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daughter threatening not to go to university - help!

(119 Posts)
olderandwider Fri 28-Aug-09 17:30:34

Hi, I'm new here but would really value some persepective on how to deal with my 18 year old's lack of enthusiasm for her second choice (ie insurance choice) university. Long story short, she messed around in 6th form and underperformed, so didn't make her predicted grades.

Her first choice uni rejected her, her second choice accepted her (even tho both offers had been identical!)She is really unkeen about her second choice, but has shown no enthusiasm for doing resits (in order to apply for 2010 entry she'd need to retake at least two A levels in November, I think) and she is talking about taking an unplanned gap year.

Thing is, she is a lazy madam and she will drive me mad lounging around the house. I doubt she will try very hard to get any sort of meaningful work (ie that will enhance her application for 2010 entry). Her younger brother is going into 6th form and I was looking forward to focusing more on his needs. DH and I think she should make the best of her insurance offer, and think she has had a narrow escape by avoiding clearing. It's a good university but just not what she really wanted.

She does want to go to uni (she is clever and went to a high-achieving school) but has taken this set back badly. Not doing resits would mean applying next year with 3Bs - not bad, but not enough to get her into the sort of course and uni she would like, and also unlikely to impress admissions tutors who will be looking at students with the new A* A levels.

Any views on this welcome!

HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 28-Aug-09 17:35:46

I think you should give her a choice - go to uni or get a job. (and MEAN it!) Lazing about the house is not an option. If she's not studying, you will expect £X per week towards household expenses.

She needs to know now that there's no laying around option!

She's very young and it's a hard lesson but an important one - We don't always get exactly what we want. That's life. get on with it!

She can either go there, or put in the effort to try for the place she really wants.

But perhaps before all that, a bit of tea and sympathy cos she's probably feeling low and pissed off about it. grin

brimfull Fri 28-Aug-09 17:36:22

Well I am firmly of the camp that lets them decide their own life.

Gap year with a job would be great idea -shame jobs are so hard to find.
Charge her rent to stop her lazing around?

MrsBadger Fri 28-Aug-09 17:49:29

is it the university or the course that she's unsure about?

if the latter it's much easier to change course during your studies than to get on a new one from scratch

if the former can you drag her down there and coo over the city/campus and enthuse her?

LaDiDaDi Fri 28-Aug-09 17:59:01

You need to spell out her choices to her and then let her decide.

1 Gap year in which she gets a job/funding and makes a financial contribution to the household (if she has some left over and wants to travel etc then fine but I don't see why you should fund this) and then reapply next year if she still wants to go to Uni.

2 Go to the Uni that she has a place at and see how she feels after a term. If she wants to change course after that then fine but then she must stick with her decision.

3 Not go to Uni but do resists and then reapply. She must convince you that she will put in the effort to get better grades (assuming that she can potentially achieve more) and any financial support must be conditional upon this. She also must be clear with you and in her own head why this will be of benefit to her in the short and long term re Uni and course and job prospects etc..

olderandwider Fri 28-Aug-09 18:05:22

Thanks for your replies.
Mrs B - it's the same subject but she's not keen on the uni, mainly because she will know no-one there, unlike her first choice.
Hecate and ggirl - gap year option is just so unappealing as we are not getting on and I can't see her earning enough to move out. Also, I doubt she would find the motivation to resit her A's (I know I sound negative about her, but her track record on hard academic work is not impressive!) which leaves the ongoing problem of the low-ish grades.

I am not a complete monster, and have been sympathetic, but I think she has had all her chances and opportunities and she needs to knuckle down and get on with the next stage. We are going to look at accommodation at the weekend and I hope she will look at things more optimistically!

twopeople Fri 28-Aug-09 18:06:52

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twopeople Fri 28-Aug-09 18:07:44

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twopeople Fri 28-Aug-09 18:09:44

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franklymydear Fri 28-Aug-09 18:10:04

she has choices

1) Go to second choice university, you will support her

2) Do resits in NOvember, you will support her

3) Take a year off, she will need to pay you rent of £300 a month and food and bills of £50 a week so obviously she'll need a job

brimfull Fri 28-Aug-09 18:13:32

Is university the best thing for her to do if she can't buckle down to alevels.

She could look into doing training for something else -hence taking the gap yr and deciding.

Difficult if you're not getting on well as uni is an ideal easy way to leave home-but expensive if it's not the right thing for her.

