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The trials and tribulations of Uni Apps for 2018.

(661 Posts)
WaxOnFeckOff Tue 19-Sep-17 13:21:00

Just thought I'd start a wee thread for those with DC applying for uni for next year (or indeed applying for themselves) in ase anyone was up for sharing knowledge/support/venting etc.

I have DS1 applying for this year. Still doesn't know where to or what for confused.

Not done any open days yet and lots now clashing so can't do them all. He wont go alone and wont ask anything or tell us anything about it if he did, so looks like it might be family days out for the next month or so. Dragging DS2 with us as he is currently doing Highers and given his poor Nat 5 results, he needs some motivation to pull his finger out if he wants to go to Uni.

How is everyone else getting on?

prettybird Tue 19-Sep-17 14:46:03

Ds has totally changed his mind about what he wants to do: from Maths/Physics to International Relations/Politics/international law.

He's been to an Open Day at Glasgow, is going to one at Edinburgh on Saturday and is going to St Andrews' one next Wednesday. I've offered to take him to St Andrews (as the public transport there is a pain until you get used to it). His look of horror was quite amusing wink. I then explained I wouldn't stay with him; I'd drop him off, then wander round my old haunts, go for a walk along the West Sands and then sit in a coffee shop until he's ready to go home. grin

Edinburgh is still his 1st choice, Glasgow his 2nd and St Andrews his 3rd (he's already decided it's full of snobs because Prince William went there even though his mum went there ). He's not decided on his other choices - he might just put other subject choices down for the same Unis.

Unfortunately the normal offers for the subjects he's now wanting to do are really high - higher than the Highers he got, but at least he's doing AHs. And the crash Modern Studies Higher he'd already started is very fortuitous!

How is your ds getting on with his personal statement? Ds has already done his 1st draft. It was supposed to be in by the September w/e (ie by Thursday) but he did it over the weekend and sent it to his pastoral care teacher without letting us see it.

Our difficulty is going to be getting him to let us help or advise him because we know *nothing* confused

haggisaggis Tue 19-Sep-17 14:55:41

Re International Relations at St Andrews - I read a thread on here a while ago about the personal statement for St Andrews. Apparently because their course is for International Relations and not Politics they totally discount personal statements mentioning politics! Which is difficult since at most units the courses seem combined ( did thinking about this too but she's only in S4 so only at the thinking stage).

WaxOnFeckOff Tue 19-Sep-17 15:00:08

That's a big change pb! DS1 still thinking something technical e.g. Engineering of some kind or Computing, anything to do with numbers etc. That's as far as we've got. If he'd got that one extra mark in Maths he'd have enough for anywhere.

SInce neither DH or I went to Uni from school we are a bit clueless. We are thinking not St Andrews as we aren't sure he'd fit in socially.

I've no idea about his personal statement - school do have a timetable but don't think he has even met the teacher who will be helping him yet. Well, he has met him but not in this context.

He was looking forward to recording his prizes for Engineering and Graph Comm on his statement but that ship has sailed too.

We are deciding between Dundee and Edinburgh for this weekend. Edinburgh is on again in a couple of weeks but also clashes with Strathclyde - he can go 2 of those 3 but not sure which to pick. Thinking we can maybe ask for a personal visit for anywhere that we decide he is keen on....grin

WaxOnFeckOff Tue 19-Sep-17 15:02:12

yes, that must be the difficulty if you are applying for different subjects too. You cant really write about your love of Engineering if you are also applying for Computing and a wild card of Maths...

prettybird Tue 19-Sep-17 15:06:56

That's ok - because it's not really the politics that he's interested in. It really is the International Relations element. But useful to know if I ever get to see a draft wink

But that could make it awkward for Glasgow (his 2nd choice), as it would be politics he would be applying for and then specialising in International Relations in the options in the Honours years confused

He's passionate about the UN and how to improve it and has long been inspired by Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King - and Merkel before she went down in his estimation because of her opposition to gay marriage. However, he's been told not to use the word "passionate" in his personal statement grin

UAEMum Tue 19-Sep-17 15:11:04

We live in Dubai. We went to some open days when we were home in uk this last summer. My son hates the UK and really doesnt want to go to uni there. He is desperate to stay in Dubai and wants to go to a branch of a UK uni here. Im really unsure what to tell him. I half want him to stay close and half want him to go to the UK. At the end of the day, its his choice i guess.

