Dd doesn't want to go to uni. Has no idea what to do.

(63 Posts)
Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 10:30:41

I think she's overwhelmed with life. She says she can't bear the idea of leaving home. She also has a horse who she genuinely loves. Doesn't socialise much. Loves her family life. Says she's not ready to leave it all. Has no idea what she wants to do. Had to repeat a year in 6th form due to illness so is behind her peers anyway so not sure if a gap year is a good idea. She's a lovely girl but totally lacks ambition unless it's with her horse. She's predicted A/B, B, C so not amazing grades. Help!

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EssentialHummus Fri 19-Oct-18 10:33:46

Oh gosh. No practical experience but if her main focus/passion is her horse then I'd suggest a year old working in a stables or similar, ideally living at home still. Going to uni when she doesn't want to/feel ready/it may not be necessary for anything she wants to do/she's not sure what she wants to do, doesn't seem like a good idea.

LoniceraJaponica Fri 19-Oct-18 10:40:21

A couple of DD's friends have gone to train/work with horses. One of them is at Askham Bryan, and the other went to Northern Racing College. Would your DD be interested in this area?

ZaZathecat Fri 19-Oct-18 10:40:41

Couldn't she go into a horse related job and forget uni?

VauxhallVectra Fri 19-Oct-18 10:42:53

OP, I'm in a similar situation.

My DD just doesn't fancy university. I was really worried when she started talking like this because, for me, I've always seen education as the only way to do better in life. I'm not well-educated so I guess I hold education on a pedestal.

She doesn't particularly know what she wants to do. Rather than a horse, she's into make-up and is talking about becoming a make-up artist. Unlike your DD though, mine is quite keen to move away and do some travelling.

Everything in me wants to shake her and say "Just go to University you daft mare" but actually I think that'd be a terrible thing for her to do. She'd be paying £9K to do a degree that she wasn't motivated for, wasn't particularly interested in and would be likely to under-perform in. That's just daft.

I spoke to a friend who is actually a university admissions tutor (a lecturer who does admission stuff I mean). Her advice was that university will still be there in 5, 10 or 15 years time if/when DD decides she wants to go and as long as she wasn't applying for a massively over-subscribed course (like English or History) then there'd be no reason she wouldn't get in.

However, she might decide that she never wants to go to university and that's fine too. I've come to the conclusion that being happy is all that matters.

Encourage your DD to look at training/jobs with horses if that's what she wants to work in.

Ignoramusgiganticus Fri 19-Oct-18 10:45:12

There are lots of apprenticeships out there in lots of different areas. My ds has just started an accountancy apprenticeship.

trulybadlydeeply Fri 19-Oct-18 10:48:57

I think a lot of young people are rejecting the idea of uni these days, unless they are certain what they want to study, and where it will lead them. DD got AAA and got into an excellent uni, but after a gap year decided that uni wasn't for her. After several short term jobs she now has a great job where she can progress, do a degree if she wishes, and can train in a variety of areas.

If she is not certain about going then it may not be for her. I would suggests she works for a year or two, gets some decent experience under her belt, and then she may have an idea of what career she would like to pursue. There are also a lot of fantastic apprenticeships about now, which would be worth looking at.

I have also noticed that more people are going to uni in their mid 20's, when they have got some decent work experience first, saved some money, and are much more focused on their career path.


silkpyjamasallday Fri 19-Oct-18 10:50:37

I went to uni even though I knew it wasn't really right for me because I didn't know anyone doing anything else and my parents expected it, I endured a year and a half before I had a nervous breakdown and dropped out. My school didn't present any other options for what to do after a levels, it was university or gap year. I had no clue about apprenticeships, nor did I think about continuing one of my p/t jobs and seeing where it led.

I think let your daughter have some time to think with less pressure and influence from school and peers. It is so hard to see past when you are in the midst of it, I would give anything to go back and tell my 17/18 year old self to have a long think before committing yourself to so much debt if you aren't totally sure of what you want to do. If she is into horses there is no reason she couldn't get a stable job for a year to stay busy and earn some money and meet and talk to people about other careers in the area. Then if she decides she wants to be, for example, a equine physio she knows the right hoops to jump through study wise and isn't going into something blindly because she thinks she needs to go to uni now.

Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 10:56:41

Thank you so much. I went to uni and am traditionally quite academic. I have always been quite strident about uni but now I'm thinking again.

vauxhall I'd be delighted if dd wanted to be a make up artist tbh! Particularly in film or TV, it sounds so interesting!

But horses are so badly paid, it's terrible hours, the people are often shitty and it's just so tough.

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SpoonBlender Fri 19-Oct-18 11:01:10

Learning that dealing with horses is a shit job is just one of the many benefits of taking a gap year!

As a PP said, lots of people aren't doing Uni now - a lot of it is the £30k debt, obviously, but there's been a 25 year bubble of trying to get everyone to go that's now wearing off a bit.

