Failed first year of University

(18 Posts)
Daisiesarenotflowers Sat 21-Sep-19 00:02:26

My youngest DS, always the high achieving one, hasn't passed his first year (so, so narrowly) and won't be going back to uni this year.

At the moment he's being very calm and looking to the future sensibly, but it's been a shock and I know he's disappointed.

Anybody else in Mumsnet been in the same position? If so, how did it all work out please?

OP’s posts: |
fancytiles Sat 21-Sep-19 00:04:43

Can he do re-takes or has he failed the re-takes? Usually the university will let him back, but he will have to repeat the first year. Is that not an option for him/does her really not want to do that? Is he planning on going to another university?

Daisiesarenotflowers Sat 21-Sep-19 00:14:39

He failed a resit unfortunately. It's a highly regarded course and not a forgiving uni so no more options there. DS will probably hopefully find a job then travel a little, and hopefully apply for a different university for next year. He'll be 20 by then but hopefully there may be plenty more people similar age too.

OP’s posts: |
Daisiesarenotflowers Sat 21-Sep-19 00:15:30

Sorry, that was a lot of hopefully's 😊

OP’s posts: |
Rachelover60 Sat 21-Sep-19 00:17:34

You're not alone there, Daisies. I've known many young people who failed first year at uni and didn't go back. They moved on to other things and did well, eventually doing a degree or professional qualifications.

A lot of youngsters go to uni and aren't really ready for it.

shiningstar2 Sat 21-Sep-19 00:34:52

This happened to my daughter. Always a last minute kind of person she took this too far at university and failed first year. She came home and took a job at a well know department store where she had previously had a saturday job when she was at school. She said at the time that she preferred this to having to study and organise her time. I had my doubts but took the view that so long as she was working and not sitting at home doing nothing she should be left to get on with it. I did remark that this kind of work full time is very different to doing it one day a week for pocket money and that she might regret lost opportunities later.

Apart from that I left her to it. Eventually the people she started university with graduated and moved around the country starting their careers and at that point I think she realized that being better qualified would open doors she had chosen to close. She was about 23 when she asked her dad and me whether we would help support her if she gave university another go. We said yes providing she could find a university within travelling distance of home which would accept her. We don't have unlimited resources and knowing dd's strengths and weaknesses we weren't prepared to finance accommodation which would probably have resulted in a great social life and very little work.

She was accepted by a local university, lived cost free at home and took part time work at the dept. store for pocket money. Worked really well. She was still near enough to enjoy the social life but when she really needed to get some work done, still usually last minute lol, she had the bit of distance at home she needed.

In her forties now, married two children and a secondary school teacher. It just takes some young people a bit longer than others to mature. Try not to get too anxious op. Give him a bit of space and with a bit of luck it will be ok in the end, whatever he decides to do flowers

RedHelenB Sat 21-Sep-19 08:40:21

My dd has met mainly gap year or older students on her course so far. Did be fail due to lack of work or not understanding the course? Might be an idea to look at a different course as well as uni?


callow Sat 21-Sep-19 08:54:40

My daughter is in this position. This is her second attempt. She previously had done part of a year at a different university. She has failed her second attempt. She has applied for a different course and will find out early next week if she has a place. Otherwise she will stay in the university town and work there. She has a house that she started to share with friends and she can't get out of it.

Her problem is she only has 2 and not years of funding left. She is highly intelligent but can't apply herself to study. She has always been like this. However she is almost 22 has has to be responsible for her own actions. I have tried to help she can get study assistance but she didn't make contact with the Disability service.

Lovelyredroses Sat 21-Sep-19 12:41:51

It could have worse ... my DS failed after 3rd year, I so wish it had happed after first year!

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sat 21-Sep-19 12:57:19

Yep family member who failed first year from partying too much and doing too little work. Lived at home for a few years afterwards, but went on to do a professional qualification and now management senior in their field (and very well-respected).

It just takes some longer than others to find their right path in life. Even very bright young people can not necessarily be suited to higher education and an academic trajectory post A Levels.

Hope your DS finds a pathway that suits him, OP.

Daisiesarenotflowers Sat 21-Sep-19 13:55:02

Thanks everybody for the supportive wishes. It was Maths so I don't think he'll have a drastic change in the future, but maybe a slight variation. I think that he just didn't put enough work in; he'd been lucky enough through school not to really need to so didn't change quickly enough. Lovelyredroses so much worse for your DS though, after 3 years must have been incredibly hard.

OP’s posts: |
Northernsoullover Sat 21-Sep-19 13:59:15

I'm a mature student and on my course there are many youngsters for whom this is there second shot at uni. Some failed, others just hated their original course. Each one has no regrets.

RiddleMeThis2018 Sat 21-Sep-19 14:10:02

I also had a disastrous first couple of years at university- switched courses and then failed the first year of the new course! However, I did pass resits and went on to get a 2:1. Similar to your DS, I had never needed to try at school, and just had no idea how to apply myself when necessary. I have a very successful degree-related career behind me and now, in my mid-forties, i’m just about to complete a masters (I never thought i’d get a second degree in a million years!)

Anyway, try not to worry too much. It’s not the end of the world. As long as he gets, and keeps, a job, that will probably be the incentive he needs to go back into education when he’s ready- in 1 or 2 years, wherever he decides a degree is what he needs to get where he wants to be in life.

Lovelyredroses Sat 21-Sep-19 14:51:39

The upside is he went back to a different uni (had to go back to 2nd yr) worked really hard, met a lovely girl, and graduated with a first.... it was a tough time for us all. Emotionally I know I need to let go of the anger and disappointment, but I’m getting there! He grew up a lot too.

LoveGrowsWhere Tue 24-Sep-19 14:11:28

Niece failed first year of a maths degree. Got an apprenticeship in a bank. Now doing accountancy exams sponsored by them.

My nephew on other side failed second year. He changed to a lower-ranking university and had to redo second year (but not first year). He walked straight into a good job on graduating.

I failed first year of uni. I was bored rigid by the course and focused on social life. I went off into the world of work instead and have been lucky. I did a masters in my thirties as by then not having a degree was impacting opportunities. Still in touch with some of those uni friends.

mimbleandlittlemy Tue 24-Sep-19 18:32:10

My godson failed his first year, passed on resits and persuaded uni to let him change course to something he was happier with. Passes second first year (if you see what I mean). Second year of new course - fails, fails resits and is out.

He picked himself up, dusted himself down, learned a lesson, got a job, got a new job and they think so highly of him they've paid for him to do a degree through the OU and he is on track for a First. He was a boy who absolutely should have taken a gap year but the enforced time finding out a bit about how the world works has been brilliant for him and he is a fantastic mature young man now. I hate phrases like "it was the making of him" but in this case it was. Uni just isn't for everyone at 18. Sometimes people come back to education older and make much better choices.

loveislikeabutterfly Wed 25-Sep-19 07:06:21

There are some really inspiring stories here. Thanks for sharing!

PBLR Sat 28-Sep-19 07:18:46

Hi Daisiesarenotflowers - has he looked at Combined Honours Degrees for next time? If he chose Maths and Economics/physics/French etc. he might find he really likes the second subject. Most CH courses are flexible so you can adjust the weighting for each subject as you progress so a final degree in one subject is possible, there's not so much emphasis on one area too early and an additional subject wd be helpful for working abroad ( language) or PGCE if he wants to try Teach First ( if it still exists).

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