Many students will be counting down the days until they set off for their 'new life' at University – some parents may similarly be counting down the days... (!) However, others may be dreading it somewhat or have feelings of both excitement and apprehension. Both of these thoughts and feelings are completely normal and will have been felt by many other parents in the world... possibly even your own when you left the family home!
In the build up to the big move, it might be useful to sit down with your son or daughter and begin to prepare them for their new found independence, imparting tips, ideas, and advice/skills that will be useful as well as any other information that you feel may be helpful to them.
Here's a list of suggestions we've put together to get you started:
- Household Skills – cooking, washing (laundry do’s and don’ts - no red socks in the white wash), cleaning, food shopping.
- Finances & Budgeting – day to day money management, discussion regarding overdraft usage, paying bills, paying rent, and setting up utility accounts (Student Homes also provide support with this), avoiding overspending, introducing a social allowance. Has your son or daughter looking into setting up a Student Bank account? These are offered by many High Street Banks and are aimed specifically at students - often with interest free overdrafts, or a free Young Persons Rail card for discounted train journeys back home.
- Financial Support – will you be providing any additional financial support? If so, it's a good idea to outline what this will be and what it will extend to.
- Safety & Security – encourage your son or daughter to be security conscious: locking their front door whenever they leave the house (even if they are only nipping to the shop), closing and locking windows each time they leave the property. Good personal safety measures - if they are going on a night out let housemates know where and with who, how are they getting hom? Ensure your son or daughter knows who to contact in the event of an emergency: Student Homes will provide information as to who should be contacted in the event of a serious issue i.e. a leak or a boiler breaking down in winter, at their chosen property.
- Awareness – safe sex, drugs, 'rock ‘n’ roll'.... alcohol consumption, a healthy lifestyle: good food, exercise, getting enough sleep.
- Support & Advice – We often find that although we're on hand to help and are more than happy to, that some of our tenants prefer to turn to family members of friends if they are experiencing welfare issues. Should you son or daughter need support while they are one of our tenants please do ask them to get in touch with us - if we can't help, or if your son or daughter isn't comfortable talking to us, we can refer them to services run by their Students Union, by charitable organisations and other independent services.
- Study – not to forget the reason for attending University!!