Following on from my autumnal nostalgia a few posts back, I now have University nostalgia! Our babysitter and friend C has just left Zürich to start studying at Southampton University. This is the end of freshers week, she starts properly next week. And this of course got me thinking...
My 4 years at experience feels like just yesterday, and then I look at our friend C, 18, with everything ahead of her, full of ideals and energy and excitement. And then I realise that it was 20 years ago that I started at Sheffield University, in 1992. It wasn't yesterday, it was 2 decades ago! Here I am in my room at Halifax Halls of Residence, looking stroopy, scared and desperately wanting my parents to leave, but also not wanting them to leave! And I look so young in my first year ID card, handwritten in purple ink (cos that was trendy!)
I wonder what has changed and what has stayed the same about going to university? The same? Going to unversity opened my mind and helped me to find friends and be who I really was, instead of hiding my nerdy, unfashionably dressed self. I had the luxury of reading and studying and thinking. Differences? 20 years ago I got a grant, worked part time and managed to leave with no debts. Having said that, my weekly food budget in my second year was £5 - lots of homemade carrot soup and vegetable pasta, and not much else.
And even harder to believe, in my first two years at University, I hand wrote all my essays. I only got an email address in my second year, and only started word processing my notes and essays in my final year. No personal laptop, but spending hours at the computer centre (which meant I got in a photo in the next prospectus - see below!) Social media wasn't even a term :-) I would have loved having facebook, twitter and livejournal then - but suspect I would spent my time writing about studying, rather than actually studying!
Dear C, wishing you a fantastic time at University, just a little bit envious!