I said that I'd start our (my daughter and I) story be highlighting her pre-Uni experiences first so here goes. I'd like to title this 'tantrums and tiaras' but there were no tiaras...
She had two bites at the Uni application cherry, the first was immediately following College. She applied to three Universities with a preference for Sheffield. Unfortunately, we had to walk the tightrope of Clearing the first time given that she'd missed a couple of the grades - narrowly I add, just in case she reads this...
Interestingly, her experiences at College very nearly put her off pursuing her chosen career and would have if it hadn't been for one inspirational tutor that she had.
Our experience of clearing - I say our, I include my daughter, myself and my landline - was hugely frustrating. Essentially, you have a day to be ignored time after time after time - I hope if any of you have to go through it, you have a better experience than we did, I'm not entirely sure my landline has ever been the same since.
The upshot was that she had to wait for a year and re-apply, in hindsight this has served her very well for 3 reasons:
- She matured more than I would have believed possible in that year and I think she has flourished in situations at Uni that she would have shrunk away from and
- Her work ethic multiplied. She took on 2 jobs, 1 of which was caring which we both feel stood her in massive stead for her chosen career of nursing - the genuine caring element along with medicine management has been incredibly useful
- Thirdly, she realised that 'real world' working, especially carer's wages made life quite difficult which served to be a real motivating factor during Uni life
All in all, I think we would both agree that her year out has been a huge help.
So, the following year came around and following some additional study, she reapplied for Children's Nursing - a really difficult course to get onto with limited spaces at all of her favoured Universities.
I'll cover our experiences - her as the nervous applicant and me, as the 'willing' taxi driver and agony uncle in my next blog as I'm sure I must have bored you enough now...