Taking a break in second year but also doing post 16-19 course?

(11 Posts)
pastaofplenty Tue 10-May-16 21:47:01

This is a bit of a tricky one and I don't think it is possible or particularly the best idea but asking on behalf of DD.

She is nearing the end of first year at university - loves the student life, new friends and the city she's at but is really not inspired by her course. She has looked into other courses but again there is nothing that floats her boat.

DH and I have said we'll support her in whatever she wants to do.

At the moment she's torn between continuing with another two years and getting a good degree from RG university - it's not a vocational degree but is recognised as a foundation to most things (arts and humanities). She then thinks she'll like to do something creative - she has two passions really which are music and art. Neither of which she wanted to pursue when she applied to UCAS.

However, because she started university a year earlier she would still be technically eligible to do a one-year diploma in something that she is passionate about. She can either do that before she is 19 or after she graduates. It is free before reaches 19.

She is trying to find out whether she could take a gap year from university to do this one year course (for free) and then go back into second year.

I don't know the logistics as she has a student loan and tuition fee loan - so would the one year course be financed? I doubt it would but thought I'd ask if anyone had any similar experiences of dropping out of uni (or taking a year out) and then doing something for a year.

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Mindgone Wed 11-May-16 00:03:37

Sorry, am no help with specifics, but my friend's DD hated her course all the way through, she kept hoping she would find it more interesting. But she stuck with it, and graduated with a law degree from a RG uni, and has a very well paid and completely unrelated job.

pastaofplenty Wed 11-May-16 06:04:18

Thanks Mindgone - to be honest we're inclined to advise her to stick with it as everyone I know who went to uni (myself included) needed to do something else after their first degree and like your friend's DD it wasn't related to what they did at uni. Yet I don't want her to waste two further years and be bored out of her tree!

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Decorhate Wed 11-May-16 06:17:21

I became disillusioned with my course in 2nd year. But stuck with it. Partly because I wasn't really sure what I'd do instead and partly because of the finances. I did think of switching to art school but couldn't see how I would make a living easily afterwards. This was during a recession so was really conscious of employability. My degree was very vocational but I haven't worked in that area apart from first two years after graduation. But it has been a useful stepping stone.

And I absolutely loved my time at uni. In some ways the degree course was irrelevant to me. But it was a different time and I graduated debt-free.

pastaofplenty Wed 11-May-16 06:37:28

Thanks Decorhate - I know it was so much easier without the massive debt issue hanging over you. I think we forget how lucky we were.

This is what makes it so hard for DD - she absolutely loves the city, has made great friends, has a house lined up for next year and is thriving socially (member of various societies etc)

She's even doing well on her course (firsts and 2:1s in essays) - she just doesn't feel anything for the course and can't see an alternative at this uni. She's like you - the degree subject is irrelevant - she is just very mindful that she is paying (will be paying) money for something that she is all a bit "meh" about.

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Decorhate Wed 11-May-16 17:32:44

Are you able to say what subject it is? Might help as people who have done it might be able to give ideas for different paths after.

Tbh if it's a three year degree it will be over like a flash. I'd encourage her to stick with it but maybe explore other things as hobbies if she has time. She might find something that way that she really loves.

pastaofplenty Wed 11-May-16 19:37:20

Decorhate - she's doing philosophy.

This will probably out me but she's spent her formative years in France (hence starting uni one year early). She's bilingual (French/English) but has very much been immersed in the French system.

She is very academic and has done well in "standard subjects" - she loves music and art (music more) but that has never been pushed academically at lycée (sixth form) - so I think now she's thinking "what else could I do?"

She has joined and totally got involved with extra-curricula stuff - music, writing, art etc .. which is wonderful. I'm inclined to say stick with the philosophy and explore everything else .

Her lycée years (three) were also over in a flash and I think she agrees that a degree is just "another" stepping stone - but I imagine the fact that she has to think of the money aspect is what is focussing her mind at the moment.

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Decorhate Thu 12-May-16 06:09:13

Hopefully she will have new lecturers next year who may be more inspiring. I don't think it's a bad subject to start with and it shouldn't have so many contact hours that she can't continue to explore other interests.

I was 17 starting uni (was norm where I grew up) and had no idea about what career I wanted. Still don't tbh!

A friend did his first degree in a humanities subject but has built a career in the construction industry, also did a masters in Philosophy part time just for fun, while working in his first job.

Decorhate Thu 12-May-16 06:16:48

Maybe another way of thinking about it is this - employers now often require degrees for jobs that don't really warrant them - the sort of entry level jobs that you could get after A levels back in the dark ages. So it's going to benefit her regardless of what path she takes. She is enjoying the uni experience in general, which is great. She would have that debt regardless of what subject she had chosen. Maybe think of it as akin to the US system where it is very common to do a general Liberal Arts degree initially.

wannabestressfree Thu 12-May-16 06:20:10

Is there something she could do alongside? For example if you were at university of Kent there is uca in Canterbury that do lots of evening and short art courses....

pastaofplenty Thu 12-May-16 07:57:06

Thanks both - yep contact hours are minimal!

Funnily enough she is looking at exploring night classes to see what else she could do. She did consider Liberal Arts and I think wishes she had followed through with it - though she was put off by the fact it's still pretty unknown still(in UK).

I think by the time she decides (she's known to prevaricate!) then the three years will be up smile

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