Thankfully not yet old enough to be my peer’s mothers, though I often feel it, I am approaching this journalism master’s from a completely different angle ten years on from my undergraduate degree. Donning a different hat for two days a week I am not a mum to my two boys but actually me again. The only trace of motherhood visible in the snot stains on my jumper, food handprints on my jeans and hot wheels car in my coat pocket. Out of context I guess it looks like I am pretty bad at wiping my nose, eating and keeping myself entertained in lectures.
Less likely to be hungover as a result of a rave the night before, (I bet young people don’t even say rave unless ironically?) I am possibly still suffering the aftereffects of too many glasses of red wine as a necessity to get through Biff, Chip and Kipper’s adventures with my five-year-old.
A military operation ensues every week to get the children to school and myself to Lincoln for a 9am lecture, cursing my fresher self that I didn’t make more of the fact I used to live ten minutes from my campus instead of an hour. I recall occasionally sleeping in and missing lectures in 2006 as I couldn’t possibly make 9am. How could I have been too tired? I didn’t know the meaning of the word, fresher me needed to get a grip and get to early lectures.
Walking onto campus for the first time, I noticed the building work for the new medical centre is child bribery gold and instantly hated myself a little for being such a saddo. Still tempted to film the telehandler and crane I quickly dismissed this as weird. Worth noting you can spend all the money you like on a trip to Disneyland Paris but the roadworks on the way will remain the highlight for your children, especially if a crane is involved.
On my first day I learnt that WhatsApp isn’t cool. All mum group chats are on WhatsApp, I knew nothing of the shift to Facebook messenger. I didn’t dare ask about audio messages, favoured by us mums for driveling rants when children occupy our arms and laps as holding down a button is easier than typing. Likely to be uncool.
Alas my fears were soon put to rest upon meeting students and I have found they are really kind, patient with my out of touch un-coolness and really inclusive. The ‘you can’t sit with us’ vibe emitted in droves in 2006, perhaps in part due to the mean girls film released two years prior has vanished. This is the generation happy to include all regardless of age, race, religion, identity and sexual orientation and it is so refreshing. Well as soon as you get over the fact their vintage Ellesse top was your prized possession at your 13th birthday party.