Open Days - Did you go?

(177 Posts)
Faultymain5 Mon 08-Jul-19 19:34:32

Just querying whether you went with your DCs or if they went by themselves (or with friends), to University Open Days. I didn't go to University straight from school. But I did everything myself as I parents wouldn't have a clue. My DH is the same, he did everything himself and he went straight from college to University. Any help, as we're expecting DS to be a little more independent, but not sure if kids today just need a little more handholding.

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Justathinslice Mon 08-Jul-19 19:37:05

I'd you want to go?

Shimy Mon 08-Jul-19 19:38:01

DS went by himself to all of them, no friends either. I went with him for applicant days.

Etino Mon 08-Jul-19 19:40:14

Whether yours need handholding or not the majority of other attendees will have parents with them! There are normally events arranged for parents separately so you’ll both get a chance to get a deal for the pace and ask questions without embarrassing each other
I objected in principle but enjoyed the days with my children.

Kazzyhoward Mon 08-Jul-19 19:55:39

Our DS has done 5 and we went with him for 4 of them. Neither of us went to Uni in our day, so it's been as much of a learning curve for us as it has been for him. With us going too, it's facilitated some very good conversations with him about his preferences and options etc that would have been impossible had we been in the dark. We never felt out of place - the vast majority of students were there with one or two parents, if not also younger siblings too. So much so, that the students on their own stood out a bit, as did those with same age friends.

Faultymain5 Mon 08-Jul-19 20:07:06

Thanks for the quick answers, we'll go with him to the ones that give that option. I'm trying to instill some kind of independence in him, but I don't want to throw him in the deep end either.

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ChippyMinton Mon 08-Jul-19 21:09:29

I’ve been going, mainly as the chauffeu. Have done a handful of tours and talks when there was space, but otherwise happily had a coffee and looked at accommodation. It’s been fun spending time with DC too.


mimbleandlittlemy Mon 08-Jul-19 21:15:32

We have been doing the rounds - 3 this term and 2 more to do next term. When my sister and I went on to further education we went round on our own but almost everyone at the open days we have been to this year had at least one parent and some had whole families. Very few on their own and I have found several on their own have made conversation because they are a bit unsure and want a friendly face. I think there is a direct correlation between how much it now costs and parents wanting to check value for money too. I agree with Kazzy that being with my ds has resulted in really good conversations about the pros and cons. It doesn’t detract from their independence - and I think that a steer when they are making the decision to take on circa £50k worth of debt is a more than reasonable thing for a parent to do.

We haven’t found one single open day that doesn’t allow for at least one guest.

stucknoue Mon 08-Jul-19 21:16:02

Mostly they went with school or alone. I went to one with each of them. It's their choice after all

stucknoue Mon 08-Jul-19 21:18:00

Sorry should add their dad is a lecturer so we didn't need parent information and they were confident about being on campuses etc,

sandybayley Mon 08-Jul-19 21:19:34

I've been with DS1 to 3 over the last few weeks. Mainly as the driver but it was a good opportunity to spend time with him as we did a couple of overnights.

He is definitely in the driving seat but we get on well so have had some good discussions about what he likes and doesn't like. I was the supporter and didn't ask questions (he did). There were lots of parents who probably should have kept quiet or stayed at home if you know what I mean.

He's very independent though and is heading off to Manchester for a summer school (three nights) on his own from London.

Shimy Mon 08-Jul-19 21:23:09

We found the applicant days much more useful because at this stage he actually had offers from them, so it was just about narrowing down the final two. The events were also more course focussed and DS could ask more specific questions from students currently on the course as well as lecturers. We still got the option of touring the uni, and seeing accommodation.

wineandsunshine Mon 08-Jul-19 21:23:21

I went with DS to two over the weekend, he was really unsure about which courses to look at and I think he secretly liked me going!

Herocomplex Mon 08-Jul-19 21:24:23

Mixture of going with friends, going alone or going with one of us, depending on distance, how nosy we were feeling about the city and the course. Was interesting to spend time together and had some good chats. The most interesting thing was reaction to accommodation, I realised how far I’ve come from my student self!

