Sunday, 17 March 2013

Circus Skills

My oldest son, Pascoe, lives in a student house with a little “unicycle room”.  In it are four unicycles.  What a coincidence, you may say, that so many students in one house ride unicycles.  But in fact they met each other through the university circus skills club.

Most universities hold societies fairs in Freshers’ Week.  Some clubs cost next to nothing.  Others will exhaust your funds – on one open day, I met a student guide from a non-rich background who deeply regretted taking up polo.  I pictured the ponies lifting their hooves mournfully to wish her farewell when the money ran out.

I guess students anticipate that university will expand their horizons, and it will, but their hobbies may well shrink.  The amount of time involved in just learning to live independently is large, the extraordinary range of people to meet is there for free and calls you away from other occupations. And then there’s the annoying little matter of degree studies – they can be time-consuming too. 

When I started university, I was astonished to find that I gave up drawing and painting.   That Autumn, the drift of abandoned pastimes probably equalled the piles of fallen leaves outside in the grounds.

Just don’t do what my friend Caroline did:

“I joined the university parachute-jumping club, but I had forgotten two things – one, I didn’t like heights and two, I didn’t like jumping.”
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