Yes Mum, I’ll stay in touch

By Eylon Aslan-Levy, October 7, 2010
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As you read this I’ll probably be wearing either a toga, a tuxedo or my old school uniform. That’s right – it’s Freshers’ Week and if I go down the route of most people, I’m told it will be unforgettable.

I’ve made the brave journey beyond the north London bubble, promised my parents that I’ll call them regularly, and finally arrived at Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Brasenose College.

Both my parents served in the IDF and I am their eldest child, so this university business is new for all of us.

Inevitably this has thrown up a host of arguments: No, Mum, I’m not coming home every weekend. No, you can’t visit me in Oxford every Shabbat. Yes, Mum, I’ll try to find a nice Jewish wife but no, it’s not time to start polishing the silver yet.

Life at college will, I’m sure, be different from at home. We are a secular family, so grace after meals will be a novelty, especially as it’s in Latin at the formal hall dinner.

I’ll by arguing furiously about financial monopolies, not the game Monopoly. And, regrettably, there’ll be no Hebrew, although I promise this won’t stop me shouting and gesticulating wildly as if my hair were on fire.

So am I daunted? Of course. How could I not be? I am studying at David Cameron’s college, which is either good or not, depending on what you think of him.

I have three reading lists – yes, three – which not even Nietzsche’s übermensch himself could get through in a lifetime. Then there’s the notorious Orwellian “Two Minutes Hate” against Israel we hear so much about, but I’ll wait to see this keffiyeh-clad elephant in the room for myself first.

I’m told these are to be the best years of my life. And I can’t wait.

Eylon is 19 and from Finchley, north London. JC On Campus will be following a number of Freshers as they get to grips with the ups and downs of university life.

Last updated: 1:01pm, October 7 2010