In September our family life will be changing as our eldest will be going off to University, providing that it is safe for him to do so. Coronavirus has already put a stop to him doing his A Levels, and his time in year 13 came to an abrupt end when schools were closed on the 20th March. Thankfully he has not had to face the uncertainty about his future, as his conditional offer from Liverpool John Moores (LJMU) was changed to an un-conditional offer. This means that what ever his results are on the 13th August, he already has a place at LJMU.
Everything is in place for him, hopefully starting his new journey in September. He has been into Liverpool and viewed his student accommodation. A modern secure block with a gym and laundry facilities about 5 minutes walk from LJMU. Student finance has all been completed, and he is starting to look forward to studying Psychology for the next three years.
But we are all aware that his first few months might not be the university experience that many others before him have had, including his dad who went to university 30 years before him. It was reported in the news yesterday that students may have to live and study in protective bubbles to stop the spread of the virus, and some universities will be switching lecture halls to online lessons.
There is no denying that part of student life is the social aspect, and this starts the minute you go to university with Freshers Week. But this year will no doubt see a different sort of Freshers Week, possibly with events taking place online. This is where Paperclip comes in. They create online marketplaces for universities, which offer platforms for students to buy and sell concert tickets, clothes and text books. In the absence of Freshers week, they have created a Digital Welcome Pack for students, which includes offers from Amazon and UberEats. Students can also refer their friends, and if they manage to refer 100 friends, they will be sent a £25 Amazon voucher as a thank you.
Over the next few months, I guess the only thing we can do is hope that our world regains some sense of normality, and that our teenagers head off to University with a sense of hope and excitement for their future.