Heads In A Spin

Year on year the entry requirements for the Universities get higher and higher. So you would think that would lead to students being able perform simple everyday tasks with ease. However apparently this not the case, a study of new students to Birmingham City university found the 60% of new students this year had ‘never or rarely done’ their own washing. This led to the university producing guidelines to show the students how to do their washing.

This step by step guide seems like simple common sense, step two is even ‘check pockets’ to make sure your new iPhone isn’t left in your jeans before you put them in the machine.  This seems to be an issue for Birmingham City students and this led me to wondering whether this is the same in Glasgow. This resulted in the accumulation of some highly amusing stories that stemmed from genuine confusions on general washing procedure.

The lack of washing instructions caused multiple problems; not helped by the instruction labels on clothing appearing to be written in a code language of shapes and crosses that mean nothing to us students. They appear like the emoticons of our parents’ generations. Further confusion stems from the question of where to put the washing powder, when sitting with washing powder and fabric conditioner and a drawer with three compartments. I am not doing degree in maths, or anything similar, but even to me, the ratio does not work out.

This leads me to wonder maybe Birmingham City University instead of being behind is actually just responding to a real problem. There is never a period of time in the life of an average person where we are taught these tasks. You come out of high school knowing how to solve an algebraic function but minimal understanding of simple tasks that are essential to daily life. Perhaps, Birmingham City is just stepping in where the high school system did not.

I will leave you with that thought and my favourite washing anecdote. Once a student at Glasgow University had only one pair of socks left but they were soaking, so in an attempt to dry them with hast, they were put in the microwave. Apparently a microwave is not suitable substitute for a dryer and just leaves you with warm damp socks.

[Rachel Pyke]

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