On the first of October, I delivered my daughter to university as it happens it is the same university where I spent my third year and met my husband. My son had gone two years previously but I discovered that sending daughters to university is a whole other ballgame. The relationship is different. My daughter at least was far more around. My son was often at work or on the computer.
Anyway, I also quickly discovered that it is a brand new world. Many of the buildings remain the same but the methods of communication are so different. In many ways, the entire experience has changed.
It is a world of texts, emails and slides from lectures being put online. It is a world where all students are expected to have access to a computer. The university does provide some but most students have their laptops. Rather congregating in a lounge to watch television, my children are able to access iplayer and can watch the various programmes at their convenience. Best of all for me is skype which enables me to have real time video conversations with them. I am able to see their rooms with the posters. It amused me no end that both ended with variations of the Keep Calm Poster. My son’s reads Keep Calm and Carry On. My daughter’s Keep Calm and Eat A Cupcake. The sentiments reflect their personalities. And it does my heart good to see their faces. Back twenty five years ago, I was lucky to get letters and the occasional phone call after I had found the change for the public telephone. There was no such thing as phones in the rooms or mobiles. Personal computers were something the college owned etc. Email was just starting and intra campus. It was truly a different world. When I found out last Friday that my latest manuscript was accepted, all it took was a single email to my daughter and she was on skype, ready to celebrate.
Some things do, however, remain the same. I fully anticipate in time she will discover the joys of late night conversations over mugs of hot tea, afternoon naps when you have no lectures as well the dreaded all nighter when the computer has inexplicitly eaten your essay and the whole wonderful world of higher education and stretching her mind. Already my daughter has learnt that if you set your alarm clock, you do have to turn the alarm on. Also that if you are making cheese on toast, it is helpful to turn the grill on. (We have an Aga which is always on and so she has never experienced an electric cooker). And milk does go off if left for a week. She also learnt that Freshers’ week was full of lots of people trying desperately hard to be social while really missing home. She discovered that drinking takes money and decided that cake, chocolate and romance novels were more important to her than booze.
It is a brave new world out there but some things are timeless.www.michellestyles.co.uk