The age of innocence?
As students arrive in their various universities and prepare for a new academic year, spare a thought for freshers some of whom, apparently, hardly know how to get out of bed unaided. According to a survey carried out by supermarket group Sainsburys, some students don’t know how to boil an egg, have no idea how to clean a bath, have never operated a dishwasher themselves, are completely innocent of any knowledge of finance or banking, and cannot get a fix on how to pay a bill. In short, they lack pretty much any of the life skills needed in order to walk out of the front door without holding someone’s hand.
In my experience most students are rather more savvy than that, and are considerably less innocent of knowledge of everyday life. However, it is wise to remember that many students will find their first days at university to be a daunting experience, with less of the support and guidance at every step that they are used to. It is therefore important to tell them and then remind them that they need never be alone, and that in universities there is always someone to turn to for help. For some the transition to higher education can be lonely, and so an appropriately friendly word or gesture can make a difference. Most students will flourish in their new environment very quickly, but they may benefit from a little help at first. Be patient with them, and never treat a question as stupid.