DDs uni choice aaaargh!

(67 Posts)
amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 12:28:43

Ok, I've posted about this previously so sorry to bore people but I really just need to get this off my chest and any comment would be welcome.

DD has offers from her two top uni choices (along with two others) - one is the top performing Uni both as a uni and for her subject and is relatively local to us (an hour), though she would have to live away and has a great student life. The other is a vibrant seaside city who's Uni has poor results for her subject. On visit days she was absolutely taken with the 'good' uni (you know that initial gut reaction) and cried with disappointment at the 'bad' uni. However, when on a girls holiday this year she met up with a group of lads from the seaside city who encouraged them to go and visit. She's been down there clubbing several times now (inc NYE) and has spent an absolute fortune (of her own money) in doing so. As far as she is concerned it is the be all and end all of places. DH and I both know that if she chooses to go here it will be for all the wrong reasons (given her disappointment at the visit), her primary one being the clubbing scene. She doesn't take into account that the times she has been there already she has had plenty of money to enjoy herself. It will be vastly different when she is a student. Also the campus is a train/bus ride away from the city, with no student bar and very little social activity. She seems to think she will have the recources (somehow) to party like she has been doing. We know that if she goes there she will regret it when she realises that she has very little to do for 5 or 6 nights a week. I know a lot of people will say (as has already been said to me) that she is an adult, it's her choice, we have to let her get on with it. Whilst I agree with that in principle, DH and I do not want her to spend 3 years and accrue almost £50,000 of debt just to party and go clubbing. It pains me to say it, but if that were the case I'd rather she left school, moved down there and got a job. The other thing is, we will be helping her financially, so what level of input does that give us (without it sounding like blackmail)?

mumblechum1 Wed 09-Jan-13 12:36:10

I suspect that once she's actually enrolled on her course she'll have no choice but to get her nose in her books and limit socialising to the weekends. She won't be able to afford taxis into town every night, and I doubt that many of her friends will either.

So far as your input is concerned, we're in a similar boat, I'll be paying DS's accommodation and he'll have to fund everything else from his loan (he'll just get the bare minimum loan), and I've told him I'll pay for a shared bathroom accom, if he wants an en suite he'll have to pay for it himself. Other than that I have no input, I don't think the fact that I'm paying a contribution entitles me to dicate where he goes tbh.

You've given your dd your opinion and if she chooses to ignore it and ends up having a boring time or dropping out, it's her problem really.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 12:49:44

Yes, your right mumble sad It just seems like a potential waste of money, especially if she drops out, that I get myself so worked up over it. Thats why I posted, I need people to give me a reality check! lol

Could you encourage her to visit the two uni's again? Even if there are no more 'official' visit dates planned they will normally be happy for her to come and visit the subject department to talk about the course. That may remind her what she liked and disliked about them the first time round.
But, at the end of the day, she needs to feel she has had the final choice, even if you think her reasons are daft!

derekthehamster Wed 09-Jan-13 13:12:51

Well if she doesn't have the money to go into town and go clubbing, she'll have to do some work won't she grin, especially if there are no bars on campus.

I think I remember your post before, and if I'm right, she'll have loads of fun at the Uni across the road grin

derekthehamster Wed 09-Jan-13 13:16:06

Also, if I'm thinking of the right seaside city, she won't be clubbing at the weekends much as it's way too expensive. She'll be going to the student nights (tues and thurs in my day) and catching the yellow bus home grin

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 13:18:14

Thank you AMum Yes, she does have the opportunity to go back to both on post offer visits. We are conspiring arranging it so that she goes to the better one last and it is fresher in her mind when she has to choose wink. You are so right about her having to feel it's her choice, whatever. If she did feel we had pushed her to the 'good' uni and she hated it there, she would blame us.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 13:20:17

derek a good point, very well made wink and yes, I'm sure you are thinking the right city, lol.

eatyourveg Wed 09-Jan-13 19:35:15

Can I throw in my pennys worth here? - re the post offer visit days, if you arrange to the better uni last, do you think she will actually go? Might she visit the first and then say she's made up her mind, its not worth it, or maybe go but not really take an interest in what she is seeing/hearing? Personally I would encourage her to go to the better one first, make a mental note of all the positive points and then keep those things you have ticked off as plusses at the front of your mind when you go to visit the seaside one.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 20:01:55

eatyourveg thank you. The reason for this is because she saw the better uni back in July and absolutely loved it. She subseqently had her hols and came back 'I want to go to * uni' '* uni is great' 'the place is great' etc., without even seeing it! When we did visit there in October she had put it on such a pedestal she actually cried when she went because it was such a disappointment and so this is fresher in her mind. However, this hasn't deterred her and we thought if she goes back to that one first, when she does see the better one the good feelings will be fresher in her mind when she makes her choice.

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 20:04:37

If that all makes sense? blush

I went to the "wrong" uni because of a boy. I still regret it now, and I'm 45!

boomting Wed 09-Jan-13 21:06:58

With regards to the finance issue, perhaps you could sit down with her and make a realistic budget? You could do it in categories, including rent, food, bus fares, clothes and so on. Make sure you've subtracted expenses that only come in once a year (e.g. paying the deposit for next year's house, which will be £300-400, society memberships and so on), intermittent expenses (e.g. train fares home) and a 'miscellaneous' column (reckon £10 pw on this one, from experience).

After that, you will have a fairly good idea of how much she will have to spend on nights out, which you can compare to how much she has been spending previously (ask her how much she has been spending before you reach that point though!). Try to find comparisons to make with the other university in terms of distance to town, availability of public transport, costs of club entry, variety of clubs and so on.

