Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Keeping it in the family

Keeping it in the family

When she was holding her oldest son, Jack, and looking out from the bedroom of her Kelburn Parade home, Michelle Laurenson would look across to Victoria University and wonder if she would ever get the opportunity to study.

Just over two decades on, Michelle is in her third year of study towards a Bachelor of Arts and looking forward to her third son, Ben (18), joining his brothers Mark (19) and Jack, now 21, who also study at Victoria.

“The boys were really proud when I said I was going to university—it was something I had always wanted to do,” says Michelle.

Mark, who is in his second year of study towards a Bachelor of Commerce, says seeing his mum go to university was good motivation.

“Seeing mum doing well made me realise that I could do it too.”

Victoria has become the family’s second home. All four members of the family live separately in Wellington but regularly catch up on campus, with Michelle often buying lunch.

“Whenever we meet up for lunch, Mum pays for it, even though she’s a poor student too,” says Jack, who is in his final year of a Bachelor of Science.

When Michelle started at Victoria, Jack told a group of fellow first year students that she was looking for an invitation to the Orientation toga party. “He was finally able to pay me back for all those times I tried to embarrass him at school when he was younger and would say ‘give me a kiss, Jack’, ” says Michelle.

Ben, who is about to start a Bachelor of Commerce, knows what is expected of him at university, and his older brothers hope he will learn from their mistakes.

“I’ve heard about their late night cramming and I’m hoping I won’t have to do that. They’ve all given me a lecture about what not to do—not just Mum.”

Jack says the biggest challenge transitioning from college to university is learning to plan and adjusting to the more independent lifestyle. “I’m going to be helping Ben with that,” says Jack.

Michelle with her three sons, from left to right Jack, Ben and Mark. “I’ve told him to put himself out there as much as he can and to meet as many people as possible.

“But to not fall behind with all his course work,” reminds Mark.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news