Monthly Musing – July 2015 – University challenge

Unless you’ve
got a son or daughter doing their A levels at the moment, the fact that it is
University Open Day season has probably passed you by.  It’s in full swing in our house, and has been
quite a revelation, especially as both my husband and I are Open University
graduates and mature ones at that, so we both fitted our studies in around our
work, our lives and our family.  Big
daughter is currently considering her future options, one of which is to go
away to university, so we’ve appreciated the chance to take a look around.

Big daughter
and I have been to visit three universities this week and we’ve got another
couple of visits to fit in before the end of the year (luckily, we get a break over
the summer holidays) when she has to make her choice.  We have walked for miles on campus tours,
looked at student accommodation of varying standards and budgets (I really must
try not to say “how much?!” quite so
often), listened to Vice-Chancellors extolling the benefits of studying at each
particular institution and sat through sample lectures of big daughter’s chosen
subject.  We have asked questions about
financing, travel and launderette costs. 
We have followed enthusiastic, helpful students around as they lead
groups on tours of faculty buildings and pointed out the best sofas to snooze
on after lunch.

I keep
reminding myself that what is important is what big daughter thinks, not what I
would choose for myself.  I am impressed
by the range and choice of courses, by the social opportunities and by the
focus on employability.  I imagine what
it would be like to live in any of the halls of residence and sit in the
lecture theatres.  I’m excited at the
possibilities available to big daughter. 
Then I remember what I felt like at eighteen and I can see what a big
and rather daunting adventure all of this is. 
Big daughter still isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life.  She has no grand plan to follow a specific
career path as a doctor or a vet, or even a teacher so her choice of degree is
based on what she enjoys and the general direction of where she sees herself
working.  The thought of leaving home
next year to do this is rushing towards her with disconcerting speed.

It’s funny how
we take life in our stride.  If you’d
asked me last year how I would feel about making plans for my daughter to leave
home, possibly for good, I would have given you quite a very different answer
to the one I would give you today.  Now,
I’m ready to help her to take the next step in her life – at least, I’m ready
to help her visit the universities.  I
didn’t say anything about being ready to let her go!

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13 Responses

  1. Run Home To Crochet says:

    what will be, will be – she will be fine and you will be there for her always to advise and guide her 🙂 xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That's true … and one day this will be just another milestone memory. I need to remember that! xx

  2. The House with the Blue Door says:

    My oldest daughter has just finished her degree and my son has completed his first year, and I can really sympathise with the mixed feelings which you have. I went to the University in my home town and moved out gradually, but it's good that we have given our children the confidence to explore their options as well as having such exciting opportunities. By the time it happens you will find that you've got used to the idea even more, and you may well find more time to do the things you enjoy too 🙂
    Cathy x

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I guess you're right, Cathy – in another year I will be that much more prepared for to leave and it won't seem like such a bad thing. As for having more time, though – we seem to have a knack of filling spare time so I'm sure it won't feel like it for long! 🙂 xx

  3. Fiona DP says:

    Mine are 24 and 28. You have at least 3 years (depending on course of only being phoned for money (a lot of money) and holidays where they have way more fun than you but you still get to do their washing. And then if mine are anything to go by they come back for a year or so while they are job hunting. You have plenty of time to get used to the idea of actual leaving.

  4. Betina says:

    I'm sure the "actual" leaving will take a bit more time… Though I'm not sure how you can get prepared for something like that! Always keep in mind though, this is only the beggining of a big adventure for her… And she will need you more than ever! I'm sure things will go better than expected. 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I hadn't thought about it like that – thanks, Betina! xx

    • Betina says:

      When mom starting getting nervous about me leaving home (something that will only happen in a year or two, but she would not even want to talk about it), I told her how much I woul STILL need her! I always say, it's not because we are out that we become instantly grow ups… Mom and dad still need to be there for us, because trust me, we will need them. And I suppose it's a whole new way of seeing your kid growing up 🙂

  5. Jo says:

    I think it's a really exciting time, there's so many opportunities available to them when they're looking at universities. Daniel didn't know what he wanted to do for a career, he still doesn't after two years at uni, so he took a course in the subject he enjoys. Eleanor has some idea of what she wants to do so she's able to look for a course to facilitate that, though of course she could change her mind again yet. Seeing how Daniel's matured and grown in the two years he's been at uni has been wonderful, he wasn't so keen on leaving home at the time but he's so glad he did now. Good luck to your daughter, I hope she finds the course and university that's right for her.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I have to say that I quite wished I was going myself, but I think I've done quite enough studying for now! It's been really helpful for me to read all of these comments and it's making me feel much better about the whole thing! xx

  6. Penny says:

    They might leave the home, but never the heart X

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Yes, of course, you're absolutely right Penny. Having said that, my Dad is still bringing stuff round that was mine and I left home over 20 years ago so maybe it takes a bit of time! 🙂 xx

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