Uni Open Days - do they go alone or do you come too?

(59 Posts)
TrainSong Wed 27-Feb-19 15:07:55

DS will be looking around some unis soon. What's the etiquette? Is it better for them to go around on their own or do parents usually come along?

OP’s posts: |
Fazackerley Wed 27-Feb-19 15:08:36

I've gone to all dds because she wants me to and I'm nosy!!

TranquilityofSolitude Wed 27-Feb-19 15:19:31

I think most go with parents. Lots of people seem to remember going alone but I went with my DDs and saw few prospective students without a parent. In fact, those without a parent were at a bit of a disadvantage, I think. DD1 would not have spoken to anyone if I had not helped her to start. Now that she's about to graduate things are different, but back then she would have lacked the confidence to approach anyone.

DD2 went equipped with an extensive list of questions. This time my role was mostly to make sure someone else also got to speak :D

SnuggyBuggy Wed 27-Feb-19 15:20:52

Parents came in my day (over 10 years ago)

BringOnTheScience Wed 27-Feb-19 19:06:07

It's the norm for parents to be there now. Some v busy ones might state that they should bring only one.

Prepare for the season of trains & Premier Inns!

Mustbetimeforachange Wed 27-Feb-19 19:09:17

I went to all mine on my own a long time ago, but they didn't have open days then, you just went when you had an interview. I've been to all if my DC's. It's a nice day out!

Aragog Wed 27-Feb-19 19:12:21

From what I see most parents seem togo. We will be going with dd - she wants us to, and most open days seem to welcome parents. On the days there we will play it by ear - see what's happening and take dd's lead too. If nothing else we are a taxi firm for dd and can drop her, go for lunch and collect her afterwards. But from speaking to parents with older children it seems parents stay and look round.

Many parents (more went than not went amongst students at my school for example, and friends I know since say similar) went way back when I went to university - some 27+ years ago - and it seems to have become increasingly more so.


geogteach Wed 27-Feb-19 19:18:39

Ds did his last year and he did a mixture. Some he went alone or with mates others I went and when he went to the place where she and I met we all went. This worked well as he got some independence and got input from us too

BubblesBuddy Wed 27-Feb-19 19:20:20

Parents are way more invested in the choices now! Some patents are a pain at open days! They ask all the questions!

I mostly drove DDs due to logistics. Others we visited on the train. DH went to work! Trains are not always useful but it depends where you live and where you are going.

DD1 knew boys at a boarding school who went in groups on the train without parents. Fun day out!

NecklessMumster Wed 27-Feb-19 19:20:45

We went to some last year and 99% had parents with them

TheFallenMadonna Wed 27-Feb-19 19:21:05

I didn't go with DS this year. He wanted to go either by himself or with a friend.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 27-Feb-19 19:21:32

Definitely most had parents there though. He was an oddity.

Decormad38 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:21:52

We cater for parents coming to Open Days and Interviews. But for interviews they sit separately!

AuntieStella Wed 27-Feb-19 19:22:51

Mine said that under no circumstances was I go wth them.

They might need/want a lift, but then I go shopping or whatever.

It wasn't done back in my day, so I see independence in this as totally normal

Ninkaninus Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:02

My daughter went on her own.

Velvetdragon Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:08

I used to help out at the open days of the uni I went to. As there was so much information to cover during the day parents and applicants were split up and only brought together for lunch. Parents would be taken off to talks about finances, accommodation, and all the boring but important things. The applicants were taken on tours of their subject area and given activities to do and talks from alumni and given a feel for the campus and uni life. Parents could also attend these sessions as well. Anyone attending alone definitely had an overwhelming day trying to take it all in.

Drookit Wed 27-Feb-19 19:33:13

I accompanied DD to one city and we both stayed inTravelodge but she went to the actual open day alone.
Another one she went with friend who was thinking of doing a different course at same uni.
Third one she went alone.

PlatypusPie Wed 27-Feb-19 19:33:25

DD1 went to some alone/with a friend and someone with me - was only interested in one really, anyway. DD2 made long list and wanted me to go with her ( I had v flexible working ) and together we zigzagged around the country by train. Kept seeing the same people, as well !

TrainSong Wed 27-Feb-19 19:34:44

Prepare for the season of trains & Premier Inns! LOL Bringonthe science

It wasn't done back in my day, so I see independence in this as totally normal -
That was sort of what I thought, AuntieStella but I also wondered if DS would get lost finding departments and getting to places on time. He is autistic and so organisation will never be his strong point.

I thought maybe I should travel with him, get him familiar with the public transport, look round halls etc but leave him alone when he actually looks at the department and talks to the lecturers. And of course enjoy the delights of inner city Premier Inns wink

OP’s posts: |
TrainSong Wed 27-Feb-19 19:36:00

@Velvetdragon - that's really useful insight, thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Serin Wed 27-Feb-19 20:00:40

Mine are completely independent (ie happily take flights to visit friends in other countries) but I went with them on most uni open days as I really enjoy spending that time with them at a time when they are almost about to fly the nest for good.
I love the early trains, the cafes and premier inns) and I might even be guilty of trying to engineer the youngest choices to include Bath/York/Brighton as I quite fancy them for weekend trips!

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 27-Feb-19 20:05:41

When went to uni in the mid 90s I went on my own altrhkugh some were organised coach trips with 6th form. It wasn’t the done thing to turn up with a parent then, our teachers said the uni admissions tilts would “want to see some independence”. My parents hadn’t been to uni and wouldn’t have known what was good and what was bad anyway, so pointless them being there really.

I think times have changed a lot. When I went it was a time of all tuition fees paid, and student maintenance grants, not loans. Most parents paid very little if anything towards their child’s uni education. It was part of the reason parents just left their children to it.

Now, as other people have said parents are literally invested in it. Some parents are paying a lot of money towards uni costs and want to know that their child is doing a worthwhile course at somewhere decent so that money is not wasted. Especially since the change from polytechnics to universities. There are so many different courses now and not all of them are going to be of use or be a good investment in terms of career options or salary.

And how can a 17 year old know what is good and what isn’t if uni is a whole new world to them? A parent who has been through the system and who has also read up on current provision would be an asset to have as a companion on an open day as a young person these days, I think, just to swap ideas and opinions.

As long as you’re not taking over, not letting your son or daughter get a word in edgewaya or trying to steer them to do something YOU want them to do, I really don’t see the issue these days if parents attend open days. I think they can look out for things that their child may not have thought of, about how student life would be in different places etc.

I didn’t get the “they have to be independent on open days” argument in the old days as there was plenty of time for independence once they actually WENT to uni. A couple of train journeys and an organised tour round a department does not make a child independent overnight! And I especially don’t get it these days, I think parents at open days is totally the norm.

I will be going with my sons when the time comes. They can do the talking and drag me around. My job will be to point out the advantages and disadvantages of certain things and to get them to consider facilities such as the uni library rather than the SU bar prices!

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 27-Feb-19 20:09:16

Admissions tutors, not tilts!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 27-Feb-19 20:10:13

We went to all our 3 dses. Lovely days.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 27-Feb-19 20:11:41

Also, I’d say 90% of the prospective students had at least one parent with them.

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