Be A (Fresher) Parent

Being a parent is tough. Being a parent to 16 rowdy, alcohol induced university Fresher’s is a whole other story. For this week, that is my job: to look after a gaggle of new students who are embarking on their university life with a big, drunken bang. I had such fun at my Fresher’s week that I wanted to make sure that these students would experience the same, and that was partly due to the lovely parents who were assigned to our halls last year.

Being a parent means that our task is to keep the Fresher’s safe, make them feel comfortable with one another, ease their nerves and share some words of wisdom with them: i.e. don’t sleep with each other too soon otherwise things will be awkward. This year, unlike last, all of the Fresher’s are straight out of school and seem to have a little more attitude than we did! It feels like a large age gap, even though it is only two or three years, and over the past few days, trying to stay sober and responsible has been slightly difficult and not entirely successful.

The good news, is that day by day they seem to be coming out of their shells a little more and getting to know each other that bit better. They have vomited, we have had a little inter-house canoodling but thankfully no awkwardness and they have stolen traffic cones. All signs of an excellent Fresher’s Week so far. The other Mum and myself are very proud of our wild children, although we’ve needed significant help from the Dads who are also parenting with us. Without them, I’m not entirely sure we could have herded and looked after all 16 so well. I do feel very old however. Last night we didn’t get in until 4:30am and I feel like an old lady who can’t quite hack the craziness anymore. Although, reliving Fresher’s Week is a must if you can, and it’s lovely to get to know some new, nervous and excitable students and try and make their big transition to university smooth – and, with any luck, they won’t remember most of it.