Preparing for university

As a parent, you will want to help make sure your son or daughter is as prepared as possible for university. There are several ways for parents to get involved.

Checklist for before students arrive at the University

There are a number of things students should do before arriving at the University. Encourage your son or daughter to read through the information provided and complete any necessary tasks. Find out more on our before you start section, and check our packing list for hints and tips on what to bring.

As parents, you may want to read our information about understanding the first year, to get an idea of what to expect over the coming months.

Health and Wellbeing

Staying healthy and well is important for students, and will help them enjoy their time at University. You can't prevent everything, but there are some ways students can be prepared.

  • Encourage them to read through our Health and Wellbeing page, which includes information on vaccines, sexual health and general wellbeing.
  • Help them put together a supply of basic medicines and a first aid kit. Make sure they have copies of any relevant prescriptions or information about any pre-existing health conditions, disabilities, or learning difficulties.
  • Make sure they know to register with a GP  (General Practitioner - doctor) once they arrive at the University. Students are encouraged to register with a GP near to where they spend most of their time. For many this will be their term-time accommodation, and registering early on in the term can make things easier if they do feel unwell later on.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia together. New students are considered to be particularly at risk, as they begin to mix with large numbers of unfamiliar people who may be carrying the bug. Students up to the age of 25 should speak to their GP about having the Men ACWY vaccine,  as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks before the start of term. Meningitis Now offer information for parents of new students.
  • Encourage them to tell us about any disabilities they may have. Even if they don't need or want support to begin with, registering with our support services means that we will be able to provide support more quickly if they decide they do want it in future.
  • Encourage them to eat well and exercise regularly; this is particularly important around revision and exam time.

See our health checklists for new students for more information.

Basic life skills

Most students will already have the basic life skills they need to live alone or with friends, but taking some time to make sure they know what they are doing will reassure you both.

  • Encourage them to learn at least a few basic recipes before they leave home. Explore what shops and supermarkets will be nearby, and think about what might be easy to cook, particularly in the busy first few weeks.
  • Make sure they know how to sort washing and are familiar with your washing machine – once they know one, they’ll probably be able to work out others too!
  • It might be useful to get them helping with the household shopping before they leave home. It will help them be more familiar with the types of things they will need to buy and how much different items cost. Encouraging them to consider unbranded versions of food can also help them stick to their budget.
  • We encourage students to think about managing their money. Whether you will be supporting them financially or not, discuss what their budget will be, and what they might need to think about in terms of spending or looking for part-time work.
  • Time management is a big learning curve for many students, particularly when they may need to balance study, socialising, and household chores for the first time.
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