If you relate to these 10 things then you’ve become the uni parent of your friend group

Crisis? On a week day? You must be having a laugh!

Life as a student can be tough. The change of scenery and routine that moving to university brings can sometimes leave people with a sense of imbalance and that things aren’t going right. This is most likely because, despite the independence you’ve wanted since your little hormonal self started craving it, living without parental figures is a little tough!

Therefore, upon settling down at uni and establishing yourself in a friend group, you will find yourself in one of two positons: either you are to assume the role of the uni parent in your friend group or your are looking for that uni parent.

If you’re unsure on which side you stand, this article outlines the qualities and attributes of said figure, and if you relate to them then congratulations, you’re most likely the uni parent of your friend group.

You’re always complaining about some sort of mess

This one for a lot of people seems normal as most of us like to live in blissful cleanliness. However, once you get to uni you realise quickly enough that not everybody shares your strict rigour in keeping the place spick and span.

I think the biggest example of this for myself was when I was initially cleaning up my flat to which I then took one step further and cleaned the communal hallway and fumigating it with air freshener – how did the others put up with the smell of food, sweat, and musk for so long?

You’ve started doing DIY around the house

“Oh, don’t worry about that, we can ask maintenance to come up and fix that” a naïve housemate said to me on my first day at uni, to which I promptly made known that there was absolutely no way I’d reside somewhere where there was an easily fixable problem, simultaneously cracking out the little toolkit I’d brought with me.

Perhaps it’s self-reliance, perhaps it’s unnecessary, who knows? But if a screw needs tightening here and there, a drawer rail needs fixing, or a flickering bulb needs replacing, chances are, if I can do it, I’ll do it myself.

You’re the only person who seems to have any decorations up

A house ought to feel homely, right? Then why is it that my flatmates’ main form of decoration seems to be the Lynx bottles lining their bookshelves, or textbooks sat on their desk? Was I seriously the only person who thought of bringing something of aesthetic value to uni?

I think this was best summed up by someone telling me I was going to lose my deposit for using blu-tack to stick up some pictures of me and my mates from back home. So you’ve just seen me rinse this entire room of grime and you really think I can’t get a little blu-tack off the walls? Madness.

You need to keep up to date with everything happening in the house

I think this one has really two sides to it, not only are you wanting to make sure that everybody is keeping alright, but you also don’t want to miss out on any of the gossip or fun stuff that’s happening as to not completely relinquish the idea of being a student – just call me the ‘fun dad’.

But if plans are being made, people are having issues, or something has happened which you weren’t the first to know about, you simply must get up to date, and right away, too. Oh well, as long as you’re not overbearing there’s no real harm this one can cause.

You’re always teaching people how to do things they should already know

Nothing screams parent more like trying to impart some of your previously garnered wisdom in a certain area onto those who seem clueless. This could be skills, general knowledge, mannerisms, decorum – you name it, but all of it points to one sign: you’ve decided to treat that person as your student of life.

For me, this has regarded cooking. I love cooking and it really does pain me to see what slop people come out with when left to fend for themselves. It’s the little things, you know: not washing rice, not preheating ovens, failure to season.

Disturbances outside the window are of the greatest intrigue to you

“Ooh, a Waitrose van, I wonder who that could be for”. “Amazon here again today, wonder if that’s my order”. “There go the hockey players again, hope they have a good training session!”. These are all examples of what I mean by this, observations and little comments as you take a nosey out the window.

This on its own isn’t too disconcerting, but if you begin doing this with a mug of something hot in one hand and that classic hand-on-hip, the whole pose and ritual becomes undeniably parental.

Just try to make sure it doesn’t become stalker-ish. I don’t think many people would appreciate it if they were to see you in the window every time they come home from yet another Sainos shop.

You’re the person people come to when they need something

Lighter? Sure, borrow mine. Feeling ill and have no medicine? I have loads, don’t worry. Need a quick chat over a cuppa? Say no more, I’ll stick the kettle on.

This one is probably the easiest one to get wrong about the whole uni parent façade as it can put a lot of unnecessary stress on yourself if people become reliant on you without learning to be able to depend on themselves.

What is important to remember about this one is moderation, I’m not going to help you with everything, but I am going to be kind and try help with things I can. One thing I simply cannot and will not help you with is un-snogging that lad at PRYZM last night.





Organisation. Organisation. Organisation.

You’re gonna need a list for everything, a place for everything, and a way of doing everything. Perhaps this might just be a sign of some undiagnosed neurodivergency within myself, but I feel like it’s only really come about since I’ve been living more independently.

It just feels better when you have everything mapped out for yourself way ahead of time, alright? In the real world, this is probably best characterised by the classic ‘parent at the airport’ sketch – it all seems rather understandable now.

This one is succinctly put through an experience I had at Hallward a few weeks back, whereby the person at the study desk next to me watched in awe as I meticulously unpacked the contents of my bag onto my desk in such an arrangement it would have the OCD in you smile, prompting the question: “Does everything have a place?” – “Of course.”, I responded.

Despite what people may think, you know how to let your hair down

Parenting is hard, everyone knows that, that’s why it’s those who fall under this category at uni know how to work hard and play hard. Whether it’s a relaxing pamper session in the evening, a night out on the town with your mates, or that well-earned glass of whisky sat back watching your favourite TV show, the good uni parent knows how to let it all go.

A personal highlight of mine has been, on the recovery from freshers flu, taking a long walk through Nottingham city centre, getting back, running a hot bath, and listening to the likes of Chopin and Rachmaninov while sipping on a jasmine green tea and sweating the stress away – bliss.

If you catch me in the Jesse Boot sipping on a glass of Jameson, I guess now you’ll know why.

The people you are drawn to most at uni also check off most of these points

I think I finally get why my dad always used to hang around with my mates’ dads at barbeques now, it’s because there’s some sort of unworldly, telepathic understanding among them. You could’ve decided to spend your time with anyone in the whole place, yet it’s always the ones who you see yourself in most that you want to hang around with.

Its like-minded people who help us mediate and find solutions to each others’ problems n this sort of way, and I must admit, I’m really quite enjoying seeing people feel at ease as a result of a friendly face and a helping hand.

Related articles recommended by this author:

• If you do any of these things then congratulations, you’re the annoying friend of the group

• A definitive guide: The eight types of housemate you’ll find in Notts

• Everything you know if you’ve ever lived in an all girls uni house