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Should I accompany my DD to university open days?

(22 Posts)
Drayford Wed 15-Jul-09 01:47:08

I have been with DD to one open day and she has been to one on her own. She seemed really confident and asked loads of questions about the course, local area, accommodation, finance etc and seemed to be well briefed on what to ask - I had to fight the temptation to be an intefering mummy and take over!

She plans to take a music degree and is very aware of what she wishes to study.

She has will be visiting several more universities over the next couple of months and I think she will be fine but one or two friends think that I (or DH) should go with her.

Thoughts please!!!!

OutOfThinHair Wed 15-Jul-09 02:34:24

Definitely not (unless she expressly wants you to). Why would you?

nooka Wed 15-Jul-09 02:42:27

Why would you? I would have been very peeved if my parents had even suggested coming with me. University should be the child's world - it's a really important part of growing up IMO.

webwiz Wed 15-Jul-09 07:55:38

I accompanied DD on all her University open days - her choice not mine. She wasn't confident enough to go alone especially as very few teenagers are there without a parent and some even have both with them hmm. After my DD got her offers from universities she was invited to several "post application days" with people who would potentially be on her course. Annoyingly all these days come with a programme for parents (why on earth do I need a tour of Sheffield University's Biology department) but even when they got all the youngsters together no one spoke to each other.

If your DD is happy to go alone then good for her and there is certainly no reason to tag along but there is a definite trend for parents to be far more involved in university choices than in the past.

mumeeee Wed 15-Jul-09 21:11:45

DH acompianed DD1 to university open days.She wanted him to come and the universities actually invited parents to attend. I accompianed DD2 to an open day and there were lots of parents there.
DH took DD2 to her auditions but didn't go in with her. He just left her at the universities and picked her up or met her somewhere when she had finished.

muddleduck Thu 16-Jul-09 11:14:19

At our open days I'd say more that half of students bring their parents. This is hugely more than it was a few years ago. I think this is largely driven by the finances - parents want to know how their money is being spent. We have started putting on activities for the parents not because we particularly want them to come but because we know they will come.

I don't have a strong view one way or the other on what you should do but would strongly recommend that if she has any questions for the tutors that she asks them herself. I find it really hard to talk to student-parent double acts when the parent butts in every few seconds to rephrase what the student is trying to say to me. Let her do all the talking and then you come in at the end (if necessary) with anything that she may have forgotten about. Also if there are any events where she gets to meet current students then please leave her to do this alone. In my experience these sessions run far better without parents (or tutors!).

LovelyRitaMeterMaid Thu 16-Jul-09 11:16:07

When I went, part of the fun was gong off on trains all over the country on my own. Would have hated to have had parents with me - luckily they agreed smile

sweetfall Thu 16-Jul-09 11:18:05

only if she wants you too

brimfull Thu 16-Jul-09 11:21:29

dd has just done some open days

she went with friends to a couple and I went with her to a few ,as chauffeur mostly.

she def did all the talking.we went to a couple of universities on non open days and she had booked appt with dept heads so I left her to it.

there were loads of parents at one open day I dropped her off at

swedesinsunglasses Thu 16-Jul-09 11:21:55

My son is looking at universities at the moment. Beyond giving him the money for the train and a B&B if necessary, I've left him to sort it out himself.

preciouslillywhite Thu 16-Jul-09 11:23:10

I would sooner've DIED than have my mum come with me to open days.

But then I did teach myself to smoke on all them long train journeys, adopted a v authentic cockney accent (tho from Yorkshire)and very big and clever I thought I was too.

Will be shadowing my DCs when the time comes

Drayford Thu 16-Jul-09 15:58:34

Thanks everyone. You've confirmed my feeling that leaving the process to her is the best thing!

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 17-Jul-09 16:26:36

I will act as chauffeur when my son goes to open days.
I would have been really embarrassed if my mum had come in with me.
I also think DS1 is much more likely to talk to other prospective students and tutors etc if I'm not there.
I'd probably only say the wrong thing anyway!

scienceteacher Fri 17-Jul-09 20:08:07

My DS went to one open day with school. I will go with him to an open day next week - it is not somewhere where he would plan to go, but a lot of the questions are the same, so I think it is helpful to have a parental perspective. I think it is nice to go to these places with someone else.

The next batch of open days are in September, so I will not be able to accompany him.

I am hoping that he contacts departments in the next week to make appointments to go and see them outside of the open day system. I will take him to these, if they happen.

fircone Sat 18-Jul-09 12:50:51

I read an article which said that many parents were muscling in the door of interviews. And answering all the questions.

I know my sil is exactly this parent. She has practically attended university with her dd. She applied for her (nearest one to home, of course) accompanied her to the interview and I believe has written all the work. Her dd is a complete dolt and I'm not surprised. My sil even went to the freshers' day and enrolled her dd in some suitable societies.

brimfull Sat 18-Jul-09 12:52:22

bloody hell
going to freshers week
that is sooo wrong

arionater Sat 18-Jul-09 13:01:19

I'm an academic and do answer questions at lots of open days - totally agree with muddleduck - it's amazing how often a parent-and-child or parents-and-child group comes up to you and the parent asks all the questions as the potential student just stands there looking like they'd prefer to die! One particularly good example the other week was a very keen and forceful father who did absolutely all the talking but after every answer I gave, he'd turn to his son and say "did you have any other questions" - as if he'd been asking them all along! - and then when he shook his head looking horribly embarrassed as only teenagers can, the father would blithely ask another one . . . Was sort of hilarious but also sad.

Usually the applicants themselves are more interested in speaking to current students and it's the parents who want to question us (though I'm at Oxbridge which probably adds to the anxiety level with all the interview/college choice questions). The main exception to that are very focused, mature types, who are often interested in doing something a bit unusual and come and ask us themselves. To be honest I do these events because I like talking to teenagers - even the mumbly, shy or silly ones - about their interests and aspirations, not anxious 40-somethings!

Threadworm2 Sat 18-Jul-09 13:01:41

I'd hope v much to be able to leave my children to it in a few years. I remember those first independent trips to see universities all over England and Wales as being a fabulous and exciting experience.

It is amazing how much things have changed -- as muddleduck says it must have a lot to do with parents having to stump up so much money. But it is more than that, isn't it? We find it so much harder than previous generations to leave our children be.

Of course if your DD wants you to be there, and many other parents will be, I supppose it would be a good thing to go -- but a little bit sad.

madlentileater Sat 18-Jul-09 13:15:21

Some places are VERY difficult to get to on public transport.

brimfull Sat 18-Jul-09 17:45:48

tis also cheaper to drive than train

I drove dd and 2 friends to sheffield and beyond
£50 petrol instead of 3 tickets at £90 each

12 years ago my mum drove me to all different unis but then went shopping for the day whle I attended the actual Open Day on my own.

When I was at uni I used to show prospective students around on open days and those with their parents were in a minority. This was a while ago so not sure if things have changed.

faustina Tue 04-Aug-09 08:10:45

When I was doing it, no one took their parents along - unheard of! I loved going on my own, and you always met other people on the train anyway, and made friends. It was a lovely and useful experience.
my eldest ds is 22 - I had no idea how it was different now until after his first open day, when he said he'd been the only one there without his parents.
now 2nd son doing the rounds. I have offered to come, and been turned down, which I think is much better. He only wants to to go to cambridge anyway and I liked it at some of the college open days where they actually said there was no room for parents - I think it's much better for them to learn about interacting with adults - not just sitting back and letting us do the talking, which we would just because we are better at that kind of thing (being ancient etc)

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