5 things parents can do to help their teens prepare for university

Posted on Mar 29 2019 - 2:20pm by Jamie

As your child is preparing to leave the nest and attend university, you might be feeling nervous. Will they be okay fending for themselves? Will they eat properly and keep up with their workload? It’s normal for parents to ask these questions, but you can ease your worries by giving your teen valuable advice and support in the lead up to the move. Experts from the Cambridge summer school by Immerse Education provide their tips. 

Teach them some recipes

We all have concerns about our teens living off instant noodles and microwave meals, but if they know how to cook a few simple, budget-friendly meals, this will make their first time living away from home much easier. A great way to support your child at this important time is to prepare them with some basic recipes for their repertoire, whether it’s spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, shepherd’s pie or a basic chilli. Spend a few hours with them going over the basics and let them practice their skills on an evening by cooking dinner. You can get a host of great student cookbooks with easy to follow recipes these days, so equip them with a couple to take with them, and let them know you’ll always be at the other end of the phone if they need a hand. Cooking is a great way for freshers to bond with their new flatmates in halls, so you’ll be doing them a favour in more ways than one. 

Help them find accommodation

Once their place at university has been confirmed, your child will have to choose their accommodation. Often they’ll have to submit their choices in order of preference, so take the time to help your teen look through the options, talking through their budget, included facilities and distance to campus and the town centre. Once they’re moved in, you can also help them to complete a full inventory to ensure they don’t get charged for any damages they’re not responsible for. 

Talk them through budgeting

One of the areas of student life that students most often struggle with is financing. Learning how to budget for the first time as a young adult is a challenge, so it’ll be a big help if you’ve made sure your child understands everyday living costs such as water and electricity bills, a TV licence, public transport and food costs. Advise them on how to set up a weekly budget to stay on track, and don’t forget to discuss the dangers of relying on student overdrafts and credit cards. 

Make sure they can do laundry

It may seem very straightforward, but it’s a good idea to make sure your child knows how to work the washing machine before they have to fend for themselves. If they’re not already responsible for their own laundry, talk them through the basics such as choosing the right temperature, separating colours and how to use different types of detergent. 

Enrol them in summer school

A great way to prepare your child for the academic rigour of university is to enrol them in a summer school before they go. The Cambridge summer school by Immerse Education is a great way for your teen to receive an introduction to their subject, develop their skills, make friends with like-minded people and get a taste for living away from home. Each two-week programme is led by expert tutors who’ve taught at world-class universities, who will make sure your child is equipped with the knowledge they need to get a head start on their peers.