8th December 2023

Childline reports surge in instances of ‘College Parental Neglect’


Childline has today issued a stark warning to college parents across the university after logging a dramatic increase in calls pertaining to ‘College Parental Neglect’.

‘Second Years often forget that being college parents is a serious commitment,’ a spokesperson said. `It is one thing to covertly hide a haribo ring in a £4 shop-bought cake, but organising an uncomfortable family meal in a two-man gyp is an entirely different ball game. We need to instil in these students that college kids are not just for Freshers’ Week. They’re for Sunday Life.’

We caught up with Marcus Atherton, a student personally affected by CPN.

‘I thought I had struck gold,’ he recalls. ‘My college parents were so attentive to begin with. They contacted me straight away on all of my seventeen social media profiles as well as my college and home email and even sent a follow-up reassuring me that they “didn’t want to smother me” when I hadn’t responded within half a second. They took time out of their busy schedules to turn up unannounced on my first day to give me my homemade Fester Addams costume for the Family BOP. It was bliss.’

It was not to last. As Marcus all too painfully describes, ‘One night in Michaelmas my college father took me on a “lads and dads” trip to Cindies. He offered to buy me a VK, telling me that the time had come for me to become a man. I rejoiced at the prospect; at last, somebody would be there to take me on fishing trips punctuated with awkward silences. But, as he disappeared behind the brawl of sweat-soaked bodies to shout his order at the bartender, little did I know that I was watching him leave for the last time.’

When asked if he had since managed to re-establish contact with his father, Marcus shook his head. ‘The only time I’ve seen him since was when he was leaving Fez with my college sister. Safe to say that ended the marriage. He and my mum are currently embroiled in a bitter college custody dispute, and as always in these situations, it is the children who suffer most,”

A number of parents have also lodged complaints about their college children. This is due to the alarming emergence of the college Oedipus Complex, which has already claimed scores of male Classicists as its victims, and the tendency among jobless fourth-years and post-grads to refuse to move out of family accommodation.

As for Marcus, he now intends to dramatise his experience in the new play ‘Conversations with my estranged Father who is also an Alcoholic’. Despite having not yet been staged, the play has been called one of the most daring ever put on at the ADC, with many critics citing it as a frontrunner in this season’s Oscar contenders. Atherton describes it as, “full of suicidal monologues, violence, psychological torture – fun for the whole college family!’