I was bamboozled last night. My daughter has been considering what to do accommodationwise next year. This year she is happily still living at chez de mama et papa which offers excellent value for money in rent, superbly roomy and homely accommodation, food preparation service, waitress or waiter delivery to your bedroom, full maid cleaning and laundry service, full shopping service including delivery to kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, etc. She has been thinking it would do her good in terms of learning to live on her own wits. However events of the past week or two have changed that. Firstly the group she wanted to share with seemingly can’t agree or compromise enough on location and type of property, she was adding up the cost and realising her student loan will not cover all her costs (this is now common it seems in that in last couple of years where as my son could look at his loan vs accommodation and just about make it work with enough to live on that isn’t the case now, student lets have been shooting up in price year on year – this year another 5-10% in the city she studies in – JOKE!). Finally though she admitted a night spent “out with the girls” last week to celebrate her birthday exposed her to part of student life she has so far not witnessed… Insane Drinking (her wording not mine).
She is so far scoring consistently at an upper first on her work. Her work is in on time and she is ahead in completing optional assignments for bonus credits – mostly taking part in surveys in the department for research projects. She realised after one mid-week night out and staying in the current flat of one of her prospective flatmates that the wild student life isn’t for her. My wife said something like “So how did you feel?” she replied “I struggle to keep drinking like they do. I mean there is a point where I’m like “Ok that is enough” but they just keep going.” My wife looked at me. I must have worn some bemused expression as she said “Look at your father he cannot comprehend what you are talking about”. And true enough I didn’t. I remember at about her age (just turned 19) I thought I’d begun to crack the drinking game. I’d learnt to drink through that feeling sick stage and that if I kept going the room spinning thing was less of a problem as I just crash out once in the bedroom. Part of me was so glad to hear this – alcohol doesn’t look like it’ll eat her up and spit her out like it did me and maybe because of her experience with me and hearing me talk about the pain it caused me and knowing I have talked about “just drinking through” she is more attuned to the signs of sensible vs insensible drinking than many of her peers who no doubt have a Mum and Dad that dust off the sherry bottle each Christmas for a thimble full to toast everyones good health (that was my Mum). But there was sadly I cannot deny a part of me that was wanting to coach her into more outrageous drinking so that I had a kindred spirit in the family. It was as stupid thought easily quashed and I know that is the “devil on the shoulder” or “monkey on my back” the demon that is my alcoholism that will never be fully quieted.