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We see hundreds of students every year successfully adapt to their new lives in a bid to learn the tools required to launch a dream career. To give you peace of mind and help you to manage the transition together as a family, here are some tips for parents of university students.
It can feel like there is so much to consider even before your child’s departure to university. Working with them to tick things off the list will help them feel fully prepared for the experience ahead.
The tick list will include things like enrolment, accommodation and ensuring they have all the equipment they need to work effectively and live in comfort. It's nice for parents, guardians and carers to be involved in these processes, and it's a great way to ensure that your child doesn't feel like they are embarking on this new journey alone.
Learn more: preparing your child for university.
It is natural for your child to feel a little overwhelmed as they prepare for this big life event. It's likely to be the first time your child has lived away from home. They will have to learn how to live independently and all the responsibilities that come with this. Here are some topics where students might need some parental advice:
Do some research into the cost of living in London. Encourage your child to work out a budget that is going to enable them to live comfortably.
They may need to get some part-time work to support themselves, so they should have a look at wages and employment opportunities too. When you join, our jobs and careers portal can help you find a job to fit around your studies.
There are many essential housekeeping skills that your child will need to learn to look after themselves.
While some young people are quick to develop their cooking and cleaning, as well as other domestic work, others will need more encouragement. Why not help them make that transition prior to university? Just don't expect them to thank you for it!
When your child is away from home, you want to feel reassured they are looking after themselves.
At Ravensbourne we have a strong network of student support services. There's always a friendly face available to offer professional and confidential support and guidance.
Learn more: parents' guide to your child's wellbeing and support network
It is important to respect your child's independence, but that doesn't mean you can't be there to encourage them. Here are a few tips:
When it comes to your child's studies, some of the most important things for them to learn are good time management and self-discipline. Here are some tips that your child can use to keep them on track:
It is important to be realistic about how much work is possible to get done in a day. Unrealistic expectations are likely to lead to disappointment. Encourage them to start their course work early, allowing them to enjoy their social time in the knowledge that they've already tackled their class work and various assignments.
While a move to online learning has meant students have greater control over their own schedules, it is important that students still find a schedule and stick to it. Sticking to the original lecture times will help to build structure to your child’s day.
Often when we have lots on our plate, it is hard to narrow down our priorities. We can quickly find ourselves feeling overwhelmed. To combat this, encourage your child to write down three things to focus on per day. This will help them to build discipline and effectively manage their workload.
Writing down a list of tasks to complete the next day is great practice for your child's mental wellbeing – either at the end of their working day or just before they go to sleep. It will feel like a weight has been lifted – especially during those busy times – and they will attack tomorrow with a sense of purpose.
Staying focused at university can be difficult, especially while everything is new and exciting. Setting a timer for half an hour or an hour can help your child to focus their attention in short sprints.
Seeing notifications from social media and messenger apps pop-up on their phone every five minutes is only going to distract them from their work. Encourage them to put their phone out of sight while they are studying.
While some people are most productive first thing in the morning, others work best once night falls. Understanding your child’s working patterns will help them build a schedule that works for them. This might mean that they tackle the most challenging work first to get it out of the way and to avoid procrastination.
University is filled with new and enjoyable experiences, but exams and deadlines can make it a challenging time too.
Exams can be a stressful time for any young person, especially when they are having to balance this with the pressures of living independently, too.
Ravensbourne University London
6 Penrose Way
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