Friday 18 September 2015

I realise I sound a bit negative as regards going to university

Please, please don't think that I'm saying that your son or daughter might not settle into university life. Hopefully they will have a fantastic time and continue to be free of their eating disorder.

My last two blog posts are simply aimed at those families that might have issues to show that, if it doesn't work out at university this year, then it's not such a Big Deal when you look at the bigger picture.

Ben's unplanned 'gap year' was a great opportunity for him to do stuff like work experience, make new friends and get rid of the final bits of the eating disorder that were still hanging around. I am immensely proud of what he did do in that gap year - from being a teaching assistant at his old school through to working at the local charity shop.

Student kitchen in
Ben's 2nd year
Then, in September 2013, he gave university another go. 2013/14 was a tricky year, but Ben stuck it out. He found it more bearable by coming home at weekends.

I think the main problem in 2013 was that he was in the wrong student apartment which comprised two foreign students who never came out of their rooms and two other students who partied round the clock.

2014/15 was a better year - the first year that we moved Ben into his student digs without any anxiety or doom and gloom.

Again, the accommodation wasn't ideal, but he stuck it out, coming home at weekends. And during this year he made a new circle of friends - 'nerds' like him. Gradually everything began to improve.

Now, in his final year, 2015/16, he is sharing a house with these 'nerds' and I really, really hope that this year will make up for what he has missed so far.

It is one-hundred-per-cent up to Ben to make it work. He has the openings and opportunities, so the ball is in his court.

Not having heard from him for a week is, I hope, good news...

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