, but didn't get a place (again) so was even more devastated. If she's really set on Oxford you could try asking the school to request some feedback on her performance at interview etc this time around, to gauge if it's really worth another attempt.
Look my advice is stick at it for next year, everyone has a degree today. The advice, "it's not what you know, it's who you know"! Has never been more true. I went to Oxford and am thriving in a very very well paid job, however my brother went to Nottingham Trent. He studied the same degree and received the same grade as me. However, he had been unemployed for over 2 years! Beware not all uny's are the same!!!! You have been warned.
Venice, on the other hand, we all know quite a lot of grads from other Unis who DO have jobs, and I know a fair few unemploy
able ed Oxbridge grads, too. There are places between Oxford and Nottingham Trent. If she has been rejected once she actually has, I would think, a higher chance of being rejected a second time. The stakes are, as ancient says, very very high - emotionally and otherwise.
The various guides to Universities all publish figures about employment rates. Oxford are high, but not the best, and def not in all subject areas - and who knows how much of that was as a result of who they knew before they went there or independently of where they went? For most grad schemes, there is a drop down box that lists the various RG and similarly high ranking Unis, and "other". You don't want to be in the "other" category, but you don't have to go to Oxford to get a job.
Oxford teaching is also not for all. Some of my ex-students hate it - and I don't know any other students who hate being at Uni!
I applied to Oxford in the upper sixth and didn't get in. Was devastated etc. I worked really hard for my A Levels, got the right grades and applied to Cambridge the following year and got in. Had I not got good grades I would have gone to my second choice (Durham).
I spend the autumn after A levels preparing for interviews at Cambridge (reading v widely). I was also older and better placed to deal with the interview. In the January I went abroad and worked which was great.
I would advise you to let her get over her disappointment and that it is not necessarily the end of the road for Oxbridge. But she really needs to go for it with her A levels. And also, at the end of the day, it is a bit of a lottery.
I do hope your DD knows she is in good company. So many with perfect grades and loads of talent aren't given a place. I found this interesting, even the admissions tutors know it is an imperfect system.
I do think it's a shame that there is such a fixation on Oxbridge... I come from the USA and there seems to be a wider range of top choices (and fees don't seem wildly out of line with the current UK figure). Hope your DD realizes that just to have made it that far in the application process she is one of the most able and talented students in the country. I hope she'll find a 'second choice' uni, who will no dout be delighted to have her, or if she wants to wait a year and try again she may find something interesting to do. Good luck to her xxxxx
None of my DC's have had a gap year but the impression I get is that it is difficult for students who take gap years when all there pals are going off to Uni. However, I have yet to meet a DC who has regretted taking one. In fact, every DC I have known that has taken a gap year has thoroughly enjoyed it and found it beneficial.
The other thing is that I literally don't know a single DC who has regretted going to their Uni. I am sure the other Uni's your DD has applied to are excellent too.
I hope it all turns out ok. It is hard to be rejected.
If your DD does decide to take a gap year, then make sure that she does something productive with it, just as she would if she had always wanted to take a gap year. She should get a full job as soon as she leaves school, to save up and then go travelling later in the year.
Universities do not take kindly to people who take a gap year so that they can laze around and get drunk in their hometown for 14 months.
Reminder her that everyone who gets an interview is academically capable, and getting a place is more like a lottery than an academic judgement.
Don't rush any decisions. Wait and see what other offers she gets. Go and visit those unis (again?). Only accept a place if she is really happy. If she is not, then reapply next year, but to be aware that the odds are the same.
DD got pooled for Cambridge and then picked up by a college that didn't appeal. She wasn't distraught because she had actually been put off by one of the interviewers who of course would have taught her at her chosen college, and is a leading academic in the very area that interests DD most . She certainly didn't feel motivated to go through that again and felt as a Scientist a gap year would make it difficult to be up to speed starting her course. She absolutely loves where she is, is taught by some big names and wouldn't go anywhere else for postgrad, and is so far on for a first. She is already on the inside of her unis connections with one of the best research foundations in her chosen area, with an overseas internship under her belt and potential postgrad sponsorship lined up. She also cannot now imagine having gone to a small city for uni as she so enjoys all the cultural and social opportunities available to her where she is now
even living on a council estate worthy of Shameless She is living with a friend who did get an offer and then didn't manage the A*, who also now thinks it was a good thing.
Tell your daughter it can turn out for the best, there are plenty of good unis out there. A lot of DD's peers did do gap years and unless she can go and have an adventure immediately, which would make it difficult to prepare for an Oxbridge interview, then the six months left at home prior to travelling can be a downer. Only one of DDs peers who didn't get through went for a second attempt and she had been asked to reapply by her college as they wanted to offer but couldn't offer because it wasn't policy to offer to anyone without a clean sweep of As at AS and she had one B (which turned into one of 4 A*s at A2).
Jane - you have my sympathy as DS was rejected by Cambridge this time last year. It took a few weeks for him to get over it tbh, but he was delighted with one of his 4 offers which cheered him up. Its hard when they've usually excelled at so much and tried so hard, to be rejected after all that.
Just love and support and time.
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