Too much planning

Today I am driving the 17yo to Aberystwyth so she can have a good look at the university. Her first choice has already been made, but she’s viewing others as a kind of fallback or ‘just in case’. She sent me the day’s schedule and, trying to be helpful (because that’s the kind of guy I am) I put together a high-level draft schedule as a suggestion of how she might like to utilise the day. That’s all it was. Nothing was offered as a ‘you should do this’ or ‘you really need to do these things’ or even ‘here’s your plan for the day’. Because I know how important it is for people (not just youngsters) to make their own decisions based on their own feelings, on their own needs, and on their own wants. I just put together an outline schedule to try and reduce the ‘drift about seeing what’s on and possibly missing something pertinent to my degree or even something important’ possibility from the day. My suggestion, the draft schedule, did not go down well.

So if you ever accompany a 17yo to a university open day, here’s my tip. Do not put together a draft schedule like this:

09.00 – 09.10 Registration
09.10 – 09.40 VCs welcome
09.40 – 10.00 drink and toilet break
10.00 – 10.45 Welcome to the Department. Are you ready for your next chapter?
10.45 – 11.15 Accommodation
11.15 – 12.00 walk about and relax?
12.00 – 12.30 Global Opportunities
12.45 – 13.45 Taster Lecture and Writing Workshop
13.45 – 14.30 Supporter’s Forum or Information Desks
15.00 – 15.40 Campus Tour
16.00 – tea, wee, leave

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