Got a teen prepping to head off to uni? This is a huge stage in their life, as they progress from living dependently with you to living independently and taking control over their own life. They will progress on a course that will give them great opportunities, qualifications on their CV and a whole lot of life experience that could form some of their best memories going forward. Of course, you’re going to want to help out in whatever way you can when it comes to this journey. But what can you do to help without getting in the way? Here are some suggestions that can help you navigate this important stage of your child’s development.
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that you’re not overbearing during this journey. Instead of trying to take the reins and control everything on your teen’s behalf, you need to learn to step back and give them some independence in their way of living and their decision making. They should choose for themselves whether university is right for them, what they want to study, where they want to study and more. You just need to be there to provide advice and support when required. This could range from taking them to open days where they can explore campuses and meet potential lecturers to assisting them with their application process, providing fees for any submissions they want to make. You will need to learn about uni yourself, from league tables to funding, student accommodation and more. This will help you to advise and assist where needed.
Being organised in the lead up to university is important. You can help your teen to pick up important organisational skills, like helping them to understand their timetables, encouraging advanced reading from their first courses’ reading lists and taking other steps to get ahead of the game where possible. You can also encourage organisation in their way of living, such as having neat and tidy rooms and learning how to respect and maintain shared spaces, as they will likely have to share kitchen spaces or even bathrooms with other students when they arrive at their accommodation.
Leaving home can be a daunting step for anyone. This is the first time your child is likely to be fully responsible for themselves and their lifestyle. You should do what you can in the lead up to them leaving home to help them live independently. This could mean showing them how to do chores they might not have had to do before. It could be showing them how to prep and make healthy meals. It could be encouraging them to learn to use public transport and different routes, or how to drive so they can drive themselves to where they need to be.
This is a big stage in anyone’s life, so hopefully, some of the advice above will help you to support your teen through it. It will be tough, it will be emotional, but ultimately, it should be a great experience for them!