Deborah Ross: A student home for Easter? Check all the smoke alarms

If you ask me: It is very important you lend any university student your Oyster card so he can travel around London free

If you ask me, now university students are home for Easter I thought I would provide a parents' guide to caring for them and answer all your most commonly asked questions:

What do I feed the university student while he is home for Easter?

You do not need to fret about what to feed the university student while he is home for Easter. Simply fill the fridge and cupboards to bursting and he will empty them out all by himself within the first 24 hours, maybe sooner.

Should I check the batteries in the smoke alarms so when the university student comes in at 4am and forgets he's put bread in the toaster, he sets them off?

Yes. Although getting up at 4am to open all windows and flap at the alarms with a newspaper is not ideal, it is probably better than being burned alive in your bed.

Should I "lend" the first-year university student my Oyster card so he can travel around London free?

It is very important you lend any university student your Oyster card so he can travel around London free and it is important you do this at the first instant otherwise he will nag, nag, nag, nag and break you down before you pass it over anyway.

Should I clear a space in the hall so the university student can dump his stuff there for the entire period he is at home?

Yes.

Should I get the university student out of bed before 3pm?

As a rule, the university student will have had a hard term going to one lecture a week, drinking, and burning toast at 4am, so needs the rest. Also, the shock of discovering that, say, there are two 9 o'clocks may kill him.

While the university student is home for Easter, should I query his laundering habits?

You may quiz the student as to his laundering habits, but do not make the mistake of accusing him of wearing the same pair of pants eight times, as he will happily tell you that he reverses them every other day, so it is only four.

To keep the university student happy, what should I provide?

* Internet access

* TV with Sky

* His father's shaving equipment

* His mother's cash

* Fresh bathroom towels to be dropped in damp spools in his bedroom or, failing that, on the landing.

Is it ever OK to do a little dance of happiness when the university student goes back after Easter?

Seriously, who would blame you?

Next week: How to take your "empty nest" and put it somewhere a university student won't find it, like inside a book.

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