Thursday, 22 October 2009

University Challenge

Life has been a teeny tiny bit tense chez auntiegwen recently. This has been entirely down to the phenomenon that is Ucas or Feckin Ucas as it's known in our house.

If this is a complete unknown, you can either read on through your fingers having a glimpse of what's yet to come, being brave or you can escape with a mere click of a button and continue to live in mummy denial land with your hands over your ears singing la la la, sure who could blame you? I love it in mummy denial land.

My eldest beautiful daughter is in her last year at school, no, I have no idea of how that could have happened either, one minute she was toddling around and now she is being expected to chose what to do and where to do it. That child can't even choose soup.

The dreaded Ucas form is essentially a common application form in which you pays your money and takes your choice. You choose 1 degree and 5 places in which to do it, write a personal statement explaining why you are the very person they have been waiting for all these years to come along and storm academia.

If your child knows what they want to do and where to do it, it's a breeze, fill it in, write the personal statement that shows they have some notion of what the degree is and how they would be not too bad at it, pay your £19, job done.

It wasn't like that for us. We had tears, cross shouty voices and anxious fingers pressing wrong buttons necessitating soothing voices, much love and cups of tea.

My daughter doesn't really want to to to uni, she doesn't want to get a job, she wants to go back to primary school and strangely that's not an option. She doesn't want to leave home, she wants to live with us and stay at school. She doesn't want to grow up. I know I have allowed her to remain as functional as a 4 year old, mea culpa. I know I like my children being babies, my name is auntiegwen and I am an over controlling mummy.

I know my daughter and I know she's not ready for real life yet but I also truly know that if stays with me for another 1, 2 or even 3 years, she'll still not be ready because she will not learn to be independent until she leaves me. I love the fact that she loves us and she feels so incredibly happy as I couldn't wait to leave home at 18 and my arse was just a blur as it went through my parents front door.

She tentatively suggested a gap year and when I'd stopped laughing I asked "from what?" if anyone gets a year out it's me, I've got something to have a gap from, I've been working for decades. She did also suggest that we went with her both on the gap year and to uni but that's just being silly.

If I don't shove this chick out the nest, she'll never go to uni, she'll get a job and she'll live with me forever and much as I love her, she needs to go and grow up a bit (okay, a lot) The thought of not seeing her and kissing her and laughing with her on a daily basis makes me ache but I know she has to go.

So after much deliberation, tears, tantrums and soul searching she has applied to university and she is leaving home. Her choice of degree, drum roll please...

Primary Education (QTS) BA (Hons)

So back to the place she was so happy in and she will be truly amazing, and I am so proud of her.

And I will miss her in a way I can't describe as she is (as all my children are) my heart, mo chridhe.


  1. yes auntie Gwen I see the Disney child in her coming out more and ore as she realises its so near...yesterday she walked out of school after a row with her , too familiar (and frankly inappropriately discussed private life of the teacher)after half the class was seemingly screaming at her and her at them... but that's another problem, she has gone in early to try and smooth the waters. I told her to be the bigger person, perhaps she took it in.

    She struggled yesterday with her Ucas application, its like allegebra, why isn't anything easy she screams! and her Personal statement...

    this is getting too much...I do think we test and push these kids far too hard, starting school at just 4 (my son) is ridiculous...and at nursery at 2 weeks....ah bah humbug, I shall not rant, l shall not rant...

    what are we doing to our kids and ourselves?

    A gap year? she fancies...but l think it is putting off the inevitable and that it may be less attractive to go to uni after a gap year..who knows it isnt my decision to make...what is best? who knows, l'll go with my gut and hope she makes an informed choice with a little guidance form the bank of mum and dad..

  2. saz - I was really amazed at the questions my students asked me, I would have had no clue or interest in my teachers but my students were fascinated my my outside school life. I hope your girl's okay xx

  3. I have just lost daughter 2 to the dreaded "Uni" and it is very hard for a controlling Mummy. She is ill at present and I am worried sick....

  4. Mrs fab - so incredibly hard, and for me the worst thing is feeling powerless, I just want to make it all better like I did when she was little, sending some motherly love and empathy to you x

  5. I can only look on and say 'Oh dear!' and make cups of tea and mop up tears. You poor loves, all of you manic mums. Huge hugs all round from me and that's the best I can do.

    Think my youngest has just cut the cord-at 43.

  6. How come so much of life is about doing what we MUST -- what's GOOD for us? Why can't we become responsible productive adults without all the "character building" and "mind expansion?" Or if it must be done, why can't we do it FOR our kids instead of watching them struggle through? humph

  7. Moannie - thank you, I still get hugs and cups of tea from my mum and I'm 43 too !!!

    Shirley - I know, it's agony to watch them go through it.

  8. Ooh, I think a gap year is such a good idea for young kids. (I take your point about a gap from what? tho.) I didn't take a gap year and I regret it because then you end up on the treadmill and it's difficult to take time out then. Plus, all the kids I knew who'd taken a year out had worked then travelled a bit and they were much better able to cope with life at uni.
    Over here, this whole college thing starts in 11th grade (Lower 6th). There's no UCAS thing, you just have to apply to all the colleges on your own. Many kids apply to 8-10, and they usually visit them before hand. Guess what we'll be doing in our Easter and Summer break?

  9. I'm in the same stage with Grizz, Gwennie - It's such a trial, when he doesn't really know for sure what he wants to do with his life - Who does? I'm still trying to work that one out!

    Good luck with your little hearts, Beautiful Auntie Gwennie, I am crossing fingers, legs and eyes in the hope that whatever he does he fins some trace of happiness and fulfillment there... Blessings xox

  10. Expat Mum - I know what you mean but I wonder if I'd have to fund the gap year? and my wussy wean would struggle to travel by herself (I know, I know, my fault)

    Fhina - I know, I struggle with that one myself but I try and tell her that she doesn't have to do (whatevere the degree is in) forever !

  11. Oooh. A touch of nostalgia for me. That blimmin UCAS form was a nightmare, particulalry the personal statement,but I am pleased to say I have come out the other side and i think I am still normal (twitch twitch). Hope your daughter is successful with her choices. I am sure she will be all right once she gets to uni. Mine was just as nervous, but - several weeks on - is doing fine now.

  12. Rosiero - glad to hear Kay doing well. But how are you doing without her?