Fresher’s week is over and first year Uni students are settling into the routine of day-to-day life.
Moving away from home presents a number of new challenges which can lead to heartache. Parents will need to offer support and advice regarding some of the issues below over the coming weeks.
The number of timetabled hours and lecturing styles vary substantially from what teenagers were used to at school. Although the number of weekly contact hours in lectures can be as little as 10-15, the expectation to read around a subject independently, attend tutorials and deliver on project-work and assignments with deadlines often weeks in advance, requires good organisation and study skills.
Self-motivation is required to avoid the temptation to stay in bed until noon if there are no lectures until the afternoon. look out for signs that your teenager is struggling with planning study time or spending too much time having fun.
Sometimes the subject choice or course content turns out to be different from expectations. Discuss and address this quickly to ensure they stay the course. Keeping busy by joining clubs and societies will quickly build a group of new friends with interests in common, to offer support during the difficult first few weeks.
Budgeting for monthly out-goings, to make their student loan stretch further is crucial. Securing part-time work as soon as possible will prevent money worries later.
Planning and cooking filling meals will keep them cheerful through home-comforts. A cookery book full of easy to follow recipes, as well as teaming up with friends to cook together will save cash and waste less food than cooking for one.
Lastly knowing when to say no is crucial. Exposure to sex, drugs and alcohol is sadly inevitable. An ability to make sensible decisions in difficult situations, despite peer pressure will keep their studies on track and ensure a positive and successful Uni. experience.