Parent Blog: Stella – Transition
Stella has two daughters who both have degrees, one of which progressed via A levels onto University and the second completed an Open University degree after originally completing BTEC and A level qualifications.
I open my eyes and see the early morning half-light and see the grey sky through the gap in the bedroom curtains. Then I remember, it’s today. Today we take our girl to University. We’ll drive down the motorway and leave her there, miles away from home, all on her own. The house will seem empty without her. She will not be there anymore, to chat to, and share our lives after all those years …… No, NO! Stop these thoughts. This is the very best of days. Ever since she arrived into our lives, we, as her parents, have strived to ensure our girl has all the skills to be independent and able to head out on her own when the time came. Now the time has arrived, it is here and now. That’s what it’s all been about! There’s a lot to look forward to, such as hearing all about the new chapter before us all.
Think about it. We supported her whilst making her choice of which University to visit and mulled over the pros and cons of each together. We lived through the angst of GCSE’s and whether to go to a Sixth Form in a school or college. Then A levels and deadlines, UCAS applications when she sought advice from us. The university interview that was our first trip to London. Another anxious wait, for us as well as her, for the results. Hoping above hope she reached her target grades to take up her offer. College were very good at reminding her [and us] that if her grades were not as expected she could go through what is called ‘Clearing’ via the UCAS phone lines. [This helps a student to find another institution who might offer them a place instead]. If our girls’ grades turned out better than expected she might have wanted to upgrade to a different course. It was good to know there were lots of options. Our girl did well and this is her reward, a place, her first choice in London.
The traffic is quite busy. I look to the side and see another car with duvet, pillow and boxes piled high on the back seats. A lone soft toy stuffed into the back. Just like us they will have been out shopping, perhaps to Ikea for essentials. One of everything. Another family experiencing the same thing. I bet it’s like this after Easter and Christmas as students wind their way back to their ‘second’ home. I think back over the last few weeks and how fast things have moved after results day. The student finance was sorted long ago so we know the course fees will be paid directly. We have discussed how we are going to support our girl and will contribute to accommodation fees. I hope it’s a nice room, with a view and the sunlight streaming in. I wonder what the others in the flat will be like, if they will be kind to her and make friends, not party all night and get drunk, take drugs or….. stop, just Stop! That’s not how it is. The University staff were very reassuring. They told us about the security arrangements in the halls of residence. Student support both academic and pastoral sounded well organised as well as medical services which, again, are important for our girl. It will be fine. They’ve got it covered. This was her choice. This was the one University we didn’t visit with her out of the four she chose. This is her informed choice, the course she wants, the pathway she’s designed for herself. But the thoughts still come crowding in; ‘what if she’s lonely? London is so far away. How will I manage not seeing her?’ Hang on a minute, we’ve arranged we will text and chat on the phone or Skype, visit too. Neither of us know London so that should be fun. It’s not a problem. There is lots to look forward to. Hearing about the course, her new friends, her new life. I am so proud of her, we both are. She worked so very hard to achieve her goals to this point.
The alarm is ringing, my goodness, what’s the time? I must have been day dreaming for ages and the sun is now streaming in through the gap in the bedroom curtains. It’s time to get up, time to get this day started. Oh, here she is, all dressed and ready for the adventure ahead.