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Monday, 10 October 2011

How to visit your daughter in university halls

The best advice is - don't.  Don't, unless you didn't actually drop her off there, and want to be able to imagine the place.  Or unless she begs you to visit.  Or she's forgotten something both heavy and so valuable.  These are the only reasons to go.

If, like me, you didn't get this advice in time, and, like me, had booked tickets to see Othello at the Crucible on her third weekend, then here are some supplementary codes which must be adhered to at all times:

1.  Don't insist on going to her room, especially if she's showing signs of reluctance.  You can probably conduct all necessary transactions in the corridor.

2.  If you are invited in it's best not to say:

      a)  don't you have access to a Hoover?
      b)  wouldn't it be a good idea to hang up some of these clothes?
      c)  isn't there anywhere you can empty this bin?
      d)  isn't that the candlewick bedspread out of the spare room?

3.  If she introduces you to her housemates, treat this as the honour it is, and remember:

     i)   for the first time ever, you are on her turf.  She might not have completely got the hang of how to treat a guest, especially a middle aged one with parental issues, but nevertheless, she is in charge;

     ii)  no one will be interested in what university life was like thirty years ago so don't even think of comparing it; 

     iii) don't offer any advice, however tempting - not about making the most of the opportunities, managing finances, getting essays in on time, eating healthily, getting some exercise, not doing drugs, not drinking too much - NOTHING.

4.  And lastly, if they tell you they're having a roast chicken tomorrow night, with Yorkshire puddings, don't explain Yorkshires go with beef, as does English mustard.  They make the rules now.  You are not-very-interesting history.


  1. Good timing finding this post - I dropped my stepson off at uni yesterday for his first term.

  2. I was trying out 3.iii) on my cousin the other day - didn't go down well, even though he'd already concluded he'd lost himself over the last five weeks and wasn't making the most of uni (fresher)!