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Son dropping out of uni in second year!

(7 Posts)
user1487216261 Thu 16-Feb-17 04:52:43

Firstly apologies for the long first message!!

My son did well in his GCSE's and A levels obtaining a place at a RG uni to do a BSc but restarted his A levels a second year as he felt he had made a wrong decision in the subjects he should take. This coincided with him having a sports injury and was unable to exercise for 11 months which was upsetting for him as he played county level for two sports. I first noticed he was a little 'down' around this time and talked to him about it but he didn't want to think about it all....his coping mechanism I guess. I however sought help about him possibly suffering from mild depression, but I was told among other things him wanting to play on his Xbox for hours on end rather than going out to see his friends was very normal for boys of this age!

Therefore when he started his degree aged 19 due to his early birth date in academic year it meant he was almost 20.

He seemed to be fine during the first year, having fun and made lots of friends and only returned home for Christmas and Easter holidays. Although he seemed to have plenty of friends, not in his flat, so he decided to rent a house with an old school friend and four other students for the second and third years.

During this past year I fell very poorly and wasn't able to go and visit him as I was unable to drive (single mum) and although I asked his dad if he could he only did so twice throughout the year .......he has always been a bit of a home boy and he didn't really want to go to a uni more than 2 hours from home but ended up at one 3 hours away. I felt very guilty about not being able to visit him!

On the day he returned for his second year, I went into hospital for a major operation ....... I had already been hospitalised about six times during the summer while he was home and he saw how poorly I was first hand!! I ended up in ITU for a week with added comp,cations and have been hospitalised a further four times since and given a cancer diagnosis. Due to all the stress and worry Unfortunately he had four migraines each lasting up to five days one after another meaning that he missed the whole month of October and a little bit of November from his lectures. He has suffered a few of these in the past during stressful times and has medication to help him with him at uni, but he chose not to take them as he felt it just makes the migraines worse if he doesn't get to them quicly enough! Consequently as he is doing a science degree he missed important lab lectures which meant he couldn't attain more than seventy percent of the marks available in his recent January assessments.

I found out about what had happened to him only just before Christmas as he felt he couldnt talk to me about it as I was so poorly and in hospital a lot. He said he couldn't talk to his sister as she had just started a new pressurised job and wouldn't speak with his dad as he wouldn't understand .....he's never been very close to his dad .....his dads choice! He said he didn't want to admit to his housemates what had happened. He stopped going to the gym during this time and pretty much hibernated in his room alone!

He mentioned however that he did keep in contact with his personal tutor throughout the time and he has been very helpful and supportive trying to give him more time to complete assignments etc plus discuss his options.

He said he was going to try to resist the module exams in the summer but found out he couldn't retake more than two modules. I have provided information regarding my health to help explain the cause of his migraines which have proved helpful. When he came home to revise in January he seemed very distracted and couldn't study and we had a big chat and he mentioned he thought that he was depressed and that actually I was right he thought he had felt mildly depressed since dropping back a year at college while he was doing his A levels. He went to see our friendly GP who I had already mentioned several times I was worrying about my sn being depressed and he was marvellous, helped him identify problems alongside solutions and prescribed him a very low dose of antidepressants. Since this time ...three weeks.... he seemed much more upbeat, motivated was at lectures and was back in the gym training with friends!

Yesterday however he sent me and his father a group text to say ....I've pretty much decided on resitting this year. It's either that or find a job. Thought I'd let you know!

His father apparently has been messaging him to say it may be best to get a job and I am devastated for him that he might not return to study in September and take a job instead. It sounds like he is going to stay in the university town as there are better job prospects than returning home which I understand but worry about!

I feel like a complete failure .......I know I over compensated for him not having his dad in this everyday life since the age of eleven. He has always been a little in the lazy side, not a self starter and very disorganised but he is a good, kind, respectful young man and I am very proud of him.

I so worry that he will regret this decision but I know he is an adult now so should make those decisions himself! I now worry about his future and I feel he doesn't want to come home as he would feel a failure! I worry he has already incurred a lot of uni debt and most possibly won't have a degree! He has often said that there is no point getting a degree from a Russell's Group Uni unless you get a first or a two one which I understand.

I'm feeling so sad I cannot sleep ....been up all night it's almost five in the morning!!! I wish he would have not sent a joint text to tell me .......I feel hurt it was so impersonal I feel desperate for him!

What to do now? ....".....sorry for the long message I hope someone has some good advice?? I would be very grateful ...thanks

timeforabrewnow Thu 16-Feb-17 05:30:52

It sounds like you have all been through a lot over the past year. Let your son come to his own decision and support him through that.


SallyInSweden Thu 16-Feb-17 05:33:05

I think it might actually be a good thing. If he has time to restart the year in September, and perhaps tackle some of his debt then perhaps he is doing the sensible then.

But, if this is the slow way of saying "I'm not going back ever" then he needs to get a long term plan.

Tweennightmare Thu 16-Feb-17 05:38:45

Hi User I think your son is being very sensible. It sounds like with the time off with migraines and his state of mind he has just got too far behind. Writing this text may be the biggest indicator he is on the mend as he is accepting the situation for what it is. I would however be fully encouraging him to do the second year again . It would be a shame to see all that work go to waste . Did he have an ultimate career in mind . I think this is what he wants to do he just wants your support . I would be mad with ex DH encouraging him to get a job and would be desperately trying to negate this comment but ultimately it is your DS decision I think you just have to support him either way

user1487216261 Thu 16-Feb-17 09:33:59

Thank you so much for all your messages I am very grateful 😊 I think it's a good decision but like tweenightmare says it's been a long hard slog so far so completely dropping the degree after passing his first year so well it just seems such a waste plus the job he has his sights on in Pharmaceuticals needs this degree!!

Fingers crossed 🤞

I have always been here to support him and always will whatever his decisions in life and I am sure he knows that!

Sunnie1984 Thu 16-Feb-17 09:45:50

He sounds very mature and sensible.

After all that had happened recently I am not surprised he is struggling.

He is right, having less than a 2.1 can cause issues long term (I can attest to that!), do better to take a break now and some time off, rather than plod through a degree which he cannot re-do.


user1487216261 Thu 16-Feb-17 22:29:31

Thanks again for your messages ...a little update!

I had a good chat on the telephone with his this afternoon and he told me he feels totally relieved that the university have said he can restart the year in September. His personal tutor has been very helpful and pointed him th right direction and also supported his decision knowing how well he did in year one!

We had a chat about what he should do for the next 7 months and he has decided to apply to CampAmerica hopefully to work in a sports camp as he has experience and qualifications teaching cricket and tennis. I am so proud he has taken the time to think everything through and even found a potential student who can take over his room...... phew! He will have more debt by restarting his second year but the other option was to struggle through and possibly get a 2:2 and lose the prospect of his dream job!

It's been quite an epic year for us ...... let's just hope everything else goes more smoothly from here on ........first scans for me next week to check the cancer hasn't returned!!! Fingers crossed all round 😊

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