I am coming across a lot of people who are studying away from home & leaving their families to embark on new adventures at University!
Although this is fun & exciting for them, what about the parents I hear you ask? They are probably saying to themselves,”is it that time already?”
One minute they’re taking their first steps, next off to University! Where does the time go, seriously? Having started University again myself I am seeing both sides of the coin, as a parent & as a student.
So how can we survive the next 3 years without going broke & crazy? Simple, follow my guide! –
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If you want to save money in life, perhaps don’t send your child to university! joke! But, the great thing about sending your child off to university is that they’ll learn so much more, not just in terms of education, but they will become their own person. University opens up a new world, especially if they decide to study in another country. But this could mean a lot of pressure, not necessarily on them, but on you! If you dote on your child you may very well struggle to cope. Not just with university life, but handling their finances, that’s why it’s a good idea to get them used to using a student loan calculator.
Also, if they are going to another country, this could mean that you don’t necessarily know what they are in for. How can you get over this negative feeling &make sure that they are getting the most out of their education?
Be savvy & research
The university will have certain safeguarding measures put in place, whether this is in regards to secure student accommodation, or processes to ensure they are safe, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will feel peace of mind. You should take it upon yourself to research the place they are going to, as well as the university & if there are any questions, just ask! It’s best to learn as much as you can about the host country & ensure that your child’s familiar with certain customs, local laws & so on…… Don’t want your first visit to them to be one that sees you bailing them out of jail 🙂
Keep them healthy
There can be a lot to think about, not just in terms of their diet, but possibly their medication or whether they need to take vaccines or have insurance. By preparing early, you will feel better about this. You could consult a doctor, especially if your child takes medication, so they have enough for their time abroad. Making sure they have a copy of their prescription will ensure that they don’t run out. & also, you should create a list of important contact numbers. If there is an emergency, this may mean you having to transfer money to them at a moment’s notice, or provide them with a backup debit or credit card.
Giving them some life skills
This one is all down to you! When your child goes off to university, even if it’s down the road they will, to an extent, have to fend for themselves! What you can do is give them life skills to ensure that they are able to cope, not just because they’re in a different country, but because they are in university! Perhaps they’ve been used to you doing everything for them, & this can be a big shock. What you can do, in the run-up to them leaving, is arm them with the skills that you think they need that also gives them the opportunity to muddle through & make their own mistakes. Encourage them to buy their own food, & do their laundry. These are all things that, when we were children, relied on our parents to do. & if they don’t have the skills, at the very least they will learn in a supportive environment. Of course, you will always be in contact with them & part of sending a child off to university will mean that they will phone you because they don’t know how to put the oven on, or cook pasta until it’s al dente 😛 But if you can teach them some crucial skills so they can fend for themselves, not just in terms of food, but their finances as well, then you are are going to sleep soundly at night.
Keeping in touch
While you may want to phone them every day, this time of their lives is about them discovering who they are. You’ve got to have some distance. Let them make their mistakes, & besides, you are at the end of the phone if they need you. They know this. But also, keeping in touch is completely different in comparison to fifteen or twenty years ago. Skype is an absolute lifesaver but also, with regards to social media and WhatsApp, you can send off a quick text, and know they’re alright. All you have got to do is wait for the two ticks on WhatsApp, & at the very least you know they’ve seen the message! Keeping in touch may be something they’ll do regularly at the very beginning, and as time goes on, they will start to find their feet, & possibly contact us less. Don’t consider this as you being shoved to one side, but they are finding out a bit more who they are, and also, they are having fun while they’re at it! Don’t worry so much!
Making Sure They Get The Most Out Of The Experience
You may want to tell them to visit as many museums as possible when in the local vicinity, but the very fact that they’re in a different country means that they will learn a lot in terms of life experience really quickly. Perhaps you have friends that have never been abroad? & these people always find it a shock to the system as soon as they set foot in another country. Getting the most out of the experience in another country is all about embracing our differences. And, let’s face it, they have got no choice! They will get the most out of this new place because it is completely different from what they are used to. It is always a shock to the system, & when you add to the mix the different cultures & approaches to life, they will have to cope or struggle for the rest of their time in university! It’s these shocks to the system that are “character building.”
You shouldn’t worry so much because this will be the making of your child! What’s your tips on survival? Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!