So your child is heading off to uni this year, about to face new experiences, challenges and opportunities. For some parents this may seem like it’s their first step into adulthood. The transition to university is a big change, not only for the student, but also for the parent, and whilst it’s a new and exciting chapter in your child’s life, it can also be a little daunting.
For some parents, it may mean that your child is moving out of home for the first time, and with this comes more independence and responsibility for them, but it also means losing a level of control as a parent.
So, how can you support your child as they move from high school to university? We’ve put together our top tips to help.
Understand the changes they’re likely to expect at university
Talking to your child about the differences between high school and university may help to alleviate any reservations they’re having, and help better prepare them for what they’re in for when they begin their studies.
One of the biggest differences is that uni students are required to undertake self-directed learning. Attendance may not be taken and students are free to come and go from campus at any time.
Unlike high school, your child will be expected to enrol in their own classes and organise their timetable, and they will be the primary point of contact for the university. You won’t be able to access your child’s progress report and information about your child can’t be disclosed by the university.
Uni students have to keep track of key dates for assignments and assessments, placements etc, so encourage your child to get organised, plan ahead and stay on top of things.
Familiarise your child with support services available
We want your child to succeed at university just as much as you do, that’s why we have some of the best support services available to our students. Your child will have access to a range of free services, from academic, careers and AccessAbility support to counselling, health, IT and financial assistance. We understand the financial difficulties people are faced with at the moment, so accessing UniSC’s scholarships and bursaries available has never been more important.
You child can expect a call from UniSC after they’ve accepted their offer to study with us. These welcome calls are important because it gives your child the chance to ask questions and prepare for their studies.
When times get tough and your child is thinking about giving up, encourage them to seek out help from the university. Whether it’s an extension on an assignment, or they need advice on the best way to prepare for an exam, our Student Success team can connect them with the support they need.
Let them take the lead
It’s important to let your child figure out things on their own. Let them take the lead on enrolling in their classes, researching accommodation, organising their finances and figuring out how they’ll get to and from university each day.
There is so much personal growth that happens in the first year at university, so let them grow. The best thing a parent can do is to provide reassurance that they can do this on their own – and they may just be surprised at how capable they really are!
Keep in touch
You may not see your child as much if they’ve moved out of home to go to uni, or even if they’re at home, it’s likely that their lives will be busy with study, part-time work and a social life. Try and keep in contact with your child via video chat or even just a text. If they’re no longer living at home, sending a care package to them with their favourite foods and comforts will always be welcomed!
You child is likely to go through highs and lows as they settle into uni life, so encourage them to persevere, reassure them that they can do this, and let them know that you’re always just a phone call away.