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Son seems convinced Uni is the only path, Help!

(11 Posts)
EDbucksmum Thu 31-Mar-16 12:17:20

I am battling at the moment with the fact that my son only considers University as an option for once he finishes his A-Levels.
I know usually people have issues with their children not being able to make a mistake, and I should be pleased that he knows which direction he wants to go in, although, he has never done any work experience, or even considered that there are other options out there once he leaves school like apprenticeships, work placements etc. As I am not 100% confident his A-level results will allow him to get in to the universities that he wants to and therefore I want him to have other ideas to fall back on but right now he doesn't!
Any ideas on how I can ease the idea of looking at other options in? Any events we can attend together near Aylesbury that may spark some consideration in him?

Thanks in advance

supplysam Thu 31-Mar-16 12:19:39

He will get in somewhere. It is very hard not to!

titchy Thu 31-Mar-16 12:21:42

He needs to get some prospectuses and look at grade requirements for his subject. The pp is right in that unless he outright fails there'll be somewhere for him to go.

EDbucksmum Thu 31-Mar-16 12:59:42

Thanks for that, would like to show him some career paths also, any sites which just list career shows, or apprenticeship shows?

mary21 Thu 31-Mar-16 14:45:17

You have just missed the national apprentice show in Milton Keynes.
If you go on what united and put in predicted grades it will tell you what courses and where. If predicted grades/are very low some will be 4 year courses with foundation year.
There is also a/site called not going to inlaid that might be helpful

mary21 Thu 31-Mar-16 14:47:20

That should read "not going to uni" notgoingtouni.Co.UK

homebythesea Fri 01-Apr-16 08:39:29

There is completely no point in going to Uni if his grades mean he is only likely to go to a bad university doing a silly course. You can find emplyability stats for courses and Unis online. This may focus his thoughts. Why graduate with ££££ debt and end up as a Barista? I agree is a great resource- enter your predicted grades and subject and it will show you where you are likely to get in.

However, I would be wary of crushing his dream if that is likely to act as a significant boost to his studies. My DS got very distinctly average GCSE's but somehow in the 2 years since has become focussed and ambitious and this has resulted in a brilliant work ethic and a place this year (we hope!) at a top RG Uni.

Haffdonga Fri 01-Apr-16 09:02:43

I agree with you that there are other good options apart from uni. (Some apprenticeships are excellent, others are government sanctioned criminal explotation.)
I agree with him that if he knows what he wants to do at uni he should focus on that and put all his energies into getting there.
I agree with PP that you need to be careful not to discourage him from achieving as highly as he is aiming for..

If he wants to go to uni and knows what course he wants to do that can be a massive incentive to pull some unexpectedly good grades out of the bag. (Be aware too, that often unis accept a proportion of students who don't achieve the grades offered. Of course you can't rely on it but there is sometimes wiggle room).

Look at it this way, for now he puts all his eggs into the uni basket - getting the highest grades he possibly can. He may get the course he wants. Hooray. If he doesn't, he's got the option of taking a year 'out' and getting a job or apprenticeship instead. There's no deadline for doing that - he doesn't need to plan it now. He could apply again next year if he still wants to go to uni.

Also, I'd push him to get some work experience after A levels whether he's going to uni or not. A university degree does not usually lead to a job and uni students need work experience just as much as anyone else.

PortobelloRoad Fri 01-Apr-16 11:46:02

What are his predicted grades? I wouldn't discourage him, it;s a good thing that he wants to go after all. I would cross the "no uni" bridge if and when he comes to it.

It's not a matter of top uni or non at all. My DS's friends started to graduate last year and they're all doing fine, whether they went to UCL or London met. Also, "bad" universities do do "proper subjects" too. It's not all media studies and football ground management or whatever.

FillingMakesMeVom Fri 01-Apr-16 12:14:22

Due to a number of reasons such as continuous deaths in my family from just before GCSE exams to the end of A Levels, plus some horrible teaching methods, i was a boy in a joint sixth form consisting of neighbouring boy and girls schools, with my lessons exclusively in the girls school, the teachers tortured me from knowing I had just gone to a funeral the day before and looking at me when saying young people don't know how to behave at funerals, literally locking me in 1.5m x 1.5m cupboard so I couldn't talk or interact with the girls ( I was the only boy in my class), to literally telling me and helping me and saying my work was an A-B and then down marking it to an D-E.

Anyway because of bad advice and a mixture of things I left school with only 1D,1E A level and 2 similar AS levels. I was able to get onto a foundation degree which meant I finished my actual undergraduate degree course the same time as if I had started the undergraduate course at the same time, this was in a middle of the range university, and although I now suffer from anxiety and depression which has stopped me from working, my friends on the same business course as myself with similar results are now in work for 2-3 years and are earning close to £100k p/a. So bad A level results don't mean necessarily that you can't go to university or get a good degree, but I acknowledge my experience isn't to be taken necessarily as representative to all who take that route

EDbucksmum Tue 05-Apr-16 10:37:11

Thank you everyone for your great replies, I have discussed it with my son again after reading all your suggestions and ideas.

He has now pro-actively found some career shows he wants to visit aswell as pursuing Uni to see what is available, he even mentioned apprenticeships after showing him this about John Lewis taking on Degree Apprentices, that I found on Twitter (

Thanks again, hopefully he comes to a decision that makes him happy more than anything

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