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To think that DS can travel from Essex-London 3 days a week for college?

29 replies

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 00:45


DS is 18 and 99.9% sure he has failed his AS-Levels again. He failed them last year and retook the year. He's very academic (good GCSEs) but was lazy over these last 2 years. He matured massively around February but it was a bit too late then!!

He wants to do an access course and most don't accept you from 19+, he has phoned 4 colleges in the Essex area and they all said no. He emailed one in London just out of pot luck really and they said they would accept him and he has the interview/assessment booked. He'd need to get a bus to the station and then trains.

It's 3 days a week. He wants to take a year out and start it next year when it's just a 15 min drive away. He has a part time job and is starting volunteering in 3 weeks time (which is 1 shift a week).

AIBU to think he should take that place in a heartbeat and be grateful that isn't another year gone!? Or is he BU to think waiting a whole year is better??

OP posts:
wobblywonderwoman · 23/06/2017 00:47

Taking a year out after two lazy years would be a no go from me

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 00:49

Exactly my point @wobblywonderwoman I think having to travel would do him good!

OP posts:
wobblywonderwoman · 23/06/2017 00:52

Well I think he needs to start showing commitment. If his study skills improved in February, he needs to keep up the momentum and absolutely has to start the access this year. Are there any other alternatives?

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 00:56

Unfortunately not @wobblywonderwoman he could go back and do 2 years extended diploma but he couldn't get on due to the 16 year olds being entitled to it first due to him applying late so the late 16 year olds got it first.

OP posts:
PencilsInSpace · 23/06/2017 01:10

Essex is big and London is big. Are we talking Chigwell to Stratford or Finchingfield to Hounslow? How long is the journey and how much does it cost? Are you paying or is he?

wheresthel1ght · 23/06/2017 01:13

Depending where in few Essex yes it is doable, however I think he is right to take time out.

He has possibly suffered some sort of burnout and may need a break on order to refocus. Providing he is working & paying board while he is out of education then I would support it.

SomeOtherFuckers · 23/06/2017 02:17

I did my Alevels at normal age and had to get 3 buses and it took 1.5 hours every morning ... it's v doable

OhWotIsItThisTime · 23/06/2017 06:16

Train into Liverpool St, then bus, bike or tube. Easily done. It'll cost, though - who will pay for the commute?

Bumdishcloths · 23/06/2017 06:22

If he's not ready to do it, it will be a massive waste of money if you pressure him to do it now.

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 09:25

I would expect him to cover the travel costs.

OP posts:
witsender · 23/06/2017 09:41

Depends where? My aunt commutes from near Frinton and starts work around 8am, so leaves ridiculously early. But for only 3 days a week it should be fine?

Thefuryroad · 23/06/2017 09:44

I did an access course a few years ago and most people were in their 20's or 30's. Your son is an adult now, maybe he really needs a break from studying; there's nothing like working some dead end jobs to give you focus and clarity about what you want (or rather don't want) for the rest of your life. Further and higher education is so expensive now that I think it's far better to wait until you are 100% certain what you want to study and are committed to the course. I wouldn't let my kid bum round and do nothing but if they were earning and volunteering and planning on returning to studies later then I think that's totally fine.

NoSquirrels · 23/06/2017 09:47

I'd let him take "a year out" if he had a plan to earn money. Does he?

Addley · 23/06/2017 09:48

Could he do a degree with a foundation year instead? Or BTEC?

mygorgeousmilo · 23/06/2017 09:48

Maybe he'd be better off with some kind of apprenticeship? IN the nicest possible way, if he couldn't cope with A-levels, I would say the academic environment is not suited to him/vice versa. At his age he should be able to travel from Essex to London, without issue. For me, after two 'lazy years' I wouldn't be happy with him losing another one.

Littlelondoner · 23/06/2017 09:52

I did an access course albeit 10 years ago now.

But in my experience it was a lot more accademmic then alevels in the sense it is alot of coursework consistantly and no exams.

Would this study method suit him?

I am sure most 18 year olds would jump at the chance of being in London 3 days a week no?

Although so much easier to fall into the trap of "just going for one" & distractions. Which is sounds like he may not need any encouragement on.

sparklefarts · 23/06/2017 09:54

It's very hard to judge when we don't know where in Essex and where in London.
It could be 45 mins travel or it could be 3 hours.
Could also cost a bomb...

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 09:57

Chelmsford - Westminster

No, he was predicted ABC in his a levels and is academic but like I said, was very lazy. It isn't his ability that was the problem. From February he really stepped up.

There is no way he'd want to do anything but his chosen career and that requires uni.

OP posts:
AndNowItIsSeven · 23/06/2017 09:58

Are you sure you aren't mistaken because being 19 to start an access course is a national requirement.

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 10:00

Definitely not mistaken? Confused he has been invited to the interview/assessment and they said as long as he's 18 they don't mind. Is that not allowed then? Very odd!

OP posts:
beckythemasterbaker · 23/06/2017 10:02

He should make his part time job full time. Some people are not cut out for eduction. Sometime it's not just about being clever but dedication with some people and your soon does not fit in that category.

He might be better after fives years or he would have curved a career by then and won't need anymore education. Either way, it's not the end of the world.

Addley · 23/06/2017 10:02

For Access you need to be a self-starter. Nobody checks up on you all that much because everyone's an adult who's doing it because they really want to be there. Lots of very motivated people who want a new career. And even then, there's often a very high dropout rate. The course goes very quickly, if you're doing it in the standard 1 year (I did it part time, 2 years), with little classroom time (at my college, 12 hours' class time per week for full-timers), and you're expected to do the bulk of your learning outside the classroom. The assignments come thick and fast and at my college we had almost no marked homework except the assignments - so all the motivation there has to come from you, there's no teacher demanding homework and marking it for you so that you'll know what's going to be required on the coursework.

GeorgeandMaisie · 23/06/2017 10:04

@beckythemasterbaker he wouldn't do that. He 100% wants to go to uni and no matter how much I tell him he can do this this and this. He won't listen, he'll still be just as determined to do it.

OP posts:
AndNowItIsSeven · 23/06/2017 10:07

George I am wondering if it is a course that leads on to an access. Or maybe it's a private institution with its own rules.
This so generally so I assume you must have got lucky.
If travel is affordable he should go for it.

To think that DS can travel from Essex-London 3 days a week for college?
MidsummerMoo · 23/06/2017 10:34

I'm also surprised he can do it at 18 and would be hesitant to push him right into it against his will. The Access course will be full on when he starts and I'd be concerned that - despite being academic and realising his mistakes - a long journey on top of an involved course might be enough for him to lose focus again...

He could make the most of a year out by working (to contribute to household; set some conditions!) and volunteering in chosen field - something that will be good on a uni application and that he can continue doing a day or so whilst doing the course next year.

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