It’s hard to watch your child pack their belongings and head into the big wide world of the unknown. Not knowing what type of future is waiting for them and how they will really get on at university. It’s a huge milestone to let your children grow up and move out. It’s also one of the most exciting and nerve racking times for your child as well. I may not have experienced this yet with my own children but I remember it well as the child off to Uni myself.
I wanted to share with you some top tips you can help your child prepare for university and guide them with their next adventure in life. As much as we want to cuddle them in our arms and tell them how much we love them, making it too big of a deal can put added pressure on a student going to university. But also, not acknowledging the big change that is about to happen isn’t good either. Finding the right balance doesn’t have to be hard. Sit them down, have a few talks about the dangers of living on their own, what support they will need and have available, either from yourselves or other nearby family and friends, and ensure they understand it won’t be like living at home. The truth seems scary but we can’t sugar coat it at this point for them anymore.
Whether they are living in dorm rooms or in their own apartment, I think making sure they are equipped with the right necessities is a must. You can find trendy kitchen items, bedroom accessories and bathroom necessities for great bargains. They don’t have to feel like their place is being styled by mom either. Take them shopping and let them pick out things but guide them along the way to what is a ‘wanted item’ and what is a “needed item” in their shopping basket. They will need to save their spare pennies for those nights eating out with friends and socialising events that all students get involved in. Having them realize how much things cost to put in their own place is one of the first home truths about living on your own. Make it a day to remember and a something you have fun doing together as a memory.
Not to be a downer but it can get lonely living on their own in university. I did it for years before I got a roommate. It might be that you have a talk with them when you find out where they are attending and see if they know a friend going that could be a roommate or if they perhaps prefer a dorm room setting on campus instead. This can help with the cost of living too. It depends on their situation and where they are attending as to what facilities are available. But it’s good for them to know all their options. If they don’t want a roommate make sure they have nearby friends and family to call in case of an emergency and they know that you are always there for them for support. Not that we wouldn’t ensure this as parents it’s the very first thing we would do but reiterate it again.
If they are moving to a new area away from home, it’s a good idea to scope out the neighbourhood as well as fun things to do for students where they will be living. Let’s face it; we all know our kids probably won’t do this themselves, that’s what their parents have been doing for our whole life up until now. It will be so new to them living without constant guidance or a decision maker so a little extra help at the start is harmless. Just make sure you don’t keep doing everything for them after the start. It’s hard to let go of that control as parents.
These are just a few things as parents we can do to prepare them for the big wide world out there. The rest they will have to stumble, fall, crawl, roll over as it comes along and learn from it. We can’t be there holding their hand forever but we can make the start a memorable and smooth transition for them.
Why not print out this Back to Uni Guide for Students so they can check off what they are already prepared for and what they need to get in order before they leave home. Check out the Ultimate Guide back to Uni from moving tips, money saving tips, to cooking and home tips too.