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How many hours work is reasonable to expect...

(33 Posts)
noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 19-Sep-17 23:23:20

A history undergraduate to do during term time? Ds is retaking his second year having fucked up last year for various reasons. We had been paying his rent and he was living off his loan but we told him we couldn't afford to fund an extra year so we're giving him a little bit more than he had last year, but spread over two years.

He's signed up for a very lovely but very expensive studio flat in private halls which is costing more than his loan and money we can give him combined.

Despite me pointing out that he would need to get a job over the summer if he wanted to eat next year, he sat on his arse for two months, only finally pulling his finger out for the last four weeks of the holiday when to be fair he found a job and worked hard at it.

He's now trying to make me feel bad about not giving him more money, which I can't afford at the moment. I've told him I'll pay for his sports club when I get paid next week but that's all I can do.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect him to work a few hours a week during term time and pretty much full time at Christmas. We were clear that if he wanted to retake the year then he'd need to take some of the financial consequences but he's now flouncing back to uni leaving a horrible atmosphere behind him sad

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Sep-17 23:30:15

He's an adult who has made the choice to live beyond his means and is trying to make you pay for it? Tell him it's a lesson he needs to learn and that standing on his own two feet will benefit him in the long term.

Butterymuffin Tue 19-Sep-17 23:31:56

He's not helping himself here. Why does he expect you to go short to fund his lifestyle rather than make sacrifices himself? Just repeat that you can't afford more. He won't have five solid days of classes in history.

I would be concerned about what happens when he can't pay the rent on this expensive place. Are you guarantors for that?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 19-Sep-17 23:34:18

I did a job share (1/2 full time) and a degree and got a 2:1. And it was a BSc not a BA. He needs to learn basic economics. You want it; you pay for it.

RenaissanceBunny Tue 19-Sep-17 23:35:36

Generally we recommend that undergrads don't work at a job for more than 20 hrs a week. As your son is retaking I think 20hrs wouldn't be too much. Especially as he has chosen to live somewhere expensive against your advice. If possible avoid bar work as it tends to finish late and makes 9 am lectures hard. But cafes, shops, etc will be fine.

A uni teacher

feelingblue123 Tue 19-Sep-17 23:35:43

I did a business degree 2004 - 2007. I worked 16hrs a week during term time and two jobs one FT plus bar work during holidays. I did this 1st and 2nd year then in Y3 did just uni work. I got a first.

BackforGood Tue 19-Sep-17 23:38:47

ds has just finished his History degree. I think 9 hours was the most contact time in any semester. Even if you actually did twice as much study as contact time, that still only takes you to 27 hours over a week. He has MASSES of time to work, study, and socialise if he could afford it.
He needs to learn he can't be part of a sports club if he isn't working and is living in expensive accommodation.
I wouldn't see ds go hungry, but i'm damned sure I wouldn't be paying for clubs for him.

Plumpcious Tue 19-Sep-17 23:56:01

My university recommended a maximum of 20 hours employment per week. So yes, he can work a few hours a week.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 20-Sep-17 00:12:45

I'd tell him that his financial woes are a result of his choice of expensive accommodation, and that he could relieve these by putting his name on the waiting list for a cheaper room and getting a part time job. That way he ought not to need to work too many hours.

noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 20-Sep-17 08:04:56

Thanks - I knew I wasn't BU but despite having already told him everything you've all said he's still seething with unfathomable resentment. I've got a horrible feeling he's going to fuck it all up again, end up with no degree and in thousands of pounds worth of debt and somehow he'll spin it to himself as being all my fault. I wish he'd bloody well grow up.

AccrualIntentions Wed 20-Sep-17 08:07:43

I did 15 hours a week during my history degree. History is generally a subject with little contact time (though a lot of independent study) and it was absolutely doable, just meant one or two less nights out a week.

I quit one of the jobs when my exams in 3rd year were approaching so only did 6 hours a week over that period.

ssd Wed 20-Sep-17 08:11:52

he sounds bloody hard work, you have my sympathy

where does he get his sense of entitlement?

BobbinThreadbare123 Wed 20-Sep-17 08:12:45

I agree with everyone else here. I did a physics degree so contact time was really full on (25-30 hr per week) and still worked, sometimes only 4 hours a week, sometimes 20. I got a 1st and had plenty of fun at uni too.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 20-Sep-17 15:25:19

Failing is healthy. In the real world when you bugger things up you fail. And hopefully you learn from that.

Are you a guarantor on the place?

Unihorn Wed 20-Sep-17 15:27:45

I had 12 hours of lectures a week and worked 20-30 hours a week.

lizzieoak Wed 20-Sep-17 15:28:28

I went to uni late so was used to working. I did a BA and worked anywhere from 12-20 hours a week.

noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 20-Sep-17 16:49:04

Unfortunately yes I am a guarantor for his rent ... he has always been hard work, had a statement all through school and is currently on medication for anxiety and OCD but I don't know why he feels so entitled.. his younger sister is much better at organising herself and making herself useful and earned more working at the stables all summer than her big, supposedly adult, brother hmm

ssd Thu 21-Sep-17 08:00:30

but didn't you have to agree to be a guarantor for this particular flat before he signed up for it?

If you gave him permission to get any flat and you'd be a guarantor you cant blame him for taking out this one

am confused?

TheHamptons Thu 21-Sep-17 08:05:29

I did social sciences degree. I did bar and waitressing work whikst at uni and two jobs at home in the holidays (went to a uni with short terms and long holidays!) and I paid for nearly everything myself.
I only had 6/7 hours lectures plus seminars and tutorials so there was time for everything with a little organisation

LIZS Thu 21-Sep-17 08:08:04

The uni may have rules about termtime working, whether paid , unpaid or voluntary? Think ds is allowed 20 pw maximum.

BubblesBuddy Thu 21-Sep-17 18:48:28

This flat is a major mistake. Why isn't he sharing a house with other students like everyone else does in second year. I think he has more problems than you think. He will be paying way more than he should be. Does he have any university friends? Why didn't he house hunt last year? Is he on his own in the studio flat? One assumes so and this may be lonely.

BubblesBuddy Thu 21-Sep-17 18:50:00

If he couldn't pass last year, how come he can work and do a lot better this year? What went wrong last year?

bigbluebus Thu 21-Sep-17 19:10:06

noitsnot My DS did a year at Uni doing engineering but dropped out after the end of the 1st year and had a year at home. He worked part time for a year before re-applying to different Unis and is now just starting on a History degree. Whilst we didn't expect him to work when doing engineering, we have made it quite clear that we expect him to get a job this time as the contact time is a lot less. He of course protested that he couldn't fit it all in. Told him that 10hrs a week would give him a good income towards his expenses and we would give him some money but would not be funding him like we did last time. He actually texted me today to say he has applied for a job and handed his CV in at a High Street store he has worked in before, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Sep-17 15:43:46

I think a lot of parents need to wake up to the fact that learning at university is not all about contact time with lecturers soyou can get away with a few hours a week. My DDs friends who did history degrees really had to spend time researching for essays and preparing for seminars. History degrees may have less contact time but they are not less work, especially at a high class university! There is a lot of reliance on unsupervised work and being able to get on with it to meet the requirements of the course. It is not a part time degree or an easy life.

bigbluebus Fri 22-Sep-17 16:00:33

I'm sure that most parents are aware of that bubbles. I told my DS he would be best to timetable his library/research time so he was working the equivalent of FT hours. That still allows him to work at weekends or an evening or two where he can easily fit in 10hrs employment.

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