19year old uni problems, help!!!

(20 Posts)
bonkersblonde Sat 02-Jan-16 22:47:42

Hi
My 19 year old daughter is about to return to uni having told us she hates her course. This all came out v last minute on the 28th as we were about to leave for a family second Christmas with the result that she was late to it and spoilt it for me and my husband. There are various issues.

1) She isn't enjoying her course (accountancy and finance)
2) She doesn't understand some of it so has been avoiding some of those lectures (no logic)
3) She has had a massive problem getting up (after 2pm most days and 5.30 today as she had a "migraine migraine headache"- she doesn't get migraines)
4) We can't talk rationally to her about any of this as she just starts crying and saying she can't do any work/tidy her room/do anything productive as we have now reminded her of her shortcomings and she's now too upset to do anything. We are very gentle with her now as anything else provokes a massive crying fit.
5) She has no friends and the other 5 in her flat have rented a house for next year without her as she says they love clubbing/pre loading and she hates drinking.
6) We have suggested going to her personal and academic tutors about these issues but she says she's only allowed to see her tutor twice a term(can't be right).

There is a lot more, but too much for here! The upshot is that she isn't homesick at all but isn't coping socially or academically although she is very bright. She has a big problem with motivation from the horizontal and knows that moving back home isn't going to work. Anything we suggest is met by ridiculous barriers and she accused me of calling her stupid today when I suggested that having a craft stall and making crochet items for said stall would be less than lucrative (this seems to be her alternative to uni, forgive me if I don't think it will bring in much).

Anyone else have success with this type of problem? She has said that she doesn't enjoy anything and only goes out in the evenings at home (she does miraculously have a boyfriend and friends at home) because she can't spend the whole time asleep. It sounds like either depression or laziness but she won't go to the doctor. Help, anyone!!!

LaurieFairyCake Sat 02-Jan-16 23:05:13

Oh god, she doesn't sound remotely ready for uni. I'd take her to the doctor at home, contact her personal tutor/student support/student welfare and talk to them.

She sounds in too much of a mess to go back to this course and if she's not enjoying it at all Id help her talk to the uni about switching and starting next year (if this is her first year) or changing some of the modules for others? And staying

I assume your paying for some of this ? I wouldn't put up with the defensiveness or crochet ideas (!) but instead just look at it as a problem to deal with. She's clearly got the wrong idea that you're going to be massively disappointed in her etc etc

Clobbered Sat 02-Jan-16 23:14:56

It's not that unusual for students to realise that they have made the wrong choice of course, and it's better to pull out now after just one term than to struggle on for ages hating it all (especially when the level of non-coping is this bad). Would she be relieved if she didn't have to go back? I think it is definitely worth her talking to the uni / tutors about the issues she is having to see if they can offer any more support.
It sounds as though the situation is very emotionally charged and it's hard to talk to her without another upset. Perhaps you could write her a (brief) letter saying that you love her, want her to be happy, want to help her resolve things etc. I think you probably need to spend some time just listening as well, rather than trying to come up with solutions. The sleeping all the time does sound like possible depression, so perhaps you could persuade her to see her GP too.

thenightsky Sat 02-Jan-16 23:19:26

Oh God. We had this almost exactly the same with DS. He is now back home and doing nothing, after having 2 shots at his 2nd year and failing badly by not attending lectures, not socialising with fellow students etc.

Watching thread for ideas... sad

bonkersblonde Sat 02-Jan-16 23:22:02

Thanks, I really want her to see her gp but short of dragging her........she is fine with leaving us( was desperate to get away from the constant expectation to get up I think!) but clearly not coping with anything socially she has joined a trampolining club and the orchestra but doesn't seem to be able to translate any of that into friendship. From what I can remember, I was out all the time and not always clubbing! Often tea/coffee in others' rooms but she doesn't drink tea or coffee or alcohol and doesn't seem to be able to make any other connections. She has made some at the youth club she goes to but that's on the back of her boyfriend's membership (he's in the same city) and I really worry that she'll lose all of this if they split up

bonkersblonde Sat 02-Jan-16 23:23:18

Oh thenightsky, I hope you get some ideas! And some for us too, just want to go back 10 years and do it again....sad

bonkersblonde Sat 02-Jan-16 23:27:17

@clobbered, thanks, I would listen if she would talk! She just cries then leaves the room as she did earlier and went to her boyfriend's for tea rather than talk to me. She doesn't ever talk about anything emotional and then it all comes out in a big rant that ends up with us all upset. I think she tends to ignore and pretend it's not happening rather than face it. I don't know if she talks to anyone, certainly not us or her sister. Some of the things she says makes me suspect depression but I don't know if it's that or laziness, difficult when she wont do anything about anything!

thenightsky Sat 02-Jan-16 23:36:31

DS was desperately depressed when he came back. So depressed he could barely speak.

Its taken 2 years, but he is coming round a bit now. But what is there for a a 22 year old with no qualifications?

Currently thinking about Open University. At least he can do that at home.

Doesn't help that he is very aspie.

thenightsky Sat 02-Jan-16 23:37:33

And yes... wish we could go back 10 years!

Twitterqueen Sat 02-Jan-16 23:40:59

Uni just doesn't suit some people and it would seem that your DD is really struggling. As a first step she absolutely needs to change course.

HellesBelles01 Sun 03-Jan-16 00:09:53

My first thought was that it does sound like depression. I experienced something similar in my first year at uni. I did see the GP on campus (without telling my parents - they wanted me to go of course but I needed privacy and space to do it in my own time). He did diagnose depression but also a "late adolescent readjustment phase", or words to that effect. I was a bit hmm at the time but now I think he was right. There's a lot of pressure at uni - academic (worse for the bright ones IME), social, financial (during course, securing good job after graduating, perceived/actual pressure from parents who are funding you). At 19, not all kids have the resilience to deal with all this stuff at once.

