Taking Time To.... Figure Stuff Out before Uni? Watch

brightxburns
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Basically, I'm in Year 13. I applied to study a certain degree course this year, simply because I couldn't think of anything else to do. I have an AAA offer.
I'm not sure that I want it.
I'm contemplating other subjects. I'm almost certainly going to have to resit some A2 modules, because I don't think I'll get the required AAA.

Would it be so awful to take a year or two out before deciding on what I want to do with my life? It would make so much sense than jumping into a degree and disliking it and suffering through, or failing it, etc.

But this is so against the grain. I would be 2 years older than other Freshers (well, I will be 18 by Oct 2008, so I'll be 20 for Oct 2010 entry!), I will be a 'resit applicant', I would have taken at least a year out of education... I don't know what to do!

My plan would be to resit some A2 modules, get a job to earn some money, do some travelling, do some volunteer work and work experience (I'm looking at a 3-week placement at Bloomsbury Publishers, maybe some time at a law firm, whatever) and make good use of the time. I would be applying to Uni for 2010 entry, as I will need to resit modules to get my grades up, before applying, and this couldn't be done quickly enough for 2009 entry.

I don't know, what do you think? I really need some advice.
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bekahchu
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Do what feels right, if going to uni now doesn't feel right, then don't do it.

So long as you're happy
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vixky!
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I think it's a great idea. It's much better to take time out, as long as you use that time productively, and make sure you know that you really want to be doing what you're doing.

However, when you say it will be too late to retake modules for 2009 entry, I'm confused! You can take modules in January/June 2009 and still gain conditional offers for 2009 entry like everyone else? That's what I'm doing? Is there a reason I can't? I'm worried now. :/
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shakerbaby
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i know what you mean about it being against the grain, but there's no shame in not going to university immediately.
a year or two could be good, to really know what you want and then you'd be more enthusiastic and driven for your course when you finally do start it.

but if you're just worried you won't get the grades, i wouldn't make any rash decisions till august, you never know, you could do better than you think!

you don't sound like you'd be wasting the year either, so both seem like good options to me
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wallflower*
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I don't understand why you think taking a year out would be so awful, lots of people do it and it is certainly better than rushing in to a degree you aren't sure about. Also even if you don't get AAA you could still get pretty good grades and might not need to retake any modules to get in to a decent uni, but if you do really want/need to retake then go for it.
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SoundDevastation
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You know what im going to say but for the forum i'll say it anyway...

If you're not sure about what you want to do, then there is absolutely no harm in taking time out to decide what you want to do!

Volunteering and work experience will not only widen your perspective of the world and future career paths, it will also be invaluable to your CV and (especially if you have no current work experience) it will make the transition from uni to a profession, much much easier. Yes its possible to do all that after uni.. or in the gaps in between.. but seriously, you'd be extremely lucky if you could afford it!

I think that far too many people go to uni because its the thing to do.. when they either didnt need to, they ended up doing the wrong thing, or its just not right for them. Before uni, i knew all about drop out rates.. i never NEVER thought id be a contributor, but.. people can change a lot between 18 and 21!

Obviously far more people go to uni and have a great time, and my experience was unusual, but if you can imagine it happening from this point, you certainly need to do some thinking..
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brightxburns
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(Original post by wallflower*)
I don't understand why you think taking a year out would be so awful, lots of people do it and it is certainly better than rushing in to a degree you aren't sure about. Also even if you don't get AAA you could still get pretty good grades and might not need to retake any modules to get in to a decent uni, but if you do really want/need to retake then go for it.
I dont know, my parents hate the idea. My dad wants me to go straight to Uni - he's appalled at the idea of a gap year, even - and my mother positively fell over in shock when I told her that I might have to do A2 resits in 2009, and then reapply for 2010 entry. She believes that I should just accept whatever grades I get, and then reapply for 2009 entry in whatever course will have me. She thinks 2 years before Uni is too much.

They're both fairly conservative Indian professionals, so this isn't unexpected... But I don't have the freedom of choice that I otherwise might.
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bekahchu
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It's your life, not theirs.
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brightxburns
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(Original post by bekahchu)
It's your life, not theirs.
I know that. But they have invested a lot of time, effort, money and care into my life... I do feel that I can't dismiss their views entirely.
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wallflower*
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Could you maybe explain to your parents that taking time out will benefit you in the long run, and that the work experience you plan to do would look good on your application? maybe if they know that you have thought it all through and have a plan it will help them to understand your situation a little better.
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bekahchu
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(Original post by brightxburns)
I know that. But they have invested a lot of time, effort, money and care into my life... I do feel that I can't dismiss their views entirely.
That's no reason to do what they want. They presumably chose to have a child which of course means investing time, effort etc, that's part of being a parent. Fair enough listen to their opinions but they should do the same and be reasonable regarding what you want.
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brightxburns
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(Original post by bekahchu)
That's no reason to do what they want. They presumably chose to have a child which of course means investing time, effort etc, that's part of being a parent. Fair enough listen to their opinions but they should do the same and be reasonable regarding what you want.
I know, you're mostly right. I just don't want to disappoint them too much.
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bekahchu
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(Original post by brightxburns)
I know, you're mostly right. I just don't want to disappoint them too much.
Wouldn't you disappoint them more if you started uni and then decided it wasn't for you and dropped out?

