As my son leaves for college in less than a week, I thought it appropriate to illustrate a 1995 article from Britain’s Independent:
“TEN THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE GOING TO UNIVERSITY”
1. How to fit the whole of my life into the back of my mother’s Metro every time she drove me to Surrey University. No matter how sparingly I packed, there was never enough room. The big mystery is, even students whose parents have large cars (eg Mercedes) still cannot fit their possessions in.
These two fellows look like they have managed the art of packing on the go …The Finnish poster is from the 1950’s (you can find out more information about it here), and the New Baby is from the early 1900s (link to poster here)
2. How to grow money. Even after working in a bank for a year before university, I still found after the fourth week of term that my bank account wasn’t going to stand another Friday night in the Students’ Union. Joining the entertainments committee was a financial boost – I got into events free.
Instead of waiting for money to grow, you could just hope it rains down from the sky (poster link).
3. How to be in 40 places at once to take advantage of all the opportunities university throws your way. I strongly recommend taking part in as much as you can while at university, never again will you got such a varied social life on your doorstep.
Let’s see – football on the quad or debauchery at Freshers … a quick look at these posters (links) will show you just how little things have changed in the last 100 years…
4. How to say no nicely to all those societies in Freshers’ Week who desperately want you to join. When the rosy haze has faded, you realize the Exotic Travel Society you’ve just joined is really just a bunch of train spotters.
5. How to type. Not only can you get your assignments finished faster but tutors are more inclined to mark typed essays more favourably, presumably because they can read them.
(Remember this article was written in 1995. A time when posters like our Rain Forest poster (link) and Montreux Jazz Festival homage (link) would have been gracing dorm rooms around the world and the concept of the Internet was still new and fuzzy …)
6. How to surf the Internet. A growing student pastime. Tucked away in a non-air-conditioned room in the darkest depths of campus, you can spend hours surfing a vast ocean of trivia – from the latest discoveries at NASA to what’s on TV for the next nine days.
7. How to cook. Pasta and cheese gets boring after day four. (or you could just keep buying pastries (link) and cheese (link) … or beer. Beer is always good and might even be considered as it’s own food group … )
8. How quickly one gets old. In the first term there was no problem going to bed at 4am and getting up for a 9am lecture. This proved physically impossible in the second term.
9. How noisy student residences can be. I’d have invested in earplugs. Just who are those people who get up and slam doors at two in the morning?
Goofy French game sheet from the 1920s/30s (link)– maybe it’s the crazy lady with the cucumber mask and the parrot who is slamming the door at 2 in the morning….
10. How to do laundry. Never put your black jeans in with your white T-shirt! University life is not difficult for the prepared student. There are no nasty surprises, just a good time waiting to be had. Only the most ill- informed student finds out the hard way that a diet consisting purely of toast and Marmite gives you scurvy.” (This article appears here ).
Bon voyage Giulian! Don’t forget to write, to separate the lights from the darks, and that your mom loves you …