Waiting a year to reapply for university - it's a bad idea, right?

(65 Posts)
lidlpony Sat 20-Feb-16 10:41:19

DS has only received 1 offer so far, from his least favourite option. He is gutted he didn't receive an offer from Oxford (he had an interview). He's waiting for Durham, Edinburgh, Reading and UCL. He is now saying that if he doesn't get an offer from Durham he wants to take a year of and 'work or something then travel' and reapply. Durham are very slow I know, so I'm still hoping he'll get an offer and put this idea out of his head.

How on earth could it help to reapply next year? It can't possibly be a positive to have deferred without a place (I'm not talking about a gap year with a place in the bag) and it won't be any less competitive.

Can anyone help me with information on this option? Obviously he's not massively receptive to input from me what with me knowing nothing about anything etc.

OP’s posts: |
senua Sat 20-Feb-16 11:02:05

How on earth could it help to reapply next year?

If he is/was Doxbridge material then he's a bright lad who listens and learns. Don't you think that if he applies again, a year older and a year wiser, then he will make good choices and good applications. Lots of people do it.

I'm with him. But let's hope it doesn't come to that, fingers crossed for the pending offers.smile

lidlpony Sat 20-Feb-16 11:09:31

Senua I sincerely believe that he will not make good choices and that in fact he will hang around the house for a year. He is extremely uncomfortable in social situations with adults, has always refused to get a job and when we are on holiday he does not have the confidence to even buy a drink in a cafe or shop or really even leave our side. If he wanted to go traveling or if he had some job lined up, I wouldn't like it, but I wouldn't say anything. He definitely won't go traveling even though he says he will. He just won't be able to. Plus he has no money and the sort of job he would get wouldn't pay enough to save for a trip of any length at all.

He was given feedback for his Oxford interview and he failed on three out of four counts.

He's predicted 3A*.

Why are these offers as slow as snails!

OP’s posts: |
LadyPeterWimsey Sat 20-Feb-16 11:11:29

I'm assuming he is doing A2s this summer? Lots and lots of people apply after they have their results,and take a gap year, whether or not they have applied previously. It is a very well-trodden route. DS was thinking of doing this if he didn't get the offer he wanted - the advantage is that you have your results and therefore can tailor your application. A little bit of maturity can help in interview and in decision-making too.

LadyPeterWimsey Sat 20-Feb-16 11:13:15

Sounds like a gap year might be a good thing - he would have to get a job, which would build confidence.

willconcern Sat 20-Feb-16 11:16:18

Sorry, but if he lacks confidence to even buy a drink, how will he cope with going to university? I think a year out might be a good thing, to increase his confidence levels. Even if he didn't travel, but did get a job that would help. Could he get a job related to what be wants to study?

lidlpony Sat 20-Feb-16 11:16:40

Is it normal that he hasn't had replies from all but one of his university choices?

If they apply and then take a gap year, does this mean they get the place first?

Thanks, appreciating your knowledge on this.

DS is a 'looked after' child with some issues, I just really want him to have certainty and move ahead with his life. Things have not been easy. I really think a lot of this is motivated by the rejection from Oxford, now nowhere else looks as good. Universities that he wanted to go to and 'not good enough' but I think maybe he only got the interview at oxford because of the 'extenuating circumstances' letter. I really do want the best for him, but the thought of him doing nothing for a year fills me with dread.

OP’s posts: |


lidlpony Sat 20-Feb-16 11:20:01

He can do stuff in the UK and has coped with changing schools etc. What I mean is, he isn't about to pack a rucksack and go off on an adventure. I also doubt that he will feel he has to get a job. He will just stay at home.

I am really worried that he will lose the momentum he has gained over the past few years. He is doing really well and has an offer from a RG university. I really think he should go and I can't see how things will change in the meantime. It would be different if his school had underestimated his grades (they haven't) or if he didn't get his grades and needed to retake.

OP’s posts: |
BoboChic Sat 20-Feb-16 11:20:48

It is quite, quite normal not to have received a reply from Durham, Edinburgh or UCL at this stage in the UCAS process. I have no worthwhile experience of Reading. You and your DS need to be more patient, I'm afraid.

LadyPeterWimsey Sat 20-Feb-16 11:22:09

Isn't it up to you whether he gets a job? If you refuse to support him financially - make him pay board, don't sub him - he will have to fund himself.

lidlpony Sat 20-Feb-16 11:22:37

That's really good to know, thanks Bobochic. smile

OP’s posts: |
LizzieMacQueen Sat 20-Feb-16 11:23:33

I think it's quite common to not have had replies at this stage. Is it not April before all the offers are made? (will ask my daughter when she's up - btw she has had only 2 of her 5 offers)

BoboChic Sat 20-Feb-16 11:25:03

And no one should be knocked back by a rejection from Oxford - it's such a lottery.

You sound concerned but overly panicky, OP, and your anxieties will fuel those of your DS. Take a deep breath and wait for all the universities to reply before planning alternative scenarii.

OurBlanche Sat 20-Feb-16 11:26:24

And you could do a bit of research and find out how to go through Clearing... then you can show him how to make that last minute change, should he have to.

But yes, you need a bit more patience, 31st of March...


