There were no tears (not while we were there, anyway) but lots of hugs, kisses and handshakes as we visited a grandson who will be starting university this week. It took me back some years, 61, to be exact, when I was in the same situation; nervous at the new beginning and curious at what was to come. It was a milestone event in my life.
I stood in line at various offices mixed in with ex-servicemen who were still finding their feet after the war. For the first time I talked to would-be doctors, lawyers and engineers all busy checking out what everyone else was signing up for. A lifetime decision and you had no way of telling if you were on the right track or not. The only thing in your favor was your enthusiasm. How young we are to be let loose into the wild world and how naive to make the important choice that would direct our directions and livelihoods for the rest of our lives.
Of course it’s a lot more organized now than it was in those days, but the political and geographical chaos seems a lot worse and the world seems a much more complicated place. On the positive side the progress of mankind is stunning and we can actually sit in front of a TV set and watch the world moving, not always forward.
So what does one choose to study in these hectic days? What used to be quite an achievement 60 years ago, an arts, science or commerce degree is just enough to qualify for a job interview these days. It’s the proverbial rocket scientists and brain surgeons who get the good jobs.
And grandma and grandpa, are you up to speed on the latest occupations? When your grandchild comes to you to discuss his or her future, can you offer any constructive advice beyond ‘work hard and be a good student’?