What did I get from university?
Sometimes I wonder why I went to university.
I mean, all that late-night swotting at the library; all that exam anxiety; the reading lists; the lectures; the psychobiology experiments; the dissertations; the hot summers of exams – they were for what, I wonder?
As DH and I sweated it out on late-night study sessions (yes, we met at university), at no point was there a moment when he said, “You may as well go to bed, hotlips – you’ll be looking after the kids, anyway, so doesn’t really matter if you get a 1st or a 2:2. Mine’s the career that’s going to matter.”
And, for a few years, I had my career. Amazingly, I earned more than DH for a time. Then I earned less, but still a decent wage. I was the boss; I ran my own company. I was responsible for people – not just their careers, but their lives and the lives of their dependants.
And then I had children.
So now, while DH now dazzles on the professional stage, earns a million and networks over cocktails at Zuma and dinners at The Riv, my degree (a 2:1 BSc Hons from Warwick University, by the way) sits figuratively on the mantelpiece while I spend my days driving the school run; sitting in car parks while DS sleeps in the back of the car; making packed lunches; mindfully dozing in public play areas; coaching the children through dinner; and calming toddler tantrums.
It’s hardly Honours degree work, is it?
And then I remember what exactly it was I got from university.
22 years after I packed my teddy bear and my text books and headed up north to study, it’s funny to think that the most valuable thing I gained from university was not my degree, but my husband.