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Ds 17 hasn't a clue what he wants to do re the future/ do I support him?

(54 Posts)
ssd Mon 27-Jul-15 10:29:55

he's a bright boy but he needs to work for it, like a lot of youngsters

he's in a great school, I'm sure they are helping but when I go to the parents nights its all careers in medicine etc, which isnt for him

I just dont know how to advise him, he wants to go to uni in a year but doesnt know what to do, he has no particular leanings towards anything

any advice would be appreciated!

Pagwatch Mon 27-Jul-15 10:35:43

If he doesn't know where he wants to end up (as ds1 didn't) I would encourage him to follow his interest.

Ds1 decided to do English as he loved it and was extremely good at it.
University gave him an introduction to the career he wanted and his degree gave him the qualification to Perdue it. He now has a job in a field he is passionate about.

If he doesn't know where he is headed he should follow his interest imho.

Pagwatch Mon 27-Jul-15 10:37:55

Sorry I've just realised I interpreted 'no particular leaning' as no particular stand out area in terms of results.
Do you mean he likes a lot of subjects equally?

senua Mon 27-Jul-15 10:39:46

he wants to go to uni in a year

Why, what's the hurry? Could he take a year out to take stock; do some temping / travelling / volunteering to find that 'interest'.
What A Levels is he doing.

ssd Mon 27-Jul-15 10:40:21

I think his favourite subject is modern studies though he is taking accounting this year too

his subjects just seem to be really diverse..

twentyten Mon 27-Jul-15 10:41:43

There are lots of on line personality type questionnaires to help him narrow down what skills he enjoys using- working with people/ numbers/ planning etc which might help.
Doing a degree in subject he enjoys and has a flair for at a decent uni coupled with work experience will be useful. Many start down the medicine/ law route and end up somewhere completely different!! What is he studying now?

ssd Mon 27-Jul-15 10:43:32

he has done English/Maths/PE/Business management/Modern Studies at higher level (but below A level I think), awaiting results

another question, I thought they had to go to uni after school, if they dont and start work, or an apprenticeship can they still go to uni if they change their minds? and what about if they dont get the results for uni, what do they do then?

ImperialBlether Mon 27-Jul-15 10:45:32

There are some fantastic courses out there. It might be that he will see something he just hadn't thought of before.

Just an example, the University of East Anglia offers a degree in American Studies - you can study literature, history, politics, art, sociology... One of my students took that course and absolutely loved it - said it was an incredible education and he got a year in America, too.

Prior to choosing the course, he'd been thinking of single subject degrees but nothing had interested him enough to take up a full degree in it.

ImperialBlether Mon 27-Jul-15 10:47:38

They can apply and go immediately after A levels, or they can apply and defer their entry for a year, so they have a gap year. Or they can not apply until they're actually on the gap year (bit difficult if they need help with the UCAS personal statement etc) and then take the gap year and see what interests them.

ImperialBlether Mon 27-Jul-15 10:48:29

You're in Scotland? Is he definitely going to look at only Scottish universities?

Destinysdaughter Mon 27-Jul-15 10:49:27

University is so expensive these days I'd really encourage him to take a year out, get some life experience, work experience, just get to know who he is as a person, what his strengths, skills, likes are. It's so young to make such a big decision and then if he did decide to go to Uni hopefully he'd have a clearer idea of what he wanted to do and make the most of it. It's so easy just to drift into going to Uni as it's what's expected these days, but there are other ways of getting an education.

senua Mon 27-Jul-15 10:51:58

I thought they had to go to uni after school

Definitely not! In England you only get funding for one degree so it's a case of "do it once and do it right" and "if in doubt, delay". I don't know the rules in Scotland but I'm guessing that they won't fund numerous degrees these days either.
Has he thought of sociology, social policy, politics (inc international politics), anthropology, criminology, accountancy, business, ...

senua Mon 27-Jul-15 10:55:28

and sports type things - adventure tourism, sports journalism, leisure management, events management

Bakeoffcake Mon 27-Jul-15 10:55:42

If he enjoys Modern Studies would he be interested in studying something like Social Policy, politics, international realations?

I agree with Pag, encourage him to study something he loves. Both my dds have done this.

pinkje Mon 27-Jul-15 10:56:03

Results are out next week; why not see how he feels then.

I would look at a few local university Open days, they are all coming up in September, and offer to go with him.

He's not alone I'm sure of that.

RattleAndRoll Mon 27-Jul-15 10:58:46

I still don't know what I want to do and I'm 25!

titchy Mon 27-Jul-15 11:04:25

Good god of course he doesn't have to go straight from school! He could take ten years out and go then if he wanted. There are plenty of older students at university you know!

ssd Mon 27-Jul-15 11:07:32

you dont need to be so sarcastic titchy, both dh and I didnt go to uni and have no idea what is involved

ssd Mon 27-Jul-15 11:11:48

and because of that we're both really ignorant of the job world out there, we've both been in the same job umpteen years and have no idea what sociology, social policy, politics (inc international politics), anthropology, criminology, accountancy, business, adventure tourism, sports journalism, leisure management, events management is!

although they all sound really interesting to me

who tells them about this stuff?

at his school, the headmaster told the parents they have a career coach and only one pupil from ds's year has visited the coach and that was only because his mother made the appointment <sigh>

I'd love to be able to sit down with ds and have a relevant discussion about this but I'm completely out my depth.

Pagwatch Mon 27-Jul-15 11:15:20

My son got hold of course details and read a lot about what courses entailed to help him narrow down his choices. He went to open days and attended talks etc too.

You have to be really interested in something to study it for several yea.
The other option is to take a year out and do some work, see if he gets more of an idea of what interests him.

senua Mon 27-Jul-15 11:15:27

Go to a University website. For example, here is Edinburgh. click on the bit called 'colleges and schools' and you will see that Universities are organised into sub-units. He can then get an idea by process of elimination. Obviously medicine & vet is out. Chemistry is out. etc etc. See what is left and see what fires his imagination.

Also you can go to the UCAS course search. If you type in one subject, it helpfully suggests similar, allied subjects.

senua Mon 27-Jul-15 11:17:09

who tells them about this stuff?

MN, of course!grin

Pagwatch Mon 27-Jul-15 11:18:47


Ssd - I was the same. I hadn't been to uni and didn't understand the process.
I think you have to be clear where the line is though in terms of support. You can't research this for him, do it for him. If he's stuck he has to go looking for something.
You can only support him in terms of sympathising and encouraging him to drill down on what he should look at in more detail.

pinkje Mon 27-Jul-15 11:19:58

What are his friends like, are they similarly indecisive?

My daughter is the same but she's decided to wait to see what her results are and make a decision from there.

I understand why people say study a subject you are comfortable with and are good at but it makes sense to have an idea of what careers they lead to.

It sounds like business/accountancy/economics might be his thing.

ssd Mon 27-Jul-15 11:20:41


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