From parties to politics: how student life has changed

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Linda Aitchison is director of a PR company
I was excited for my girls when they went to university, but I also miss them very much. We lost their dad when they were just 13, so it was hard when they left, because this was always going to be a time for me and him. But it has also given me more independence and I’m doing things like getting the house sorted.

I’m proud that they’ve worked so hard and done so well. We text and call regularly and I follow them on Instagram. They enjoy university, but I think there is more pressure now because of fees. I had a great time when I was studying. I worked in a bar and partied a lot, so I’m surprised my girls don’t seem to go to parties as much.

I think they are more mature at their age than I was back then. I didn’t always show up to lectures; I was meant to study Italian, but didn’t go. And I wasn’t as involved in activism as they are, because I didn’t have the confidence. Both my daughters are involved in political stuff and I admire them for it. Sometimes I hear them having conversations about politics, economics or international relations and I’m blown away by how knowledgeable they are.

University is more expensive now, but it has also changed in positive ways. I once lived somewhere with a toilet next to the bed and I doubt that would pass checks now. If I was…

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