Universities provide a range of support to help students settle into campus life.
So you’ve brought all the essentials, towels, toothbrush, spoons, duvet and cook books.
As you say goodbye to your daughter or son its an emotional process but seeing them settle into their halls of residence or shared accommodation, you feel at ease that they are about to begin their independent life.
Its a new chapter of their education. For teenagers its their first time to experience being fully independent. No more wake up calls for them, no one will do their washing and laundry, make sure they eat properly or control how much they drink or manage their money.
The toughest part of seeing your children or child go to university is the fact that its hard to judge how much support they may need from you and their universities. Universities today help and support students to settle in quickly. They fully understand that some students may take longer to settle in then others so provide a range of support.
The Beginning – Freshers week
Alcohol is very much evident but its not all wall to wall drinking.
Many Universities now provide social activities like Zumba and ping pong, cooking classes and a gym.
Universities including Goldsmiths and the university of Sheffield provide peer mentoring; they match new students with second or third year students in their departments.
Sheffield University support students by letting them know of the key areas such as how to live with others, keeping fit and healthy as well as managing money issues. Many universities now have a 24 hour support team service for emergencies and information.
Students and parents can navigate this service through their children’s university websites.
The freshers fairs give your child the opportunity to meet post graduates and students already studying at the university.
The fair is a great chance to find out about local places to eat, shop, discount cards, courses and usually your child will be going home with loads of freebies! Also a great time for your child to find out about self deference classes that the university may offer.
University campuses are huge these days, from one campus a 10 – 15 minute walk from another, it can be daunting.
Each student is encouraged to register with a doctor during their first week and many universities have health centers solely for students. Students are able to find support on any medical support. University medical centers offer free treatments and advice. Nearly all universities provide counselling to students if needed. For instance The University of Kent has a same-day GP appointment services and a nurse who is available 7 days a week.
New friends and Relationships
Meeting new people is all part of the social attraction of universities. Its sometimes hard to know that your child/children will be making new relationships and friends through the university process. Universities now also provide 24hr night line which allows a service for students to be heard as it can be easy to fall into isolation.
All universities offer private Tutoring and academic support. Students with Dyslexia will find support readily available. Buses are in operation for students to travel from one campus to another, not all universities offer this service but the university will let you know if they do through your child’s introduction pack or at the freshers fair.
Many universities now have full security on campus and some universities may have wardens on campus accommodation if needed.
Its worth going through all this with your child before he/she goes to university.
Next week – Tips for Parents and Students