Monday, March 03, 2008

Starting at uni

Talking to a 17 year old explorer scout a couple of days ago it struck me that there is a generation growing up now who are missing out on a huge adventure. Now don't worry, I'm not going ot bang on in a Daily Mail fashion about how kids not knowing they're born etc and being protected by 'elf and safety. No what I'm talking about is those first few days at uni.

Now some of you may think that I'm mad, after all more people than ever are going to uni. But that's not what it's about. You see when i started uni (6 October 1996, the date is engrained on my heart forever) I did not own, no one I knew owned and indeed I had never actually seen, in the flesh, a mobile phone. Yes kids there was such a time! There was no such thing as MSN messenger, facebook or myspace. I had never sent or received an email and had never seen a website. I had internet access at uni but it was painfully slow. In short, when I went to uni I was cut off from my friends back home or at other uni's completely. In those first few days there was simply no way of staying in touch and even then it meant letters or emails that may not be picked up for days when someone could be arsed to queue for a computer in the library.

At that meant it was an adventure, that first day you simply had to jump in with both feet and talk to people around you. Now there is another option, that first night at uni, when it's all very scary, you can text your mate at the other end of the country, you can phone your friend somewhere else. Facebook allows you to join freshers groups before you even take you a-levels. the whole in at the deep end experience is lost. And while it might make startign at uni less stressfull why does that mean its a better thing? No adventure was ever stress free!

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