Mums tell us what they think university is like

‘A doobie, I think, is the name for a joint’


The last time our parents caught a whiff of Jagermeister, it was 1983 and they were bopping to Duran Duran in batwing leather jackets, so we thought we’d ask our mums how much they really know about uni life now. Expert mums Linda, Jan and Ann were called in to see what they think of the social gauntlet that they refer to as “Higher Education”.

Turns out it’s more than we expected.

My wise parents, Chris and Jan

What is ‘going out’?

They were strangely clued up about this, maybe we share too much.

“Going out on the town! Probably to the pub, or maybe to a nightclub? Do discos still exist?”

“Partying somewhere.”

“Going out to a bar or a pub for one or two drinks – not out out, that’s different.”

Bobby and mum Ann

What is ‘pulling’?

A range of answers here, from the downright dirty minded to the blissfully unaware.

“Getting off with somebody, probably snogging in the corner.”

“Aah well that means they’ve got a boy/girl to go out with them after the party, or on a date the next day.”

“Picking someone up, as in, ‘Get your coat, you’ve pulled’? That’s what it meant in my day.”

Some pulling happening

What do we drink on a night out?

Pour it up pour it up

“Something cheap and alcoholic. Wine?”

“Anything and everything you can get your hands on, especially if it’s cheap.”

“Vodka or those Wicked things.” – He means WKD, he’s found the Year 10 house party pictures.

What do we eat after a night out?

“Chips, no question.”

“The contents of your flatmate’s cupboard, the more horrible and calorie-laden the better.”

“A kebab, obviously. Preferably from a van rather than from a shop, it doesn’t count if it’s from a shop.” – This guy clearly knows the reviving powers of Cambridge’s Van of Life.

How many times a week do we go out?

“Whenever they have half priced drinks.”

“Once or perhaps twice a week at the most, anymore more than that would be exhausting.”

Right, they clearly think we’re cheap.

Define ‘Netflix and Chill’

“A movie night where you download things from the magic cloud.” *goes on a lengthy rant about the horror that was Blockbusters.*

“A movie night, obviously? Is the emphasis more on the ‘chill’? I don’t know what chilling is.”

“I used to think it was the literal meaning until I said it in all innocence, much to the amusement of the young people around me.”

Clearly meeting up just to shag under the pretence that you’d watch a movie was not a thing in our parent’s day. Simpler times.

Do you know what drugs students are taking right now?

“I don’t know the latest things – the one that keeps you buzzing all night? It begins with an M? Stuff to keep you awake. I think smoking cannabis probably goes on as well.”

“Do you mean drugs of a non-medicinal variety? Ecstasy is the main one, and I’m sure you can get cocaine, and LSD? And speed, whatever the modern name is for that. Oh, and cannabis.”

“I really don’t want to know.”

Do you know any of the street names for drugs?

“No, I don’t really get approached in Waitrose. I’m not in the zone anymore but maybe I should get back in with the kids.”

“Crack? Smack? A doobie, I think, is the name for a joint. What do you call cannabis? Weed? Ew, okay.”

“Is there one called miaow?”

What’s YikYak for?

It took a long time to get the message across, in the end we had to actually spell it out.

“Something to do with gossip, oh or maybe ‘hooking up’, you kids have a lot of apps for that.”

“Is it for chatting?”

How often do we clean the house?

“I suspect once a month, that’s when it gets really bad.”

“Never. I think you clean to the requirement to still be alive and not die from some horrific disease, but I don’t think you have any sort of routine to it.”

“When the end of year deposit is due.”

What do you think is the extent of student cooking?

“Anything in a bowl, and you probably use either a fork or a spoon, but never both.”

“Pasta and potatoes. Anything else is too complex.”

“Pasta and a jar of sauce, but once the pans have all been used (and not washed) it’s all down to the microwave and pot noodles.”

What does all our money go on?

“Drink and cheap food.”

“Alcohol, food and cigarettes. Rent is last, definitely.”

“Fancy dress and any food to soak up the drink.”