Parent Blog: Jennie – Transition
Jennie has two sons, the eldest is currently at Loughborough University, studying a sports coaching degree and the youngest son is working through his GCSEs.
Now your son/daughter has achieved their grades for the university that they have chosen as their first choice, they will be starting to think about moving away from home. This can be a very exciting time for students who can’t wait to get away from mum and dad and enjoy doing what they want, but it can be a very worrying time for you, as a parent.
As a parent myself, the things that concerned me were:-
- Would my son be safe there?
- Would he cope on his own?
- Would he eat properly?
- Ask questions to the university staff if needed?
- What would I do if he decided he did not like it there?
The answer is ‘yes‘, to all the above. They do learn to fend for themselves as they are all learning together. Yes he enjoyed living without mum nagging!
When they first go to their accommodation, they will probably see other students moving in and this is the time to say to your son/daughter to ask other student’s questions like; ‘What floor are you on?’ ‘Which course are you doing?‘ This may seem like common sense to us to try and get to know people by asking questions, but when you are young, you need a little guidance. One parent I spoke to said she took a few beers in and left the door open to get her son to communicate with others. However; you do it for your son or daughter and only you know how comfortable or uncomfortable they would feel and the best ways to help them to make friends. I would advise you start with basic essentials to take at first and see what is there when you take your son/daughter to their accommodation as students do tend to leave things behind. To my annoyance my son left a brand new mattress we had purchased for him as he complained he could not sleep on the one provided. Yes I advise against that! Remember your son/daughter do come back in the holidays and you can FaceTime them and call if you need to, but my son thought that interfered with his social life and I heard from him when he needed funds. So please don’t be alarmed they are usually busy when it comes to you. The level that they will be studying at is obviously a step up from A-levels and BTEC – they have to attend lectures and take notes they also have to give presentations and have exams. My advice is let your son/daughter take the lead in contact. Tell them you are there at any time if they need you and if they need any advice or help to guide them. If they are struggling at first with being away from home tell them to come home at the weekend where possible while they adjust if need be. Everyone needs support just make sure your child knows your there if they need you.
What happens if your son/daughter does not get the grades for their first choice university? Well this is something that you need to discuss with the university and your son/daughter. You could go through clearing and see if they will be accepted that way, or if that fails them obviously there are the other universities that they could go to. I always say to my boys I always think things happen for a reason and the path you take may not be the one you thought you wanted, but it could be better than you anticipated. All universities have different plus points and so long as you go into anything with an open mind then does it really matter how you get there so long as you don’t give up?