My mum is a lecturer at my university, nowhere is safe

The good, the bad and the ugly


I spent my first year in the same way as most other freshers did – getting drunk, confused and barely scraping 40 per cent, and like most, it was one of the most formative years of my life.

I made great friends, created many embarrassing memories and was all set to go into second year with the same established comfortable routine. This made me all the more shocked when my mum dropped the bombshell that she had landed a job at Edinburgh Uni and would be starting the following autumn.

Don't get me wrong – I love my mum more than anything else on this earth and she's one of my best friends so having her so close by has its obvious perks (getting taken to Söderberg for lunch isn't something I'm ever going to complain about). However, I can't say I was completely ready for my new found independence to change entirely, knowing that my mother would be working on George Square, where I spend almost every day of the week.

So, here's what it has been like.

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Cheeky pint in Teviot, mum?

You lose your freedom

Firstly, let me make it known that I'd avoided going to Glasgow because my dad teaches there, and now this happens. The days are gone where I could turn up to morning lectures still a bit pissed, or have a few cheeky cigarettes on campus. I'm forever faced with the chance that I might run into my mother.

Seriously, there is really no such thing as boundaries when your quarters are this close. I clocked her in the Library smoking area in December (nowhere is safe) and pointed her out to my friend, whose response was "she looks banging for 53". Vomit, vomit, and oh did I mention vomit?

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DHT babes

You pretend not to know each other

That said, for simplicity's sake, if we see each other on campus we pretend not to know each other. This is a foolproof plan, seeing as she doesn't want me embarrassing her, and our identical puffer jackets and Kanken bags are the most ridiculous mother-daughter combo ever, but at least she's down with the kids.

I walked her to a business meeting in Black Medicine this week and as soon as she walked through the door, she pretended we'd never met. Even when we were called up to the counter at the same time to get our coffees, she pretended I was a stranger – professionalism at its finest.

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Excuse me, have we met?

Not even Learn is private any more

One of the most ridiculously terrifying things about my mum working at my uni is that because she's university staff, she's able to access my student data dashboard. This means she can see fun things about me like all the grades I get, as well as how often and at what times I access Learn. The embodiment of terror? I think so.

Yet in spite of the fact she works at the uni I attend, there's no way she can pull strings and get my grades inflated – much to my total and utter heartbreak. The best I've gotten was a free keep cup (which she then made me give back).

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unsure who annoys the other more

You get to compare student lives

My mum also went to uni in Edinburgh, so it's kind of weird to be making my student memories in the same place she did. Back in 1986, she met my sister's dad in Potterrow. Back then, they called the Dome "The Green Banana Club" and happy hour included four pints for £2 (how times have changed). Some venues are still the same, though. She used to go out on Cowgate and frequented Sneaky Pete's – like mother, like daughter, I guess.

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Times have changed

So, the next time you're feeling homesick and longing to see your parents, be careful what you wish for because you might never be able to enjoy a plate of Teviot nachos or a cheeky 2pm pint in peace ever again.