DS (15) has no motivation.(14 Posts)
DS is 15 and in year 11.
He's predicted 2 9s (Maths & Biology), 2 8s (Geography & RE) and 5 7s (English Language, English Literature, Chemistry, Physics and French).
He has to apply to sixth form soon and has a few ideas about subject combinations but apart from that has no idea about the future. This makes him unmotivated and a bit stressed/upset that he doesn't have a clue what to do and is generally negative about his upcoming GCSE's. He also feels a bit inferior to people around him. His twin sister is targeted higher in most subjects, as are most of his friends (though he is still very intelligent and has always been top of the school for maths and biology). He started year 11 very determined to revise but says he doesn't see the point as compared to his friends he's stupid. He's also very upset that on a recent English Language assessment he got a grade 5. I've told him that he's not stupid, and that he doesn't need to have a career in mind yet as he's still only 15. Does anyone have any advice? He's usually a happy kid but is always worried about school/the future.
Also, the A level subject combinations he's considering are:
1) Biology, Maths, Geography (plus maybe F. Maths)
2) Biology, Chemistry, Maths (plus maybe F. Maths)
3) Biology, Maths, Physics (plus maybe F.Maths)
He's not particularly enthusiastic about being able to study subjects he likes, and doesn't know what careers he can get out of these. School have said he could do 4 A levels if he gets the grades, but again he's totally unmotivated and I'm not sure how to help.
If he wants to go to university then remind him that it rarely matter what he studies (unless he has a specific career in mind), which enables him to study something he enjoys. He doesn't have to do "law" or "medicine" or "journalism" or "social work" to have great career opportunities - in facts many more doors are opened by a broad degree. Biochemistry, biomedical science, maths, geography, geography with a year abroad (highly competitive courses), even a combination like biology and geography are all very strong options. With biology, chemistry, and maths he'd be well set up for natural sciences too at certain universities (Lancaster/Cambridge/York to name a few). With a degree in one of those subjects he wouldn't have to worry about a specific future career - just know that he'd be competitive for many options.
While jobs in research are low paid they're often quite rewarding for those who really love sciences, then from a maths/science/geography degree there are options for roles in forensics, healthcare (like a healthcare scientist), microbiology, toxicology, engineering, statistics, a lab manager/scientist, a dietician, botanist, zoologist, cartographer, environmental consultant, surveyor, town planner, aid/development worker, landscaping, tourism, transport, sustainability, science writing. With a broad degree he would also be able to go into IT/finance/business/logistics etc... so many options! He doesn't need a specific idea just yet.
I think I'd just encourage him to try his best. Perhaps ask him to come up with a study timetable and support him in getting down to work. Once he gets going, he'll probably be fine.
Blimey! What predicted results are his friends getting if "compared to them he feels stupid"?
Those are high targets.. if he can get those and he has worked hard then he should be proud of himself
Is it more a case of his friends being horrible and trying to put him down?
I agree that he just needs to concentrate on his studies and doing the best he can. He has time to sort out what he wants to do.. he will have more of an idea as he moves through GCSEs/ 6th form / A levels.
Tbh at 15, I think it's a better position to NOT know exactly what you want to do and work instead on keeping your options as open as possible .. so just trying to do as well as he can in all subjects
I think helping him to organise his revision and breaking down his subjects into chunks that he can get to grips with is the key. It sounds like it's all a bit overwhelming at the moment. He'll feel better when he can see what he's got to do and has a plan.
His friends are targeted all/mostly 9s and are already achieving these. I think the main reason ds is unmotivated is because since he was little he's had his heart set on being a doctor but doesn't think his grades are good enough, and he feels very stressed aiming for perfection.
Thanks to all pp, we've sorted him a revision timetable and he's feeling a little bit better today.
can't help thinking that your DS has been predicted some excellent results and must be working to have got those predictions. And a grade 5, in a subject he doesn't mean to take further than GCSE is a pass, and so not a disaster. He has plenty of time to improve before the exams, I'd encourage him to try his best and not get over involved in his sisters or friends grades.
Does he really really want to be a doctor??? is he doing stuff outside of studying that indicates an interest.....
Its just it seems like the default think bright kids absorb they should be interested in /looking at doing....not necessarily what works for them as individuals....It takes such a lot and so many try and fail but don't have a good plan b or an idea of what they are really into and also lots drop out
on face value his other 2 sciences are not his strengths so either he has to really focus on pulling them up or maybe actually it's not for him..... Geography, Maths and Biology are a really interesting combination...RE is a good subject as is another interested about the world...
If he feels a real passion to be a doctor then great but it really isn't all its cracked up to be for a lot of people...
avery He has a bit of work experience in clinical practices. He doesn't particularly enjoy Chemistry but doesn't have any other ideas really about a career. He does love Geography though. I think he'd enjoy a biological sciences degree or something, but again all of his mates are doing 3 sciences plus maths and further maths A levels plus an EPQ so again I think he's trying to fit in, even if it's not what he wants.
His twin sister has chosen to do Biology, Maths, Geography and Sociology A levels so they are very similar in their interests.
Motivational a ds is very hard. I understand. I think he's doing fine actually and has various options open to him.
Does sound like he should focus on what he's good at and passionate about rather than his friends ...how about maths/further maths Geography and Biology then he could do some really interesting degrees with that combo...If he doesn't want to do exactly the same as his sister but also stay with his further maths friends! Chemistry is a revisable subject but tricky I think to do medicine if your not into it all
(am frustrated geographer so maybe projecting as always jealous of those that did geography /travel the world type degrees.)Friends daughter had an amazing time it uni of sussex and a stint in Borneo/Malaysia..
Also opens up lots of corporate jobs
Thanks avery. Just had a chat with him and turns out he would love to do Geography, Biology, Maths and Further Maths A levels! He said he is starting to really dislike chemistry too. He got 97% in a recent geography assessment though He seems a bit more motivated and relaxed after our chat, and he's currently revising English. Thanks all pp, your advice is much appreciated.
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