Charlotte was in the middle of her AS subjects. She was confused by conflicting information from her teachers and unsure what subjects to take forward to A levels and how this might impact on her desire to go to University and her choice of degree.
Charlotte had already made some decisions but was struggling to come to definite conclusions whether these were right for her. As her parents, having never been through this process before, we expected to get the support we needed from the school but this was inconsistent so this was an extremely stressful time for us all!
We didn’t understand the implications of thinking ahead and having the right strategy in place that would help Charlotte determine her A level subjects to then help her to secure a place on the right degree course at Uni.
Charlotte had an interest and talent for IT so we were all fixed on her following IT as a career route and a natural degree choice. However, we still had a number of concerns in relation to the conflicting advice Charlotte was being given at school and wanted to confirm that our decisions were valid. We were at a loss to know what to do for the best plus were being given conflicting information regarding decision deadlines. We decided we needed unbiased external specialist advice and guidance and were recommended to Lin Preston.
How Lin Helped
Lin immediately put Charlotte at ease with an initial in-depth guidance session where she explored with Charlotte what subjects she enjoyed most at GCSE level. By breaking down the subjects and extrapolating lots of detail, Charlotte was able to identify although she liked ICT, she was not passionate about it and only enjoyed certain elements. This led Charlotte to conclude she might not find a career in this area interesting after all. She was not sure IT would meet her values but she was unsure what else she could do!
With further exploration Lin helped to uncover Charlotte’s real passions. These revolved around her visit to Africa and the voluntary work she undertook there, building a school for a local community. Along with the social policy elements of her AS Economics course (which she had by now already dropped) Lin enabled Charlotte to think independently outside of our parental influence, creating new opportunities and a breakthrough!
Charlotte realised she would really enjoy ‘making a difference’ in local communities but did not know what this meant in terms of a university course and a future career. She was also concerned that her decision to drop Economics was going to have a negative impact.
During further sessions, Lin helped Charlotte to identify what elements of social policy she would most enjoy and highlighted the possibilities and research options available to her. She helped Charlotte to narrow down and identify the right degree, appropriate degree courses and Universities best suited to her.
The Application Process
Charlotte found the Personal Statement process really daunting and struggled to put together anything meaningful. Lin coached her to translate and map her experiences in Africa along with identifying many other skills and attributes that are valued by universities, to help write a very compelling personal statement. With Lin’s support Charlotte secured 5 University offers from her application and personal statement!
Choosing the right Degree and University
Lin had a huge influence on Charlotte’s degree, career and university choice. While we were ‘all at sea’, Lin calmly helped to establish and understand Charlotte’s values and ‘A plan’. She was able to treat, talk and listen to Charlotte as an adult in a non-threatening way. Lin managed to get to grips with her fears so was also able to take into account her personal needs to feel safe, have students around her with shared interests and not be based too far from home. This resulted in Charlotte having a completely different plan to her original thinking, which she was previously totally set on and despite our uncertainty, would not be swayed!
Starting Uni Reality Check
Having made her choice, Charlotte started University and within the first couple of weeks she was very unsettled and started to panic. We were really concerned so enlisted Lin’s help again and she came to our rescue!
Lin met with Charlotte and was quickly able to identify her main concerns, coached her to provide strategies to create structure and manage her independence. Charlotte returned to University with renewed confidence and put these strategies into place. As a result she immediately became more settled, self-confident and determined to make university work!
Charlotte is now in year two of university, very happy, enjoying her course and very excited about her future career prospects. She has really matured into a confident young lady. This is a total transformation and we are all now relaxed and confident about Charlotte’s future!
What we learnt
None of this would have happened without Lin’s massive contribution, patience, expertise and wonderful caring and reassuring approach.
We cannot thank Lin enough and stress the importance to other parents, who are having a similar dilemma, the value in getting professional help and support from an expert like Lin. She was able to give us all a much clearer understanding of the university process, a schedule to meet key deadlines, the positioning required for a successful university application and help Charlotte develop her plan of action and build her confidence to make it happen.
As parents we get so wrapped up in the emotion of doing right for our children and cannot see the wood for the trees. Often the harder we try the more they resist!
The whole process has proven that our original thinking on University and career choice was very wrong. Thanks heavens for Lin!