I could be way off the mark, of course, but maybe she needs you to take some of that pressure of her. That could be a year out, switching courses, applying to a different uni. I'd encourage the crochet, especially if it's the one thing that motivates her. I would feel pretty crushed at that age if my DM had discouraged my hobby. It's more pressure (to earn money, be successful) when she probably really wants a cuddle and reassurance from you that she's loved and valued regardless (I am NOT saying you don't). IME keeping up a hobby during a depressed or anxious period can be a literal life saver. She will also learn a skill that could provide some form of income (most likely just as a side venture but it's not impossible) in future, when she's feeling better and more motivated.

I do hope things pick up for her soon. It must be frustrating when she wont discuss her feelings with you, but I think all you can do is be there when she is ready to talk. I'd be cautious not to push (or what she would interpret as push) her to open up...you can always vent your frustration on MN.

vivafibble Sun 03-Jan-16 00:33:47

I had a difficult time back when I first went to uni and ended up diagnosed with severe depression. Her behaviour does sound like depression to me.

I didn't involve my parents much but I went to the GP of my own accord and was referred to a psychiatrist. I took a year out and returned to finish my course.

If the course subject is something that she was keen on before she went, the lack of interest might be more the depression than a mismatch so I wouldn't immediately suggest a change of subject. At my lowest points I would complain that I didn't enjoy my course, but that's the nature of depression - you don't enjoy anything any more. Might be different though if it was something she chose at the last minute or didn't have much idea about.

I got a lot of adjustments and support due to getting a proper diagnosis, so I'd really urge her to get support through her GP. It's not something you can push as a parent for someone her age, but I know for me it made a difference with things like deadlines and finances, as it showed that I wasn't just being flaky but an actual disability. I know some people who refused to get help and it came back to bite them years later wrt funding etc, so it's really worth it in the long run.

N3wYear2016 Mon 04-Jan-16 01:33:49

Ref crochet or knitting or sewing

Suggest that she starts a "stitch n bitch" or "knit n knatter" club at uni
Can be done via facebook or other social media, meet in pub or when group is established at different students houses
or
if she is at uni in a big town join the local town adult group

Sell items made on Etsy or in local crafty shops

bonkersblonde Mon 04-Jan-16 01:44:42

That's a really good idea, thanks.

She's gone back today seemingly happier but saying it's still a course she hates. We've advised seeing tutors etc about swapping courses and going to the doc re depression. I hope she does both of these things as we're a bit powerless although she is only 90 minutes away luckily. Fingers crossed for some positives and thanks for all your input, really helps x

Busyworkingmum71 Mon 04-Jan-16 01:52:25

Going way back, I studied law at uni, because it was a course my parents (df) thought was an appropriate career path. I loathed it, stuck at it for 2years, was managing the workload ok, but became horribly depressed, even suicidal in second year and eventually dropped out.

Drifted for a while, held down a job, but not a career., for. ~8yrs .Eventually in my 30's decided to give uni another stab, did a science degree, loved it, graduated with a first.

She may just not be ready for uni, and terrified of being a failure in your eyes. I think as a pp has mentioned you need to listen, and not offer solutions. Ask her what she wants, if it's crocheting, so be it. It's her life now, may not be the choices you would make, and may not bring her a living, but she might have to find that out for herself.

Sorry it's tough. And not many useful suggestions. Except to back off, let her figure this out and support her in her choices. It won't affect you. Obviously if she drops out of uni, she will need to think about supporting herself, paying rent, contribution to the bills, etc if she expects to live at your home.

bonkersblonde Mon 18-Jan-16 23:56:46

Hello all, an update.

Well, how a few weeks can change things! She's found 2 others to share with, has told us that the major meltdown was due to (partly) exam stress, the modules for this term and the tutors look much better than last term and she'll probably stay.

She has also registered with the medical practice (so she says!) and may go re depression but she's so much more buoyant now that I think she might not go. Blimey, moods are up and down at that age, how you forget.....

Meanwhile the 15 year old is smoking, has a 17 year old boyfriend who smokes weed and she's sleeping with him, I have to have a radical hysterectomy (open surgery, they can't do keyhole) never rains but it pours!!!

Can't they be 5 and 9 again????

On the plus side, I can't have any more to muck up!!!

Thanks for all your help a few weeks ago

thenightsky Tue 19-Jan-16 17:48:59

That's wonderful news OP!! (the uni course, not the other stuff obv)

grin

bonkersblonde Wed 20-Jan-16 21:08:25

Yes was a big relief! Esp as younger one now excluded from school for 2 days after she was spotted smoking and cigarettes were found on her. Grrr, bloody kids!!

foxy6 Thu 21-Jan-16 07:47:16

Glad your Dr is happier. My ds19 told us after the Christmas hols that he wanted to quit uni. He is doing a course he has wanted to do since young, but has decided it's not for him. He has missed work, and not really made friends on the course. 2 men truer to mug him with a knife when he started, he got away safely but it shook him up for a bit and he missed lectures, and I think he just never caught up, this is also when friendship groups are made.he does however have good friendships whit his flat mates, they were a lot of help to him when this happened. He handed in his withdrawal letter yesterday, but doesn't want to come home and is hoping he will be able to stay in him accomidayion as it is paid for and pick up extra hours in his job. He has now decided to join the army? No idea where that came from x

bonkersblonde Thu 21-Jan-16 11:50:05

Wow, hope that works out. Must have been awful for him being mugged, can't imagine what that must have felt like, sympathies xx

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