Monthly Musing – June 2023 – University Challenge

I’ve been to Leeds today.

Not shopping or sightseeing (although I did a few laps of the ring road before I found the car park so I’m not sure if that counts as sightseeing 🙂 ).  No, it wasn’t a tourist-type of visit at all – I’ve been to look at a possible university options with not so small daughter.

That will be the not so small daughter who not so long ago was a tiny tot in her first year at school when I started writing my Monthly Musings.  The not so small daughter who was just “small daughter” but is now taller than me, has GCSEs under her belt, loves her Saturday job, and is off to Japan on her first overseas adventure without her family in a few short weeks.

We sat through the course talk and whilst I found it interesting, I knew that she was assessing all of the information, working out whether this was going to be something that would help her in her chosen career.  We went to see the accommodation halls and whilst I noted that not much has changed since big daughter went to university except the price (oh my goodness, that was a bit of a shock!), I knew that she was imagining herself in the room, surrounded by her belongings and living her own life away from home.

Some people find it sad when their tiny tots grow up, but on the whole, I have enjoyed every stage of it with my girls.  I love how our conversations have changed and developed over the years and now, how I am able to watch not so small daughter getting herself ready to fly the nest in a year or so.  That’s not to say that I’m hurrying it along or wishing it would happen any sooner, simply that I am enjoying the process of watching “small daughter” become “not so small”, just as I did with big daughter.  (Although having said that, she’s learning to drive now and is regularly giving me helpful hints for my own driving which is not quite so enjoyable! 🙂 )

We’ve got more university visits to come later in the year; the summer off college will give not so small daughter time to reflect on the university we visited today and compare it to the places she’s chosen to visit in the autumn, and it will be interesting to see what she thinks as even over the summer, she will have changed and grown – her overseas trip will make sure of that!  For all any of us know, she might even decide not to go to university at all or change her course … the future isn’t written yet for any of us and we can always choose a different path.

Isn’t the thought of that liberating?  And not just for the young; we can make new choices for ourselves every day.  They may not involve circuits of the ring road in Leeds as we look for university places for ourselves … but who knows?! The future is ours to choose!


A futuristic-looking building with a round glass and silver-coloured tower between square ends is lit up against the night sky

The Rose Bowl, Leeds Beckett University. Source:


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8 Responses

  1. Prue says:

    Leeds is a great city for students!

  2. Sandra Dain says:

    My daughter, Sarah tutors in woodwind at Leeds university. Both my parents were born in Leeds. I was there recently for an opera performance. Sarah was playing in the Opera North orchestra. I live in New Zealand but try and get back as often as possible.

  3. ann morgan says:

    I know how you feel trawling University after University across country. I did it 3 times from Edinburgh down to Plymouth and Kings Lynn . I wish her well in Japan

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh well, now I don’t feel so bad as they were loooong journeys for you! I hope you found the right university, and thanks for the good wishes for Japan 🙂 xx

  4. Kathryn says:

    We are also on the uni open day circuit with no-longer-so-small daughter. In fact, very petite small daughter unexpectedly shot up in her mid teens and at 5 ft 8 is now taller than her big sisters. Middle daughter went to Leeds and enjoyed her time there. As you say, there are many choices and uni is not for everyone – eldest daughter opted to go straight from school to work and his thrived. Youngest, on the other hand, is very excited about the prospect of uni and can’t wait to start.

    • winwickmum says:

      There are more options than uni now than I think there have been previously, and better options too. I didn’t go to uni at 18 and the option was “get a job” which I did, but now there are apprenticeships and so many different types of courses – all of this would have suited 18 year old me much better! 🙂 xx

      • Kathryn says:

        Yes, eldest did a marketing apprenticeship and they are a great option. It has been noticeable this time round that the school are pushing alternatives much more now than they used to.

  5. Pam says:

    I have 3 daughters none of whom wanted to go to University but they’ve all ended up in well paid careers. One is in international banking, one in Communications and the youngest runs a data centre. They’ve all done ‘in house’ training and exam’s applicable to their careers. My point is that it is not necessary to go to University to get a good job, just be willing to put in the effort.

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