TapasForTwo Mon 08-Jul-19 22:44:06

DD wouldn't have gone at all if I had sent her on her own. She just didn't have the courage. As we had to stay overnight for quite a few, going on her own wasn't an option. Plus, last autumn Northern Rail were on strike every Saturday from the end of August until January this year, so I had to go as her chauffeur.

goodbyestranger Mon 08-Jul-19 22:46:34

No I haven't been with DD.

MissConductUS Mon 08-Jul-19 22:48:38

We went with DS as it's partly a family decision. It helped us talk through the options with him and in the end we all agreed on the best choice.

We're currently doing the same with DD, who also went 2 years ago with DS. Of course she wants to visit a completely different set of uni's. smile

simbobs Mon 08-Jul-19 22:53:39

I went with both my dc. It was helpful because I took notes of things which proved useful when it came to practical things like writing the personal statement, and focused on different things from them. We couldn't have had a coherent conversation about their choices and preferences otherwise. When I went to uni most kids went alone; that is definitely no longer the case.

goodbyestranger Mon 08-Jul-19 22:54:09

To be fair, DD has only been to one uni. She didn't go to the open day for her other top choice last week as a brother is there and she's visited several times. She won't go to the other choices, she's just looked at things online having been to a local UCAS convention with her school.

BubblesBuddy Mon 08-Jul-19 23:21:51

I think it’s perfectly ok for a parent to go. Not sure it needs two and certainly not siblings! It just clogs up cafes etc. Parents should keep away from subject talks if they are full and potential students cannot get in. Make sure DC go and go and have a coffee! Go to parent talks and have a look at accommodation if you have time and a bit of the city if it’s not campus based. You can do this together.

We saw groups of DC from schools who came by coach. DCs with extended family and DCs with one or two parents so it depends on what you would like to do. Just don’t be the parent that dominates the q and a seasons!

oneteen Mon 08-Jul-19 23:40:47

Quality time with DD... We couldn't have had a coherent conversation about their choices and preferences otherwise. Totally agree - I had no concept of the subject DD is looking to study or what it entailed...I'm a little wiser now...I do think it's dependent on the Dc too...which is the important thing - some prefer to look alone some prefer to have a parent in tow. I did have a strong view on the quality of food - Warwick star Bath sad

ErrolTheDragon Mon 08-Jul-19 23:49:26

It's ok either way, depending on the DC and the logistics. DH (who had the time) or both of us in a few cases went with DD, the unis she was interested in were mostly too far away for her to do as a day trip by train and at that age really wasn't up for staying in a hotel alone (if they even let rooms to unaccompanied 17yos).

They were enjoyable trips, DD appreciated extra ears and discussing with us. More ground can be covered by splitting up too.

But if your DC can get to open days alone (or with a group of friends) and would prefer it, that's perfectly fine too.

We noticed rather more unaccompanied boys than girls. We stayed at a chain hotel outside Bristol and were somewhat amused that about 5 other groups of 2 parents and late teen daughter arrived to check in immediately after us.grin

Pythonesque Mon 08-Jul-19 23:57:13

My daughter's just been to her first open day (just post GCSEs), at our local uni. I helped her decide what to look at on the programme then left her to it. I expect I'll be chauffeuring her to other open days and will certainly be trying to find out what I feel I need to know; hopefully she'll be ok to be independent at them though. This first one has been really helpful to show her what types of courses she should be reading up on, she can now make much more sense of looking at university web sites.

PantTwizzler Tue 09-Jul-19 00:11:40

None with DD (just finished A levels) and one with DS (end of L6). DD did several subject taster days and just one open day (!). DS has done two open days and plans one more. I went with him to my own old university because I really wanted to share it with him. He would have been fine alone but I really enjoyed having some time with him.

Faultymain5 Tue 09-Jul-19 07:14:16

Thanks all. DS doesn't want to move away from home, we live in London, so their all within a 25 mile radius. Just a couple in Herts, which would be good distance wise for us.

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