Starting university is a significant point in a student’s life and we understand that you will want to help your son or daughter settle in as quickly as possible.
What to expect
Students' reactions to starting university can be quite varied. Some will take to it very easily, while others will take a bit longer to find their feet. Try not to worry too much about initial wobbles and encourage them to get involved and give themselves time to adjust.
Making friends is a primary concern for the majority of students.
Worries about fitting in and being accepted are quite normal.
Homesickness is very common, particularly in the first few weeks, but it is likely to pass relatively quickly.
How you can help
Although students start university as adults, many will still depend on their parents and so you may be their first point of contact if they want to talk or need some advice. The first few weeks after a student starts university is a time of adjustment and you should expect that there will be ups and downs. Below are some hints and tips to help you help them:
Reassure your son or daughter that it may take a while before they feel completely settled, but if they are open to trying new things and exploring opportunities to meet new people, they are likely to find their niche.
Remind them that other students are likely to be feeling just as anxious to make friends, so being as open and friendly as they would like others to be to them will help everyone settle quickly.
There are lots of opportunities to make friends throughout Welcome Week and throughout the rest of the year.
Encourage your son or daughter to talk to their peers about how they’re feeling, as they will most likely find they are going through very similar things and may even bond over their common experiences.
Having a rounded university experience and deleveloping skills is important in finding a good job after graduation. Encourage your son or daughter to get involved in clubs and societies to gain these skills.
If they are having second thoughts about their choice of course, encourage them to talk to their personal tutor as soon as possible.
When the University should be involved
There may be times when your son or daughter needs more specialist advice or support. You will probably be in the best position to know if their behaviour is normal for them or a cause for concern. If this is the case you can direct them to seek help from an appropriate service.
Each student at the university is asigned a personal tutor. They should be students' first point of contact about any academic-related issue and can refer students on to other services.
Many schools and departments have dedicated welfare tutors who can help students with non-academic concerns. If your son or daughter does not know who this is they should contact their personal tutor who can refer them to the appropriate person or service.
University Senior Tutor
If students feel unable to talk to their personal tutor or issues remain unresolved after they have spoken to them, they can contact Professor Donna Lee, who is the University Senior Tutor. All communications are confidential.
University support services
The University has a full range of specialist student services. Use the issue-based student support website to find out what's available to help your son or daughter.