A bit of mess. Advice needed please.

(35 Posts)
IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 11:51:10

DD is 18 next month. She has always been hard-working at school. She got good GCSE results. She went to college to study A levels. AS levels were good. She is now approaching her A2 exams.

She got very stressed during GCSEs - to the extent of being unable to sleep and crying in the mornings about having to go into school. We tried herbal remedies and I taught her breathing techniques to help with stress. She got through it and as I said, did well.

Throughout the first year at college she got more and more low in mood - she had less energy and less motivation. She started to see a counsellor at college for CBT once a week who has been very supportive but she was still struggling, She went to see her GP who diagnosed with her depression and contacted CAHMS. I think we were luckier than some as we got a response quite quickly and today she is picking up her prescription.

Problem is that she is now only a month or so from her exams and for the last few months she has been unable to function normally let alone work. Obviously her A level results are not going to as good as she expected. She has made two big mistakes in her uni applications that could have screwed everything up which is simply not like her at all.

She has been told she won't be able to retake as A levels have changed and she would have to redo the entire two years and she won't get funding. I don't know whether us paying would be feasible - assuming we could afford it.

She has an interview on 28th April - hoping the medication will have kicked in by then and she will be a bit more switched on - then she just has to do her best with her exams... and hope for the best.

Does anyone have any advice please?

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IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 12:31:43

Anyone got any suggestions please? Perhaps I should post in MH.

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Gannet123 Wed 29-Mar-17 12:35:43

First and foremost, she should contact the universities to whom she has applied. They will all have different processes for dealing with mitigating circumstances, but you should be prepared to provide medical notes etc. Certainly contact them to correct the mistakes on the UCAS form (this happens all the time). You're not clear if she has offers yet, but if not they can consider her circumstances in deciding whether to give her an offer, and they can also consider them in deciding what to do if she doesn't meet the terms of her offer.
It's absolutely essential that she communicates with the universities. We are human, we understand and we deal with similar cases day in day out, not only during the admissions process but also during a student's course of study.

IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 13:03:43

Thanks Gannet

There was no mistakes on the application as such.

1. She sent the electronic copies of her work experience to the wrong place. They rejected her and when she found out the reason she emailed it to the right place with a lot of apologies and begging. They then gave her an interview.
2. We drove a 400 mile round trip for an interview on Monday only to find it was actually today. I have no more leave to take so she will miss out.

No offers as yet only interviews.

If she contacts the universities directly at this point might they not be put off making an offer in the first place?

There are only 3 universities that offer this course and there are only about 20 places on each course.

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thesandwich Wed 29-Mar-17 13:07:29

She can also defer many courses to give her a chance to recover or reapply when she has grades with back up info.
It is not all or nothing now- she probably feels that but her mental health is crucial and she could perhaps be better off going to uni in a few years or take a different path.
Meds should kick in but how she feels is crucial. Good luck.

Gannet123 Wed 29-Mar-17 13:10:51

If a university is putting off making an offer to her because of documented mental health problems, then she shouldn't be touching them with a barge pole because they won't be offering her any support while she is there - and it sounds as though she may need ongoing support. She may also be covered by the Equality Act, so there are legal obligations there. I cannot speak for all universities all the time, but no institution worth its salt would fail to take into consideration mental health difficulties, particularly if they interview.
I don't want to be dismissive of your individual experience, but what your daughter is experiencing is horribly common, and universities will have processes for dealing with it. Please encourage her to contact them asp and they will tell herwhat they are able to do.

thesandwich Wed 29-Mar-17 13:11:22

Cross posted. You must both be so stressed. Have you tried contacting the uni re mix up interview? She must be a strong candidate to get interviews on such a small course. Well done her! Have you looked at entry requirements re reapplying/ deferring? Every place can be different. brew good luck


Gannet123 Wed 29-Mar-17 13:11:35

'put off' not 'putting off' - sorry!

IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 13:16:55

Thanks thesandwich. TBH she would really like to throw it all up and walk away now without taking the exams and then try next year but if she does that I think she will have to restart the whole 2 years again. I have told her that she has our support whatever she chooses to do but it's so hard to watch her struggle to do her best or just give it all up and accept she won't get to do what she has planned for 6 years or so.

What she desperately hopes to do seems to be totally at odds with what she can do - and the changes to the A level regime just seems to be making things worse.

I am a chronic depressive so I do know how she is feeling atm. In fact it adds to my guilt that I didn't see this earlier - she was always the easy child that I never had to worry about. Boy did I fuck up there.

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IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 13:21:18

Gannet - that is great, thanks. I will suggest she contact them asap. You make a good point as I don't doubt she will need support - she is already worried about being away from home.

sandwich - yes, I agree, she must be a strong candidate - she has had to fit in many hours of work experience alongside her studies - everything she did she did independently (with as much support as she asked for from us). She is a total star and I am so proud of her.

