Enforced jollity and the normalisation of heavy drinking - otherwise known as Freshers Week at university.
Daughter #1 contacted us from her student halls in Liverpool last week in great distress, suffering from a terrible migraine. A debilitating condition that has been passed down through my side of the family for generations.
Triggers include lack of sleep, drinking too much, not eating properly or regularly, and increased stress, often caused by being exposed to unfamiliar surroundings. Does that sound like every Freshers Week in the country to you? Because it does to me.
So the reason for this most recent attack? Out of her first nine days at university, she’d been out (as in “out out”) with her new friends every night apart from Tuesday, and who goes out on a Tuesday anyway?
She was sparked out at 6pm but texted us at 3.18am to say she was feeling better but wide awake.
That’ll be migraine lag, which is much the same as beer lag, often suffered by sports fans drinking heroic amounts during daytime matches at major sporting events (hello, rugby supporters tuning in to morning kick-offs from the Rugby World Cup in Japan!) who crash out in the middle of the afternoon, only to be bolt upright in bed at 4am.
Our booze culture is weird and dangerous. It’s killing us and costing the NHS billions every year. If The Drink was invented today, the government would ban it, until it found ways to regulate and tax it. It would be hypocritical of yours truly to demonise booze too much, seeing as how I spent the majority of my 20s under the influence and made many life-changing decisions while roaring drunk. And by sheer luck, they all turned out okay - one’s at university studying law and the other’s training to be an actress at one of the best performing arts colleges in the country, a few hundred yards down the road.
Speaking of which, last Saturday, daughter #2 passed her driving theory test at the first time of asking. That time certainly went quickly. Last time we checked she got herself dressed for primary school of a morning while balancing a 20p coin on her knee. They grow up fast, eh?