haggisaggis Tue 19-Sep-17 15:16:17

Also - ds did not have what would be considered stellar higher results going into S6. He applied to unis even although he did not have the minimum requirements and still got some fairly reasonable offers in - and did get into uni based on his S6 results.

prettybird Tue 19-Sep-17 15:25:39

That's good to hear haggisaggis as I went from 5th Year (and got an offer from St Andrews of 4 Bs and actually got 6 As), so my experience isn't very helpful for ds that and it was a looooong time ago winkblush

Ds' results weren't particularly bad (2 As and 3 Bs, with one of the Bs currently being appealed): plus he should get 2 good AHs (because he enjoys Maths and Physics) and he is currently really enjoying Modern Studies and should get an A in it. The benefit of not having got straight As is that he won't suffer unconditionalitis - and to be fair, he acknowledges this.

ttlshiwwya Tue 19-Sep-17 16:49:23

Don't have a DC applying this year but we're doing the rounds of the open days as my DD can't decide between two quite different subject areas. She'll hedge her bets Higher wise 3 one way and 2 the other so hopefully the open days will help her.

Been to Stirling last week (it was great - I'd have never considered Stirling but I was quite impressed especially how high up the league tables they are for some subjects). PrettyBird I think they do international relations (or international politics). I remember seeing the stand. We're going to Edinburgh on Saturday. Then St Andrews during the October week as we'll be in the area visiting family anyway. Then Glasgow and Strathclyde . It's a bit of novelty for me as I didn't go any open days with DS1 and went to one with DS2 as I went to that uni and he wanted a second opinion. I was a bit surprised how many parents were at Stirling. Kids without parents were very much in the minority. Many had the whole family in tow.

The advice DS2 got for the Glasgow (science not oversubscribed course) was that they don't always read the personal statement or if they do it's a cursory check that it's adequate so you might not need to worry about tailoring the personal statement to Glasgow and concentrate on tailoring it to the ones which pay much more attention to the personal statement.

WaxOnFeckOff Tue 19-Sep-17 17:24:25

Stirling is a lovely campus, we can walk to it smile Going to pop into the next open day as we somehow didn't notice the last one was on. They don't do any engineering unfortunately but maybe more options for DS2

Superjaggy Tue 19-Sep-17 19:08:31

Thanks for starting this thread, Wax.

I'm having a bit of a bumpy ride with DS1, he did brilliantly in his Highers (4 As) so lost all motivation for 6th year and is in the process of leaving school. He still plans to go to uni next year (and I'm hoping he won't have totally lost all motivation for studying by then) and should get unconditionals for the courses he wants. He hasn't started his personal statement though - I need to gently remind him of that.

So at the moment it's Politics at Glasgow as his first choice - open day on 20th Oct, then Aberdeen second choice - did the open day and he loved it (their International Relations course sounds great too.) And today he's announced that he wants to see Dundee on Saturday. I'm scared to not take him as I'm keen to seize on any enthusiasm for anything right now!

Anyone else going to Dundee on Sat?

readsalotgirl63 Tue 19-Sep-17 19:52:14

Hi - we did this last year as dd now at Glasgow which was her first choice. We found going to open days useful and then once the application was in going to Offer Holder/Applicant days also - these were much more focused than the Open days and certainly helped to narrow down choices.

We were very impressed by Dundee - which was dd's insurance choice altho we didn't go to the Open Day but did go to the Offer Holder day - very well organised and had a really nice feel.

I was surprised dd wanted me to go to open days with her and kept trying to slope off to coffee shops but I would agree that most youngsters had at least one parent with them. I do think it is useful for parents to go - there can be a lot of information to take on board so it's helpful to have someone else taking notes. I was also more interested in things like finance and accommodation while dd wanted to see the student unions hmm.

Hope it all goes well for everyone .

prettybird Tue 19-Sep-17 20:41:12

Ds is interested in Dundee - but the Open Day this Saturday conflicts with Edinburgh's.