BoboChic Sat 20-Feb-16 11:26:30

What subject has DS applied for?

senua Sat 20-Feb-16 11:27:34

The more I hear, the more a year out sounds a good idea. He may have intellectual maturity but it sounds as if he needs to work on his emotional maturity. He doesn't need to set the world alight on his gap year, just do something.

His expectations need managing. My DC didn't get into Oxbridge. They weren't in the running to even apply! They went to 'good enough' places, like most people do. Not everyone can be top dog, not even those with 3A*.

DorynownotFloundering Sat 20-Feb-16 11:32:24

Offers have to be in by May I believe so loads of time yet.

Taking a gap year can be the making of many a student, plenty of time to settle down in a Uni course later, its not the end of the world if he defers, or even decides he doesn't want to go.

I would have a chat about options make it clear it's his choice but it has to be a concious choice with clear plans & goals not just bumming around at home for a year.

What are his hobbies & interests, he needs to build up a life outside home to build his confidence.

OurBlanche Sat 20-Feb-16 11:36:51

Sorry, meant to add YES:- if he wants to defer for a year, he has to wait and receive the offer first smile

Mumsieof2 Sat 20-Feb-16 13:29:19

I guess I have a similar DD version of your DS. There's kind of a mismatch with intellectual intelligence and the social and interpersonal skills, getting on and connecting with the outside world. I don't think in our case gap year would have made a difference as she would always have us to help her out one way or another.
She did however go to a uni far away, where she couldn't come home at weekends, she's nearly 4 hours away by train, best thing ever I would say. We made the decision of just letting her go and do everything herself and not helping with the practical stuff or organising anything , forcing her to do things herself and communicate with others. But we was always there for mental guidance and support.
I can honestly say it's been the best way for us to get DD to be confident with others and adapting to new surroundings. It's been 5 months and the change in her has been remarkable. She had a very shaky start, finding the course hard, plucked up the courage to ask for help and support at uni, there's lots, just need to find it themselves. But in herself, I no longer worry if she can get on with others, find a job because of her personality. It was more the confidence that was the barrier.

DeoGratias Sat 20-Feb-16 16:06:52

Most people who apply to Oxbridge don't get in so presumably he knew chances were he would not and so his second choices would be fine. I thinkk it all depends on the child. I was happy my 3rd went through clearing as I didn't think a year off would make him work harder, keep him focussed and get him improved results if resits were done and for him that was the right choice but it depends on the child.

I am the only one of my siblings who did not try for and did not get into Oxbridge. I went to university at 17 and I was more than happy where I went and did extremely well indeed.

shockthemonkey Sat 20-Feb-16 16:07:39

Hi lidl, I would definitely advise a gap year if your son is too timid to get himself a drink in a cafe -- how on earth will he survive at uni?

Sounds as if he has had a tough time of things (and you too, probably) and I am sure a year out will do him a world of good. If you plan it well and start with small projects, then move on to something abroad, that may well work.

He would gain in emotional maturity... Re-applying with achieved A levels (as opposed to predictions) plus some extra material for his PS (from his gap year activities) would stand him in good stead.

Edinburgh are VERY slow, but my charges have just recently finished hearing from Durham and UCL. Don't know your subject, that may have a bearing. If he gets an offer from any of those three then of course he could take the sink-or-swim approach that seems to have worked for Mumsie's dd, or ask to defer.

My guess is that you should be hearing very soon from Durham and UCL. Edinburgh works to their own rhythm (as does St Andrew's, it would seem).

Best of luck and try not to stress!

shockthemonkey Sat 20-Feb-16 16:13:29

PS: of course you know nothing about anything. I am completely clueless myself, so my sons have very wisely not let me anywhere near their university applications, for fear of me tainting their thinking with my outdated/delusional ideas (I work as a university counsellor).

BeeppityBeep Sat 20-Feb-16 16:57:49

That's great to hear you did really well DeoGratis Not sure why it's relevant to the thread but always good for you to remind us wink

OP, as everyone has said you need to wait and see what happens with the offers. You have to wonder why it takes some universities quite so long to reply. It's a your DS feels so dissapointed about not getting an Oxford offer but hopefully, by the time he has got some other offers and has attended some offer days he will have put it behind him.

If he does end up taking a year out would it really be that bad to do a low level job for a year?

dontrunwithscissors Sat 20-Feb-16 17:33:03

He needs time out before uni to sort his confidence issues out. You'll be doing him no favours in holding his hand. Let him do as he wishes & figure his own life out. We're getting students coming through who just can't cope with the independence needed at uni. It's particularly problematic when studying the humanities because they come in wanting to be spoon fed, which is exactly what we can't and won't do. When I was applying to uni, parents kept their nose out of where people applied. You went to open days on your own and anyone that turned up with their parents were viewed as weird. Now there are more students than applicants at open days. We deliberately separate the applicants from their parents to try to get the applicants to say something.

bojorojo Sat 20-Feb-16 17:46:35

If this young man cannot ask for a cup of coffee, realistically how will he even get a mundane job? Who has been getting his coffee for him all these years? I think a gap year volunteering might be a better idea. He clearly needs to learn how to express himself and get more motivated to join the real world. Volunteers are treated a bit more leniently but learn a lot. However, I think there is still loads of time for offers to come in. If he does wait a year, there is the advantage of rewriting the ps!

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