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UCAS deadline. DD has four university offers for September. She still hasn't responded.(36 Posts)
She has decided she doesn't want to go to university. She decided a while ago. Was undecided about what to study also. I said she should accept an offer then ask the uni if she can defer it. I am trying to get her to keep her options open, that she doesn't know how she might feel next year. She was going to do this but has been put off by the strong terms used on the Ucas website, re making a commitment. I have said no one can make you go and that she can let them know in plenty of time. Should I just leave her to it and let her lose the offer now?
I think it depends on how solid her alternative plans are. As you say I would be inclined to keep it as insurance, but if emails about accomodation and student loans are going to be more stressful for her than having that back up then best to leave it. I suspect there will be a lot of places available in clearing this year if she does change her mind in the short term.
She needs a very viable alternative, not just a vague notion of "a year off".
She hasn't got any alternative plans whatsoever. That's what stresses me. To be fair she has been suffering from depression and anxiety, and seems to have become burned out. She says the lockdown is what she needed. I think she has become disengaged with the education system but is not engaging with anything instead. She is a very bright popular girl and could do anything she wants so it is upsetting that she is like this. Has tried counselling but is refusing to try this again.
I think the deadline is approaching for final decisions for UCAS. Then offers will be declined automatically.
Would she look at what her alternative options are?
She could consider an apprenticeship in the interim. Or even if she changes her mind then as pp says there will be options during clearing in August.
Much better to realise now than after she's accumulated loads of debt. She does need a plan though? High level apprenticeship? She talk to her school/college for advice
I'm not sure having no plan is going to help her mental health is it? Even if it is firm plans for a gap year doing something.
Tell her to firm and insure anyway. If she doesn't want to go in the autumn she just needs to let the Uni know. They won't do anything ! Lots of people do it every year so they are used to it. But mental health comes first so a plan would be good for next few months.
Yes, deadline is tomorrow. She is very fragile emotionally so I worry about pushing her. College have encouraged people to contact Careers if they haven't decided what to do. She says she is not ready to do that. As you say it won't actually help her mental health to have no plans though.
Can you reassure her there is no commitment whatsoever on her part by firming and insuring tomorrow. It's not legally binding, and around 3 or 4% of those who have firm offers don't turn up. The system is designed to allow this - there is no liability to even pay fees until you've been there two weeks.
She'll get auto-rejected from all four if she doesn't firm tomorrow.
If she’s feeling fragile then maybe uni isn’t the best thing right now. It’s such a big change. But I would be encouraging her to decline the offers rather than letting them lapse as it gives her some sense of control. In my exp (education) August results day is a trigger when you see friends going on to other things. There are lots of options for her. She can look and see without pressure. Time out though sounds like something she needs.
Could you not accept a defer a place for her? I’m sure that’s not morally right but better than pressuring her or risking worsening mental health if she changes her mind and it’s too late and she’s full of regret etc!
Tell her it's absolutely fine to accept then change her mind later - that's why clearing exists, and lots of people rely on that to get a place. I know having no plan isn't ideal in most cases, but when someone is suffering from severe anxiety it can make it much worse having to make firm decisions while not knowing what you really want. I would let her have this enforced break to try to get better, while encouraging any activities that help with the anxiety, whether it's music, art, reading, having Zoom chats, quizzes, exercise classes or whatever. Best of luck to her.
What are her objections to not firming the offers?
She has absolutely nothing to lose by firming them but, if she changes her mind, it's more stress and hassle. Can she view it as having a safety net?
There is no point in going to Uni ‘for the sake of it’.
Also, for a 17 or 18 yo feeling fragile, they don’t need pressurising into setting the course of their life right now.
A gap year getting a job, earning some cash, maybe getting another qualification that interests, whether that be TEFL / a sign language course / learning to drive or whatever and doing a little travelling could be just what she needs to work out where her true enthusiasm lies.
What are her friends doing?
And.... she can apply next year with known grades / grade predictions, and apply free of the gamble because offers will be unconditional.
I think she should accept now too
There’s no harm
Alternatively if she doesn’t and does decide to go to uni come August she can apply via clearing
Even if she decides not to enter a firm (with or without insurance) choice by the deadline tomorrow (?5.59pm), please encourage her just to let the offers be withdrawn by the universities- she shouldn't withdraw her whole UCAS application, because that means she has no active application for 2020 entry, should she change her mind over the next couple of months.
My DD is in the same boat. I've said to accept the offers but that no-one can make her go if she changes her mind. It's easier to change your mind and not go, than to decide you do want to go and not have a place lined up. It's so hard for them this year, so much uncertainty. Remind her she has nothing to lose by accepting.
Don't pressurise her into doing anything.
Life isn't a race. Not everyone is ready for uni at 18 and she might have a much better time if she goes in a couple of years.
Maybe some time spent working in a minimum wage job will help her to determine her priorities, to be honest a lot of graduates seem to end up in these roles too.
We had a very similar dilemma with DD except she hadn't even applied! Was determined to take a gap year as had no idea what she wanted to study, but had made no plans for September.
Then COVID happened, opportunities have dried up and she faced a black hole of nothing to do in September. Once she realised she could still make a UCAS application without signing her life away, she was 100% happier and now has an unconditional offer for a course and university which was her first choice for next year anyway.
Your DD has nothing to lose at this stage and at least has a plan, even if she ends up not following through.
Did you see on the bbc news today that 65,000 people have not firmed their offers. So she is not alone. Unis have massively underestimated students concerns here. I am sure many will today or will wait for clearing but that figure is striking.
Wow! Newgirls, that figure is high! She is not in a fit state to go to uni this September anyway. I just thought it might help to have an option if by this time next year she has completely changed and thinks “you know what, I really do want to go to blah and study blah, after all”. Assuming she has got the grades anyway she could take up the place in 2021. Yesterday she was on the UCAS website to accept her chosen offer but she came to me and said she couldn’t do it because it was saying she had to make a commitment. The language freaked her out. She was quite stressed. I just thought it might help her self esteem to have something, but maybe I am wrong, and all the ensuing emails about loans and accommodation will just stress her too much.
Tbh 18 is too early for many to make a solid decision on what they want to do for the rest of their lives. If she dosent know I would suggest she attempts (although it's difficult right now) to find a job, possibly use it as a chance to get experience in different sectors shes interested in. Then if shes ready she can reapply for university next year.
I was a straight A student but didnt start university till 20, and honestly I'm glad, as I would have really struggled at 18 as it's such a change, but also I would have done a degree in a completely different subject which would have ended up being pointless. Instead I have done a degree I love which worked towards post grad and a career I love.
There is absolutely no reason she could not reapply for next year if she feels more ready or has a better idea what she wants to do, I personally would strongly advise against doing a degree if she cant decide on a subject, as theres nothing worse then getting all the student debt, then finding out you have a passion for a career but it requires a degree which you now either have to self fund or cant do due to already having one that you dont/wont use.