I'm not a parent so can only imagine rather than feel the pressures from that perspective, though I agree wholeheartedly with her assertion that a joint honours with a language would be both useful and wonderful. It's a bit easier to see my cousin's position, but really I'm too old and bitter to really empathise with her either! Additionally, fees didn't exist back in 1993 so the pressure of being £50,000 in debt didn't hover over my head. I didn't give a moment's thought to personal statements, course qualities, employment prospects or any of the stuff that the current generation have to consider. I was only good at things I liked: they came easily, whereas no amount of hard work made any difference to the subjects I hated.
So: listen to parents and be strategic about your degree choice? Or go with your instincts? How did you decide on courses and institutions? Did you change course, or consider it, once you got there? What are the things you wish you'd known when you applied? How much parental engagement did you allow? And anything else you think might be useful?
I had a fantastic time at Bangor, and would recommend it to anyone (which is why I stayed for an MA and only did my PhD elsewhere because I got a scholarship). However, if I'd known that I could have gone off to the Netherlands or Scandinavia to do a degree - more cheaply - I'd have been off like a shot. Now the UK has imposed this insane fee system, I'd be even more keen on going abroad.
Except of course, that The Hegemon is a wonderful institution to which you should all apply. (That should save my job).
Meanwhile, my cousin's older sister is a student at Manchester University, which means it's actually my duty to post a relevant song by Manchester's premier grouch. It's The Fall, and the song is 'Hey Student' (based on an earlier track called 'Hey Fascist').
Ah-well I'm walking down the street, It's always students that I meet, Long hair down and sneakers on your feet. Write your letters to the Evening News I clench my fist and sing this tune: I said Hey student, hey student, hey student, You're gonna get it through the head, I said Hey student, hey student, hey student, You're gonna get it through the head, I said... Well, walking to work, It's always students that I meet Henna in your hair, [...] As you [...] I clench my hand before I flip my lid. CHORUS. I'm walking down the street, It's always students that I meet, Long hair down and sneakers on your feet. As you listen to Pearl Jam in your room. I'm thinking like that when I sing this song: CHORUS. I said I walk some more, walk some more, Walk some more, wah wah wah x2 I'm walking down the street, It's always students that I meet, Long hair down and sneakers on your feet. As you stare in your room at Shaun Ryder's face Down long long long long days CHORUS. I said I walk some more, walk some more, walk some more, wah wah wah x2 The dead brains of class A-B [...] Twin swastikas I'm thinking like this when I sing this tune: CHORUS. I said I walk some more, walk some more, Walk some more, wah wah wah x2