View tag: students

Friday column: The end of summer

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 31st August 2018

Exasperated tenants have been venting their anger about having to put up with Dickensian squalor and ruthless landlords. Members of the Generation Rent group asked renters to post their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #ventyourrent and were inundated with tales of woe. They ranged from stories of damp and mould to a landlord who constructed a glass-bricked room inside the tenant’s flat to sleep in when he visited from ...keep reading

Friday column: Exam results and scary holidays

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 24th August 2018

It was a day I’d been dreading. The lease on my son’s rented house came to an end this week and he asked me to help him move out. He’s fiercely independent and would have done the move by himself – except he’s got mountains of stuff, a turbo trainer and several bikes. He doesn’t have a car and the insurance on hiring a van would be sky-high. But when ...keep reading

Advice for parents on university open days

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 29th July 2015

University open days are part of the academic calendar. Every university worth its salt throws its doors open at this time of year, giving teenagers the chance to tour the campus, meet students and teaching staff and ‘find out what it’s really like to live and study there.’ They admittedly leave out the non-stop drinking, rowdy all-night parties and wall-to-wall daytime TV. When I applied to university countless years ago ...keep reading

A tale of two Smeg fridges

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 22nd December 2013

The new silver Smeg fridge standing in the corner of the kitchen is my pride and joy. The only trouble is that every time I catch sight of it I am reminded of my own middle age and my daughter’s youth. I’ve wanted a Smeg fridge for ages and when we moved house I blew the budget, whizzed over to John Lewis and ordered one. Despite the eye-watering price tag ...keep reading

The kindness of strangers Part 1

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 18th September 2012

“I can’t believe I’m leaving you in Paris,” I told my daughter as we hugged goodbye on the Boulevard St Germain. “I’m more worried about leaving you on the metro,” she replied, deftly handing me a train ticket and a bright pink Post-it note with scribbled instructions to Charles de Gaulle Aéroport. We’d just spent two action-packed days together and it was time for me to head home while she embarked on ...keep reading

Empty nest syndrome

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 11th September 2012

There’s an autumn chill in the air, the garden is covered in leaves and the traffic in Oxford has resumed its usual snail-like crawl. But this September feels very different for me. Why? Because for the first time in 16 years I haven’t got a child going back to school. I haven’t had to rush round frantically buying new shoes, files and geometry sets or doing the annual (always unsuccessful) ...keep reading

What should freshers take to university?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 28th August 2012

Like thousands of other teenagers, my son is counting the days till he starts university. He’s bought the Freshers’ Week wristband (it gets him into every Freshers’ event – alarming for me, thrilling for him), has worked out which student block he’ll be in and has “met” most of his new flatmates on Facebook. But what should he take with him? I mean, apart from the obvious things like his ...keep reading

The coffee shop conquerors

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 12th May 2012

It wouldn’t have been my top priority as an academic study but two US professors have put “coffee shop conquerors” under the spotlight. You know, the customers who sit in Costa and Starbucks for hours on end, tapping away at their laptops, hogging tables designed for four and glaring at people who politely ask “is this chair taken?” Or in US academic-speak, “communicate to other customers that intrusion is not welcome.” ...keep reading