YOUTH MATTERS Emily Hennings...Learning to live with the ticking time-bomb of university life

One day you are in your back garden, building a fort and eating pretend food. The next day you are making a home for yourself and possibly others and having to cook your own food.

University. That’s all that needs to be said at the moment to cause confusion. Most 17 to 18-year-olds are getting to a stage that five-year-olds get to when it’s time to move to ‘big school’.

They get increasingly more clingy with parents and teachers, and grumpy because suddenly they are not in control.

Now is the time when I need to learn how to use the washing machine and find out how long I need to cook a chicken for.

At the moment it seems the easier option to stay at home in my room, doing what I want and not spending as much time as I should on studies. The more school work I do, the more I feel the university time-bomb ticking.

The idea of not being in a familiar setting and where I may have to share a bathroom unsettles me.

I am not even thinking about money at this moment because I see it as unavoidable: we are going to have some sort of debt when we come out of university, so why not just plunge into the inevitable?

Family and home life are yet another reason why I am so confused when it comes to the thought of university.

My life has been on a basically level playing field for the past 18 years with the occasionally bump in the road.

University seems to be waiting to pull the rug out from under my feet, so it can watch me struggle to keep up.

If I am ill, my mother will not be able to keep an eye on me; if I am bored, I will not be able to wind my brother up; and if I am home alone, I will not be able to talk to my dog!

Reading over this it seems that maybe I shouldn’t be going away to university, though I think what has been said is what most A-level students are thinking at this time. We are all in the same boat so that is some comfort!

Who knows? This time next year I could be at all the parties and at the university of my dreams and loving every minute of it!