When your child is about to head off to university for the first time, it can be an emotional experience for both of you. Parents often find it especially difficult watching their baby head off into the big wide world – and some may wonder how their child will cope without them!

Luckily, there are ways to prepare your children for their first year as a university student. Read on for our top tips on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Learning new skills

Some uni students arrive at their halls without knowing how to cook, clean, or generally fend for themselves, having been used to their parents doing everything for them.

Make sure your kids are prepared for uni life by teaching them some general skills that they will definitely thank you for later. For example, simple cookery skills such as vegetable chopping, how to safely prepare meat or fish and how to cook a few cheap, healthy meals are simple, but useful skills – after all, you don’t want your child to live off beans and cereal!

You can also teach them how to use a washing machine and iron their clothes – as well as a few easy DIY jobs that should come in handy, such as sewing a button or unblocking a sink.

How to budget

For many students, university not only gives them a degree but also teaches them how to manage their money properly. Lots of students get carried away when they receive their first student loan and spend it all in the first few months, then have to ask for more money.

Give your child some top tips on budgeting before they set off and stress that they should be trying to make that precious student loan last as long as possible.

Many banks offer student bank accounts with some sort of incentive for joining up. Go through the different options with your child to find the best fit.

Brushing up

There’s quite a gap between final exams and the start of term, which may mean that when it comes to setting off for uni, your child’s study skills are a little rusty.

You can help your child prepare for their first year at uni by encouraging them to read some essential course materials to get ahead, or if they’re doing a language course, practicing basic Spanish phrases with them to get that brain back in gear.

Settling in

Going to university and living in a new place can be daunting, especially if it’s far from home. Help your child settle in by going to visit their uni before term starts. Take a stroll around campus, visit your child’s  new student accommodation and point out useful landmarks nearby, such as the nearest supermarket. Your child will feel more at home if they already know their way around.

If you can’t visit campus before term time, look at a map with your child instead. If they’re feeling nervous about making friends, many universities connect people with others doing the same course or living in the same halls via social media, which is well worth checking out.

A few other things you should be aware of before your child starts uni is that they will need to register for their course, create a student account and find a new GP.

Uni survival kit

If you’re worried your child will struggle with their new-found independence, a care package is a great way to get them started on their exciting new journey.

Filling a couple of shopping bags with student kitchen essentials is a fantastic way to encourage your kids to cook healthy meals – and you can always sneak a few sweet treats in too. Who knows – maybe when they come home for Christmas they can surprise you with their newfound culinary skills!

Other essential uni items for your kids include bedding, towels and cleaning products. You can also give them some things to decorate their room with to make it feel more homely.

So, by following these simple tips, you can wave your child off to uni with pride, knowing that they are well-prepared for the exciting few years ahead! To enquire about the halls of residence we offer, click here.