MrsBadger Fri 28-Aug-09 18:13:43

99% of students know no-one at their university
it is specifically designed for making new friends

I'd move heaven and earth to get her there now in the hopes that once she is deep in beer wholesome Fresher's activities she will love it

olderandwider Fri 28-Aug-09 18:14:54

i think the nub of this is, I really want her to move out! She needs to go away from home and stand on her own feet for once. This doesn't mean DH and I are trying to fob her off with a "go anywhere, it doesn't matter" but trying to make here see that she has actually had a lucky escape, and given her academic track record so far, is probably the best she can hope for (as I said before, it's a good uni, just not the one she set her heart on). She hasn't really been confronted, until now, with any painful consequences from her haphazard approach to school, so i guess she is still adjusting to the shock. Oh well, will plaster on a smile and coo at the campus.

bluebump Fri 28-Aug-09 18:15:53

I didn't get my first choice uni and I had already organised a year off where all I did was work - v boring! I was gutted not to get my first choice uni but my mum said to give it a go at my second choice uni and if I hated it by christmas then she would support me leaving but said I should give it a go. Of course as soon as I left home and went to uni I never looked back.

Reallytired Fri 28-Aug-09 18:16:00

University is not school. If she does not want to go that should be respected.

I had an unplanned gap year in the middle of a recession and I worked in a pub for six months. There are jobs out there, provided you aren't picky. If you live somewhere truely impossible to get work then she can do some volentary work.

My parents made me pay rent and I learnt a lot from doing a menial job. It gave me lifeskills and made me a better person.

I suppose the problem is what you do with her if she doesn't get off her backside. I doult I would have nerve to kick my own child he house.

Reallytired Fri 28-Aug-09 18:17:03

How about this?

olderandwider Fri 28-Aug-09 18:18:43

Sorry, my replies are about 10 replies out of date. You guys type so fast! Will let you all know how this pans out. Thanks for your views, really helpful. Got to go and throw something in the oven grin.

twopeople Fri 28-Aug-09 18:19:09

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MrsMattie Fri 28-Aug-09 18:19:57

I didn't get my first choice uni. I took a gap year and my mum made me work. I got a crappy job which led to quite a good, well paid job in recruitment (yawn). But it wasn't what I wanted to do at all and actually spurred me on to apply for a completely different course at a completely different. It all worked out fantastically well in the end, but only because my mum made me get a job and have a taste of the shitty old real world grin

MrsMattie Fri 28-Aug-09 18:20:28

completely different course at different uni, i should have said

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 28-Aug-09 18:23:04

uni or a job. Past 18 there's no more child benefit or CTC she she will have to earn. I took a gap year, left home, moved to another city into a shared house and got a job. Had a whale of a time too. Then was ready for uni.

moopymoo Fri 28-Aug-09 18:23:04

ditto those who say give her clear options whilst emphasising that going now is the best one and that it opens up more choices than it closes. Plus if she is taking a gap year tell her she needs to either have structured volunteer work that will give her transferable skills (and get her out of the house) or get a job. download application forms from mcdonalds, tkmaxx, asda etc. Be strong!

NigellaTufnel Fri 28-Aug-09 18:34:02

I'm sure you know this, but I think she is being a bit daft to think that knowing people at uni is important. It is all about making new friends.

Can you give us a hint about which one it is. Russell Group? Redbrick?

Was she hoping to go to a city uni and is going to a town / campus, or vice versa?

If you are feeling punchy about it, I would start a new thread asking fpor people's experiences of that uni, I'm sure between us we can come up with loads of good points about your dd's second choice.

Forester Fri 28-Aug-09 18:36:14

what will her friends be doing - she's likely to get pretty depressed if they're all heading off to uni and she stays at home.

Reallytired Fri 28-Aug-09 18:42:30

I have to admit that I don't have a teenagers, but I have had a similar experience of taking an unplanned gap year at 19. I took a year out in the middle of my degree which at the time made my parents furious.

Getting a job made me an adult, it made me realise that I had choices in life and I had to take responsiblity for my own decisions.

I went to university to please my parents and I did eventually complete my degree. It was a real difference deciding to do a course rather than pleasing parents. Actually taking a gap year made me realise that my parents loved me unconditionally even if I did not always forfill their dreams for me.

My only regret is that I did not take a gap year before going to uni. With hindsight and more maturity I would have chosen a different degree.

There is no reason why someone has to go to uni at 18. There are plenty of mature students.

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