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Feeling emotional(18 Posts)
My son has just gained a place at university through clearing - I wasn't expecting him to go till next year as he has only taken 2 a levels this time but he tried the uni he wanted to go to and has been accepted.
I'm in shock and feel totally unprepared. I want to help but don't know where to start.
First of all well done to your son - and of course you for supporting him to be there
It is all a bit of a shock at first. My DD gained her place through clearing last year after the initial devastation of not getting the grades she needed. It was with a completely different uni who approached her through the clearing service on UCAS which we had thankfully registered for! My mind was in a whirl for days but we muddled through and a year down the line she's doing fine and all ready for year 2.
So - ask away with anything you want to know and I'll help in any way I can
Oh that must be strange, it is strange enough here and my ds's plan is the same as it has been for a few months, I still keep welling up at the idea of him going (he knows to laugh at me though).
Sounds like you are doing a great job supporting your ds though.
Get accommodation and student loan sorted asap.
Thanks for your replies: a couple of questions
I have saved money for him to go to uni but some people are saying not to use it and apply for finance ...what do you think?
The uni is not far from home approx 18 miles . To stay in uni accommodation or not. I feel he should for first year to help him fit in socially but am I wasting money??
What things are essentials for uni...both academic and living wise?
I might have more questions as time goes on. I'm in a whirlwind thinking what needs to be organised and we go on hols next Saturday aaargh!
Thank you to those who've offered advice and support
Finances are a difficult one. Both mine needed to take out student finance but it does make me feel a bit weak when I see the amount of debt they accrued. On a positive note the application process was very straightforward and well explained throughout. Payments correct and on time etc.
Regarding what they need...nowhere near as much as you think! Although it depends on what type of accomodation they stay in as to what is provided etc.
I agree with titchy, your decision over accommodation and finance is the most important, everything else flows from that. Both mine stayed in halls, it is a rip-off though but agree it helps socially. Tricky decision for you, mine were both so far away it wasn't an option.
Do you know what sort of halls are available at this stage? Accommodation choices may be more limited depending on where he's going. 18m is quite far when you consider wanting to make friends, and I assume that he'd need to drive there and back? Unless trains are reliable and frequent enough?
Acadmeically, a good laptop is pretty much all he'll need in a hurry. For book lists, he may buy second hand from older students or borrow from library.
You can always apply for finance now, and either choose not to take it, or take it and pay it back early. It's probably worth having it there though. Wonderful that you've been able to save up to cover that.
Yes to taking the finance! This will explain why http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes it really acts more like an extra tax than a true loan. Your savings will be better to top up the finance or if possible to help with buying a house later.
I would say yes to living in at least for the first year. It's easy to meet people and get involved. And living away from home is a big part of the experience.
I would say yes.apply rot finance.
Also yes to going into halls. It will help him her into uni life.
Thank you for your replies....it's been a bit of a busy time. We've been a little bit lucky as one of his friends is also going to same University and has done some of the ground work already ...knows which accommodation is nearest and the best so we've been able to sort that this morning although I'm glad I also chatted online to someone from the accommodation unit as I nearly put him in a flat/unit group with 5 foreign female students who'd booked as a group....Ha ha that could have been interesting.
He's now nearer his friends flat/unit and with a mix of male and female and different year group students and diff subjects.
As regards finance I'm going to apply ....that's next on the list!
Thank you for your advice it's been useful.
Any further advice on anything I've not thought of or need to think about is more than welcome.
Congratulations to him and great answers here, but please make sure he's doing most of this himself - especially the student finance. He'll need and appreciate your help but try to be the back up rather than doing it all yourself. Good luck!
Congrats to him! Seeing as he's so close, don't buy loads of stuff until he's actually moved in and you can see what he needs - some halls kitchens are better equipped than others.
Has he looked at student bank accounts yet?
No not yet Atia but will have a look at what's on offer....or get him to as Zizza has suggested. I am quite an organised person and he's not so it's tempting to take over to make sure everything is sorted properly but I have made him sit with me and do accommodation and student finance so I could oversee. I couldn't bear for it not to be right as the timescales for sorting errors is not there.
Thank you all for your support it's much appreciated.
I know exactly how you feel - it's frustrating watching from the sidelines but you learn the skill of instructing but letting them to the actual work lol. Have a look at the website The Student Room - they've got loads of info like shopping lists and I'm sure there's been discussions about it on here before (my youngest had just finished uni so I'm thinking back 3 years ago now)
Been with him to look around the uni today and the accommodation. He's really excited now and I'm not surprised ...the accommodation is amazing. I'd be more than happy to live there. Lovely room and the facilities I couldn't believe. 24 hr gym, 22 seat cinema, electronic games room and TV booths. It's 5 mins walk from the uni... he won't want to come home😢
Seriously tho I'm pleased for him and feel happier now I know where he'll be. Just need to get stuff he needs.
He's sharing a kitchen, living area with 5 others altho don't know who they are. There is a fridge freezer, cooker and microwave but no kettle or toaster. It'd be pointless for everyone to take these but how do you arrange who takes what? Any experience of this anyone?
Don't buy stuff like kettle , toaster, in advance. Someone might bring. If not, they can have a whip round.
I wouldn't buy that either until there. My older 3 have graduated but my twins are about to go so it's topical for us too and some of their friends have got places in clearing. Mine got their expected places so no surprises. Also I did not buy mine new stufff! I have in my cupboard an old second hand kettle their sister gave us for spares. Mine have always gone off with the family's old chipped plates, ancient duvets etc. You don't need to spend a fortune just because silly other parents have money to burn in my view..... (and we are the rare ones who don't apply for any student finance... actually that may be why I am sending them off with the family's old bedding)
Glad you've been able to go and look round, makes it real and helps you get your head round the practicalities.