Surely what's most important to them is their daughter's happiness.
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brightxburns
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(Original post by bekahchu)
Wouldn't you disappoint them more if you started uni and then decided it wasn't for you and dropped out?

Surely what's most important to them is their daughter's happiness.
I should think so. But they just don't want me to turn into a bum, or 'lose my way' in life and stay forever lost.
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Sprout_hair
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I have Chinese parents so i understand completely..
But think about it.. u will be working for the next 40 odd years of your life?
So i think its worth the 2 years wait for u to be sure of the career u want to pursue
Besides, ull be working and earning money so explain u wont be such the "burden" on ur parents..
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Rokit
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My family is Nigerian. They told me what A levels to do (even though I didnt want to do those subjects). They and my school pressured me towards certain unis. The experience was ruined for me. I went to my admissions interviews and sabotaged them, didnt even show up to two of them and then went into the most horrible uni through clearing.

Now I am back doing what I wanted to do. The difference between the past and present is I think for myself now
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Kitty Pimms
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If you're increasingly convinced that the degree isn't right for you, a year out sounds like a very good idea. Don't worry about being an older fresher; it really doesn't make any difference.

However, are you sure that you couldn't apply for 2009? That would give you two shots at resits (January and June), which I would hope would be plenty. Yes to some extent you'd be applying on predicted grades, but that's not unusual.
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Mos Def
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(Original post by Rokit)
My family is Nigerian. They told me what A levels to do (even though I didnt want to do those subjects). They and my school pressured me towards certain unis. The experience was ruined for me. I went to my admissions interviews and sabotaged them, didnt even show up to two of them and then went into the most horrible uni through clearing.

Now I am back doing what I wanted to do. The difference between the past and present is I think for myself now
Which uni?
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sidewalkwhenshewalks
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(Original post by bekahchu)
Do what feels right, if going to uni now doesn't feel right, then don't do it.

So long as you're happy
Woah! That's radical. I would have taken the ' do what feels wrong so long as you're miserable' approach. Perhaps this is where i've been going wrong
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by brightxburns)
I dont know, my parents hate the idea. My dad wants me to go straight to Uni - he's appalled at the idea of a gap year, even - and my mother positively fell over in shock when I told her that I might have to do A2 resits in 2009, and then reapply for 2010 entry. She believes that I should just accept whatever grades I get, and then reapply for 2009 entry in whatever course will have me. She thinks 2 years before Uni is too much.

They're both fairly conservative Indian professionals, so this isn't unexpected... But I don't have the freedom of choice that I otherwise might.
Would they rather you went to uni unprepared, got into thousands of pounds of debt (maybe using their money) then drop out after a year? Would they rather you be unhappy?

Seriously, if you don't know what you want to do, take a year out or more finding yourself, what you want to do/be doing, then pursue it, if it needs a degree, go to uni, if it doesn't don't waste your money and time. Too many people go to uni these days for the sake of getting a degree and the experience. I have scores of friends who are thousands of pounds in debt, with useless degrees, doing dead end jobs that didn't need a degree in the first place.

If you're going to take a year out, make use of it, get work experience, voluntary work, maybe a job, keep up your interests, maybe do your D of E gold, etc, keep yourself competitive and in the running should you want or need to apply to uni or a job, but at the same time keeping your options open and do what you enjoy. Don't just sit on your arse like too many people do because it's only going to make relations worse with your parents and hamper your chances. When your employer/uni admissions tutor asks what you've been doing for the past few years and you have nothing constructive to say, you've consigned yourself to be a McSlave.

Being an Older Fresher? Who gives a fork? At uni, there is a mixture of cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, classes, etc, whoever you are, as long as you socialise you will never be alone and you have nothing to worry about. It took me almost 2 years to figure out that one of my closest uni friends is actually 2 years older than me and a double drop-out, seriously, it doesn't matter.

Resits? Work hard and do the best that you can do. AAA is AAA, it is a good qualification and it doesn't matter that much if you had to retake. It keeps your options open, fork up your exams and you have little or no chance of becoming a lawyer or a vet if you so chose later on down the line, and if you decide to become a driving instructor, at least you have good qualifications to fall back on.
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