Students and responsibilities
Sir, - How depressing that neither your original contributor ("To be honest: A parent writes", Education, February 5th) nor your respondent (February 6th) seems to have very high opinions of young adults.
In this age of delayed grant cheques and struggling parents, the idea that only mature students are juggling outside concerns with their education is one which I find to be myopic and empirically false.
As their first foray into a world without rigid timetables, university is an extremely difficult time for young people and the daughter of your original contributor sounds as though she is coping extremely well, despite the obvious pressures from home. Your respondent has done nothing to allay these fears, but has rather decided to label all young undergraduates as flakes and failures, an assertion which is not reflected in the consistently good and thoughtful work submitted to me each term.
In my experience as a tutor (and as a less than perfect student, with a part-time job), the vast majority of students do fine at university. They very often find the first couple of terms to be tricky in terms of time-management, but usually get on track quite soon.
Any chance of praising the young (and not so young) so that they will flourish? - Yours, etc,