Off to uni? Get some (parental) perspective

The mother of a former School Captain returned to QE to give Year 13 boys a rarely considered perspective on young people going to university – that of the parent.

Drawing on her own experience with her son, Matthew (OE 2002-2009), Mrs Rita Rose gave a talk in assembly to the Sixth-Formers who will be leaving the School in just a few months.

She spoke to the boys about preparing to leave home, including the need for financial preparation and mastering some basic household tasks. She looked at the experience of settling in at university, explaining that while everyone is ‘in the same boat’, people cope with all the change in different ways. There was guidance on undergraduates’ wellbeing, including practical advice such as the importance of signing up with a local doctor.

And Mrs Rose, who is a primary-school teacher, made a plea for her audience to remember that going to university involved “new worries” not just for the students but also for their parents. Communication with home was therefore important and “not just when you need money,” she said.

""Modern technology meant there were opportunities aplenty to stay in touch, including email, text messages, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, not to mention telephone calls. “At the very least, occasionally let them know you are still alive!” she concluded.

Her own son took up a place at Clare College, Cambridge, to read Geography. Matthew is now a political advisor at Barnet Council.