Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madam Bovary is set in provincial France in the mid eighteen hundreds.
Madame Bovary has a friend, a young man who is going to leave his family’s home soon and move to the big city to finish his education. I think it’s fair to compare that to going to university and to say that some things never change.
He imagines how he’ll live:
He would lead an artist’s life there! He would take lessons on the guitar! He would have a dressing-gown, a Basque cap, blue velvet slippers! He even already was admiring two crossed foils over his chimney-piece, with a death’s head on the guitar above them.
Admit it, folks – when you were dreaming about the freedom you’d get when you moved away to uni, you were mostly thinking of guitars and novelty slippers.
(Unless otherwise stated, I get a small commission if you buy through one of these links)