Saturday, 11 August 2018

Student Life - then and now

So here I am in York staying in a student hall of residence. I am three times the age of the youngsters in the common areas playing table tennis and sitting at their laptops. I am old enough to be their grandmother, for goodness sake! How did that happen? Where have the years gone?

Student luxury
It seems no time at all since my parents dropped me off at Ridge Hall in Birmingham. There I shared a bedroom. There was just one bathroom further along the corridor, shared between 10 of us. Everything was very basic.

Today the room I’m in has a double bed, an en-suite shower room, flat screen TV, cooker, microwave, toaster, fridge. Oh the luxury!

Breakfast (lunch, dinner and supper) in bed
But despite the more comfortable surroundings I don’t suppose the essence of the student experience is much different. The thrill of being independent of your parents. The joy of meeting new friends. The intellectual stimulation of conversations into the early hours about philosophy, religion, politics. The challenge of lectures and tutorials, research in the library, then essays and exams.

As a private writing retreat university halls of residence can work well. Perhaps it’s the studious air that is embedded in the fabric of the building. Whatever it is, I think I may do this again to encourage me to sit at a desk and just write.

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