Would you like to introduce yourself first?
Linda: Good idea! My name is Linda and I am Dianne's mother. I completed a mbo education myself but I now work at hbo level as a nurse. I have 6 children: 4 girls and 2 boys.
How did you guide me through the study choice process? With my siblings, did you perhaps do different things? If so, why?
Linda: I went with Dianne to several open days. We also had many conversations about the study Dianne wanted to pursue: she doubted for a long time between Psychology and Sociology. Besides this, Dianne did most of her study choice herself.
Most of the children knew fairly quickly which study they wanted to do. The eldest went to PABO, the second went to study Nursing, the boys went on a work-study programme and my youngest daughter went to do Animal Management. I left the children fairly free to make their choice. Only my second daughter I guided a bit more. This was because she was interested in healthcare, which I already had an affinity with because of my background.
Did you enjoy guiding us?
Linda: I really enjoyed going along to the universities of applied sciences and research universities because you get to see where your children end up. You also get to experience your child's enthusiasm about a course, which as a parent you then become enthusiastic about yourself.
What did you find difficult about counselling on study choices?
Linda: I noticed that I knew little about what exactly you can do and where. I really liked that my daughter was going to university, but I had no idea how it works. For example, what exactly is a lecture, and what does studying at a university look like? I also found it unfortunate that I received little guidance from the high school. I had hoped to be included a bit more in the whole study process.
Dianne: I do understand this. I myself had a slightly better idea because you get quite a lot of information during the mentoring lessons at school, but as a parent you don't get all of that, of course.
With today's knowledge, what would you have done differently in counselling?
Linda: I would still have liked to have been more involved in the study choice process, despite Dianne figuring it out herself. I myself ended up helping more in arranging the practical issues after the study choice such as student finance, for example.
Did you find it difficult when I moved to my own room in Nijmegen?
Linda: Initially, you were supposed to live together with friends in Rotterdam. In the end you found out that you liked Nijmegen much better because that city was quieter and cosier in your opinion. I thought it was cool that you took the step to go to Nijmegen on your own, without friends. I also noticed that you were really ready to live on your own, which gave me confidence that things would work out.
What role do you think helps best as a parent while guiding your child's choice of study?
Linda: The role of supporter, where you initially listen to your child a lot. Then, if your child doesn't figure it out anyway, then you can start looking into it more yourself. I think it is important that a child chooses his or her own course of study because it makes them more independent. This allows them to practice before they really have to become independent in higher education.
How did you feel my transition from high school to university went?
Linda: You quickly had a good time. I saw this in that you immediately became very active in student life. For example, you wrote for a student magazine. I really enjoyed reading this because it gave you an insight into the life you lead as a student. In terms of studies, you were a bit uncertain whether you were smart enough. Of course, I knew this was the case, but you've always been unsure about that yourself. Fortunately, after the first good grades came in, this uncertainty eased.
Do you have any tips for other parents?
Linda: Try not to get on top of things too much! Talk to your child, but ultimately let them make their own choice. They have to study, not you.