Gapping it and working and/or travelling if she can build up the funds for it are exactly what she needs right now to try and work out a new course for herself.

Sharkteeth Fri 19-Oct-18 11:01:57

I didn’t go to uni and I sounded exactly like your daughter at 18. I moved around a lot as a kid so am super close to my parents and sister and I just didn’t want to leave them. I also had no clue what I wanted to do. My mum wouldn’t allow me a lazy gap year so I ended up going to college to do early childhood and it was the best thing I ever did. I discovered something I’m really passionate about and I’m now doing an open university course to get my degree so I can go on and become a teacher. I honestly believe that if I had been forced into uni, the only thing I would have come out with was a ton of debt!

trulybadlydeeply Fri 19-Oct-18 11:05:07

I can understand your worries, OP, I also took a traditional path and went to uni, and did PG study too, so I was extremely worried at times a out DD's decision, however to see her doing a job that she loves, where she is flourishing and which offers great career prospects is wonderful, and I am proud of her choices. I certainly had a lot of sleepless nights though grin

LoveB Fri 19-Oct-18 11:07:11

Nothing more important in my opinion than encouraging your children to follow their passions. Uni causes years of debt. At least she has a passion to follow!

Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 11:08:36

She'll be almost 20 if she goes to uni if she takes a gap year. Will that be OK?

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corythatwas Fri 19-Oct-18 11:11:13

If she has missed a year to illness, then that is a year of her social development that has been delayed: quite understandable that she doesn't feel ready for adult life. My dd was very much the same, though in her case the situation was slightly masked by the fact that the HE she wanted (stage school) was so competitive that it took her 2 years to get in. But she freely admits now that she wasn't ready anyway and it would have been a disaster if she had got in.

I would give your dd time. Just stipulate that she has to be doing something, either work or training. My dd worked in a coffee shop for 2 years. Was absolutely fine, gave her confidence, and also gave her useful skills for making extra money whilst in HE.

I am also rather academic, in fact I'm a university lecturer. The advantage there is that I had absolutely no desire to see a child of mine take up a uni place that they weren't ready for or that wasn't right for them: I see enough of that at work and it's heart-breaking.

My ds has decided he isn't going to uni at all: he wants to look for an apprenticeship in something practical like plumbing. I've made it absolutely clear that I am pleased with this, sounds an excellent idea, as long as he is doing something I will be happy.

Yes, horses may be badly paid and shitty hours. But as an academic, with an international publication record, I regularly work a 12 hour day on pay that is less than my daughter earned as a barrista after a week's training. And get the added delight of seeing my profession slated in the press every week. University isn't the answer to everything.

corythatwas Fri 19-Oct-18 11:12:04

OP, I have students in my lectures who are older than me. And every age in between. Of course it will be all right.

Lyricallie Fri 19-Oct-18 11:15:02

It’s definitely ok to be 20 and be at uni. They’re will be people in the same boat and she might even do better as she would have matured a bit.

Have you considered vocational college or a uni near home? I stayed at home for uni as did a large number of my peers and it didn’t hold us back in anyway. Admittedly I’m from Glasgow so had a choice of 3 unis.

Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 11:16:21

I had absolutely no desire to see a child of mine take up a uni place that they weren't ready for or that wasn't right for them: I see enough of that at work and it's heart-breaking

Neither dd or I want that to happen. It must be such a rotten experience. She's got a job in a pub restaurant which she enjoys. She wants to work there for a year and compete her horse, save a bit of money and do some travelling. I think travelling would be good for her.

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Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 11:17:47

Have you considered vocational college or a uni near home? we are quite rural and there sint much near us although she's looking.

She's very reliant on me for ideas!

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betweenhillsandsea Fri 19-Oct-18 11:20:48

Has she thought about a qualification with horses? My ds has a friend who is looking st this course....

corythatwas Fri 19-Oct-18 11:26:05

She's got a job in a pub restaurant which she enjoys. She wants to work there for a year and compete her horse, save a bit of money and do some travelling. I think travelling would be good for her.

Sounds like you have a plan right there. Or rather (and the distinction is important), she has a plan. I don't deal with admissions but as a tutor and personal academic tutor, that is the person who tends to do well at uni if they do decide to go. I'd let her get on with it.

It's easy because secondary school and Sixth Form are so streamlined to think that everybody needs to go off in the same direction at the same time. But adult life is not streamlined.

Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 11:26:37

between She did look at that but you need an A in biology

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Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 11:27:36

Or rather (and the distinction is important), she has a plan
Yes that is important and its what she's trying to tell me and maybe I'm not listening!

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NorthEndGal Fri 19-Oct-18 11:28:04

Start finding barns that are hiring, she can teach riding, maybe at more than one stable if need be.
Barn rats will be barn rats, you just have to work with itgrin

Blarneybear Fri 19-Oct-18 11:32:56

If she applies anyway, then decides to take a gap year, does she tell the unis that she gets offers from (if any?) and would that jeopardise future acceptance?

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