He refuses to consider Aberdeen as his cousin (who he likes confused) is in her 3rd year of Marine Biology there confused. He's also discounted Stirling as he's gone to a lot of sporting events there (cycling and rugby) and just doesn't like the idea of a campus university. I suppose I can't criticise him, as I deliberately chose a university town (for no other reason than I liked the idea) and didn't want a campus uni myself.

Having said that I hadn't seen his personal statement, I find out that his pastoral care teacher won't look at the one he sent her as we (as in, his parents) hadn't looked at it first. So he's emailed it to me and we've had a slightly acrimonious discussion about the improvements I have suggested and he's gone away to make thre changes. Essentially, I have just tightened it up a bit - and although I've not taken out the various mentions of politics, I've helped him to always use the word in the context of his interest in international relations.

Groovee Wed 20-Sep-17 06:29:16

We're having such a nightmare for Dd who wants to do primary teaching.

Edinburgh and Dundee have done away with their degrees and want you to do post grads. Stirling have a wide range but Dd getting stressed that none will want her. Strathclyde seems to have upped the entry requirements while Aberdeen isn't somewhere she fancies.

Groovee Wed 20-Sep-17 06:34:40

Oh because dh and I haven't been to uni and school is classed as deprived. Dd gets the chance to be given extra support by LEAPs which helps ernormously. Friday's are spent on UCAS etc.

Superjaggy Wed 20-Sep-17 07:03:46

Groovee there's also Stirling for BEd, would your DD consider going there? Also if she has managed to spend some time in a primary school helping out, or has been involved in any clubs for primary aged children, this should help her to secure an interview at the likes of Strathclyde (if they're running interviews, that is).

Groovee Wed 20-Sep-17 07:25:20

She has put down 2 courses for stirling.

She's helped at brownies since she was 11, is a peer educator for girl guiding. Goes to the local primary one afternoon a week just now but has done a months work experience too. She's arranged to go to a dedicated special school after Christmas for more work experience with children with additional needs to get more specialised experience.

ttlshiwwya Wed 20-Sep-17 09:06:15

Groovee your DDs experience sounds just what they said they wanted at Stirling - I sat thru the education talk with my DD.

My DC went/go to a school classified as under achieving. My DSs both got adjusted offers after doing the access program (although in the event neither needed the adjustment). I can't remember the adjustment for my DS1 but for DS2 it was one grade in two subjects so instead of AAAA the offer was AABB (or ABBBB instead of AAABB). So definitely worth doing.

Groovee Wed 20-Sep-17 11:03:00

Thanks @ttlshiwwya

She's gutted that so many uni's have removed 4 year degrees as she feels more under pressure. I've worked in Early years for 23 years and done brownies over that time too and I think she's far better than me. She's great at diffusing girly arguments 😂. Last week the argument was in relation to attending mosque and how often. Not something I ever thought we'd have to deal with but she handled it all very well.

flatmouse Wed 20-Sep-17 11:07:26

Hello; DS is applying for 2018 start - mostly looking at English uni's, but was interested in Strathclyde (grades needed too high) and Abertay. Has anyone got any thoughts on Abertay? Will try to send him up for the open day - as it's actually looking the best for what he wants to do. (Bit of a trek though).

Groovee Wed 20-Sep-17 11:14:23

My friend's son has just started at Aberystwyth. He's loving it. She said the accommodation is good and she's been impressed with what they have seen so far.

ttlshiwwya Wed 20-Sep-17 14:05:14

Colleague's son is doing computer games programming at Abertay and also loving it. Colleague comes from a naice area and was a bit unsure about Dundee however son loves it and accommodation is cheap. I'd definitely visit.

readsalotgirl63 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:16:10

Hi Groovee - what about Glasgow for primary teaching ? Dd has just started there ( doing something else) and I'm sure one of the flatmates is studying primary teaching .

Stopyourhavering Wed 20-Sep-17 18:28:26

We're from Wales ( although I'm originally from Scotland and did MA at Aberdeen ages ago
My ds has just started Geograpy and Environmental science at Dundee and loving it, his sister went there too and did Philosophy and Film and is now out in China teaching English after doing MSc in TESOL at Edinburgh .....there are a lot of options in the 4 yr Scottish MA course unlike English/Welsh unis where you go directly into your BA subject and very little in way of options so you're stuffed if you don't like the subject!
Plus as a Welsh student ds gets a £2000 scholarship!!

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