Will the boys that she has made friends with still be there throughout her degree, or will they be moving away (as young people have a tendency to) for university or work purposes?

BlingLoving Wed 09-Jan-13 21:12:20

Ok, this is contentious, but personally I think you have every right to have a strong opinion and to make it clear to her. Partly because you are funding her and partly because while she might technically be an adult, she's not really and as her parents your opinion is still important.

If the "good" university is also the one that's much better for her course and long term career, then she really should be going there and she should understand that she is potentially making the wrong decision that will affect the rest of her life.

I certain,y would not be threatening to cut her off if she doesn't go to your choice of uni but I would be mark gut very clear why you think it's a bad idea and what the consequences are likely to be.

creamteas Wed 09-Jan-13 21:17:04

If you can, also get her to visit on non Open Days, to see what the different places feel like without the special arrangements.

If you really, really, wanted to play hardball (and some parents do) tell her that you won't support her financially if she goes to the the 'wrong' uni and she will need to live of whatever loan she is entitled to and work for the rest. But don't expect to stay on good terms grin.

We had one case recently whose parents were so against the degree choice, they refused to fill in the parental income part of the student loan form so they were really skint sad. But they still managed to graduate with a 2:1

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 21:36:02

agent you obviously didn't listen to your parents either wink lol

boomting - done all that. The cost of living at the seaside Uni is much greater so when she is in private rented her money will have to stretch further than at the good uni. We've also pointed out that she would have the cost of travel to work (as there is nothing on campus) etc., She went there for 2 nights in Oct half term and spent, wait for it.......at staggering £250???!!!! - then she ran out of money to put petrol in her car! No, the boys are in their 2nd (maybe 3rd year) of College so will probably only be around for a while!

Bling THANK YOU for at least seeing where I am coming from grin Your point about the long term prospects has also been pointed out to her and this is one of my main arguments. Apart from the level of teaching/learning for DD, in an ever increasing competitive job place, surely employers look at the Uni attended and which ones have the better reputation for the career? Of course we would never cut her off but I'd rather she didn't make such a time consuming, very expensive (more than ever now) mistake!

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 21:42:19

cream Thats a good idea. TBH one of the reasons she was disappointed with the 'bad' uni was the awful organisation (and that was on the open day!). Their level of contact and information has been very poor too compared to the 'good' uni. DH did threaten we wouldn't support her at the 'bad' one in a heated discussion but she just said 'I'm not going to be blackmailed' - but I would never do that anyway because again, if she did go to the good one and hated it, she would blame us anyway. It really does have to be her own decision so long as it's what we suggest wink and WOW! to that DC who's parents did that - and well done to them!

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 21:45:16

* well done to the DC for getting the 2:1 - not the parents for their actions, lol

amillionyears Wed 09-Jan-13 21:50:52

Does your DD actually realise that she is choosing the "wrong" uni, for the "wrong" reasons?

deleted203 Wed 09-Jan-13 21:52:25

I'm with Bling. I would be sitting her down and pointing out that with (presumably) £27,000 of tuition fees plus three years living that her debt is likely to be in the £50,000 region, as you say. This is a massive amount to saddle yourself with at the age of 21 and is only worth doing if you are going to then be in a great position of getting a good graduate job afterwards. And the way of maximising your chances of doing so is by getting the best teaching, on the best course, at the best uni. Going to a uni with poor organisation, with poor results and a poor reputation is foolish in the extreme. Try telling her that it is highly immature to be thinking of choosing your university based on which one looks to be the 'party' place and mention that when these boys move on she may well find that it isn't such a 'fun' place to be. She could always do her partying there in the holidays if she's so taken with it (or even get a holiday job there if it is a seaside town?).

amumthatcares Wed 09-Jan-13 22:10:33

amillion all I get is 'it's my decision' - you can see we have made all the relevant points to show why it is the 'wrong' uni for the 'wrong' reasons but to no avail angry I don't want to fall out with her - we have always had a great relationship, but she is really digging her heels in and I feel so frustrated.

sowornout Yep!! precisely! We've told her all that too <sighs a big heavy sigh> I don't think there isn't a point we haven't made. I like the summer job idea. We did tell her she will only get one chance to be a student but the rest of her life to party after if she so wishes! We even said if she loves it that much she can relocate there when she graduates. My idea box is exhaused sad

deleted203 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:15:55

I know...(have wine and sympathy). I've got a 20 yo who dropped out of uni after 18 months (fortunately only £3,000 in fees), because she took a crap course (against our advice). Now has about £10,000 of debt and doesn't know what she wants to do in life. Try telling her that she will be too far out of town to easily party and that seaside towns are dead in the winter (we live in one). Summer is when all the hot holidaymaker lads are about. NYE might be bouncing but it's one night of the year! Summer job would be definitely the way to go! (Good luck!)

amillionyears Wed 09-Jan-13 22:18:58

Yikes.
What do her friends at home say?
Peer pressure can sometimes work wonders.

Also, I could be wrong here, but her final choice doesnt have to be made for a few months does it?
In which case, if that is true, there is still some hope and time for a change of heart.

lalalonglegs Wed 09-Jan-13 22:21:34

Do you know anyone of your daughter's age at Good University Town? Can you get them to take her out for the night there? I feel for you - my children are still at primary school but I would be gutted if they chose a not-so-good course or college for flaky reasons.

takeaway2 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:26:56

Find her some nice boys at the good uni?? grin

Not really but I recall being v rebellious at a similar age too and I have no real solutions except to maybe get her inspired with the good uni's course (find out about the professors there, what have they done, jobs their graduates end up in, career paths etc...) and as a last resort, stake out the good uni and their clubs! Surely there are nice party boys there too?!! wink

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