How to prepare your teenager for going to university and make them feel at home away from home.
This September, thousands of teenagers will be heading off to university. It’s daunting when your children are suddenly all grown up and heading off to start a new adventure on their own. They’ll always be your baby in your eyes, but now they’re flying the nest; although it may be hard to say goodbye and watch them go, it is also a very happy and special occasion. It’s important to remember that they are about to make a new life for themselves, and make you proud, and underneath all of the excitement, they are most likely just as nervous as you are, possibly even more so. Here are some ways you can prepare for the big move together, and make some special memories at the same time.
Pass down the secret family recipe
Spend some time with your time in the kitchen. Students have famously bad diets, due to lack of money and (let’s be honest), motivation. However, if you spend some time teaching them some cheap, easy and fun recipes before they go, at least you can rest assured that they are eating properly.
Help them decorate
The rooms in student halls of residence are usually pretty basic and bare, so help your child put their personal touch on their room so that they feel more at home. Take them shopping for some decorations; help them make a photo collage of their family and friends; anything that will help them feel a connection and stop them feeling homesick.
Visit the university campus
Have a day exploring the place they will be living for the next three or so years, familiarising yourself and your teen, so that they don’t feel so lost on their first day. This will also help them feel more of a connection with you in their new city, as they will have some fun memories of your time there together.
Prepare them to manage their own finances
Teenagers have a tendency to spend their money as soon they have any, so it’s important to teach them how to budget wisely and make their money last all term. Sit them down and discuss how much money they’re going to have, and what they need to spend it on. Obviously, their main priority will probably be nights out, but make sure they keep enough for things like rent, bills, and food.
Encourage them to socialise
Most people meet their friends for life at university, as they are surrounded by likeminded people who enjoy the same things. Encourage your child to get out there and meet as many people as they can. Spend time together finding extra curricular clubs that they will enjoy, as this is an excellent way for them to have fun and make lasting friendships. This will also help you, as you will know they are not lonely.
Plan their visits home
Make sure they know you are always there for them, whenever they need you (even if it is just to do their laundry every fortnight!) Encourage them to visit home, and plan exciting things to do when they come back. This will help them relax and enjoy their time away more, as they know they always have you to go back home to.
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