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catslife Wed 29-Mar-17 13:33:50

She has been told she won't be able to retake as A levels have changed and she would have to redo the entire two years and she won't get funding.
I don't think that resit arrangements for the new linear A levels have been finalised yet, but I think it should be possible to retake the exams in 2018. If she is taking any subjects that aren't linear then there will be an opportunity to resit those next June as well, but the sixth form would be teaching the new courses so may not be able to support her.

IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 13:38:20

Thanks catslife - I have been trying to find out exactly what the arrangments were in case she needed to retake. It seems likely that two out of the three would be OK as long as the university takes into account her current situation but the third would almost certainly need to be retaken.

She is meeting with head of A levels at the college soon - maybe he can advise her further but his initial response was fairly negative. I offered to speak to him for her but she asked me not to.

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thesandwich Wed 29-Mar-17 14:00:00

You could help her list the questions she wants to ask with input from some wise mnetters.

bojorojo Wed 29-Mar-17 14:49:19

I actually feel there is a problem with her leaving home in September to go to university if she is already worried about it. Can she defer a year? Also to help her, can you not take a day's unpaid leave? Not going to the interview after all this stress is hardly helpful in the circumstances! Or can a friend help out or a grandparent?

IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 15:16:22

Too late for the leave as it was today. Not to mention I had to hire a car and can't really afford it again. And it was exhausting! For both of us.

My parents are too old to drive that far and my MIL does not drive. DH is a teacher so can't take leave.

I think missing her interview is the least of her worries - she was quite relieved after she got over the shock.

Deferring is the ideal solution but it seems to be dependent on the university and whether she has to/can retake and when.

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IrianOfW Wed 29-Mar-17 15:17:17

I agree with you re leaving home. She has always been a home bird and got homesick - I just thought it was something that would pass in time.

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Ocies Wed 29-Mar-17 15:54:35

It sounds like your dd has had a rough time lately. My dd suffered with anxiety throughout her A levels so I understand how difficult it can be.

My dd (also a home bird) has taken a gap year and it has transformed her - would this be an option for your dd? Could she just abandon the UCAS application for now and concentrate on her exams. There is still plenty of time to get revision done. Then she could start again with her university application with the advantage of knowing her grades so that pressure would be off. My dd has worked, travelled, indulged in her hobby, passed her driving test and generally grown up and matured and feels much more ready to tackle university and living away from home.

northerngirl71 Wed 29-Mar-17 18:17:50

I may have got this info wrong but in my area lots of 18 year olds seem to be deferring a year at the moment and taking extra courses which can be taken up to 19 for free in the local colleges . E.g. One girl did well in A levels but wanted to do a writing diploma so is doing that and another girl who was suffering from depression during the last year of A levels didn't get the grades she needed and ended up doing an extra year Diploma in her chosen subject and has now been accepted at her Uni of choice . Can you and she look into other courses that may be free that the unis would accept ?

GRW Wed 29-Mar-17 18:19:09

My DD got lower A level grades than she needed for her first choice university course last summer, but was accepted with a foundation year first. It means paying for an extra year of tuition and living costs, but she is really happy and doing well academically now. Your DD could consider that. Being nearer to home might be best for her if she is prone to depression. My DD is at University of Sussex which does offer foundation years for many of their courses.

Waitingforsherlock Wed 29-Mar-17 18:41:23

Do you think the prospect of going away is part of the problem? My dc was paralysed by indecision and unwell too at the time of UCAS application, AS and A level exams. The gap year he has taken has given him some breathing space and rather than being unsure last year he is raring to go in September. If your dd needs treatment it may be better for her to be at home perhaps? Completely taking the pressure off herself and not taking her A Levels may be the right thing to do maybe?

Stopyourhavering Wed 29-Mar-17 19:24:05

I would be worrying how she would cope moving away from home in September as well....she does seem to be struggling - what's the course she wants to do?.... could she go to a FE college and do a BTEC instead of A levels as an entry requirement?

IrianOfW Thu 30-Mar-17 10:14:21

Thanks everyone.

stop - she wants to do vet physio.

I am worried about her moving away - so is she.

I have decided to leave it until she has spoken to the A level head and take it from there. I can't impose on her - she just shuts down if she feels she is being pushed - but I am not prepared to leave her to flounder if she needs help.

She took her first ADs last night. Hopng things will start to improve soon although I know it may be a few weeks.

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SlinkyTink Thu 30-Mar-17 22:27:46

One of my DC was really nervous throughout her Alevels and I wondered how she would cope at Uni however once she got her A level results her stress dissapeared and she went off to Uni happy as Larry. It was 'just' the stress of her A levels that were making her extremely stressed. I think it's not worth making any definite plans about what is right for her just yet, I think you need to see how things go.

Are there any foundation years that she could do at the Unis she applied to. My DD felt happier knowing what all her options were. She had a back up plan and a back-up back-up plan 😂 I didn't think she needed them but she felt better knowing what they were.

SlinkyTink Thu 30-Mar-17 22:28:58

BTW Could she do a Skype interview tomorrow? Or have you already cancelled.

bojorojo Thu 30-Mar-17 23:21:06

Can she not get a job that is animal related for a year and apply for 2019? Did she do work experience with an animal physio? It would build up her confidence and be relevant.

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