How to cope when your child goes to universityby Judith Charlton
Let’s be honest, it’s tough being a parent when your child leaves home to go to university.
You want them to become the wonderful, confident and independent person you know they can be, but it’s hard to see them go.
You want them to be safe and well, making friends and having amazing experiences, but you’re worried about how they’ll cope in a new and different environment.
So, how do you cope when your child goes to university? And what can you do to prepare yourself, and them, for this new chapter in your lives?
Dealing with an empty nest
It’s inevitable that you’re going to miss your child once they leave for university, so try to stay positive, both while they’re still at home and when they’ve gone.
- Be proud of their success – they’ve worked hard to get the grades they need to go to university
- Be excited for them – they’re taking the first steps in building their future
- Be involved in their hopes and dreams – seeing them realise their ambitions will leave you confident they’re following the right path
If you’re struggling with empty nest syndrome when they leave for university – that feeling of loss and loneliness – check out our blog for some practical advice on what you can do.
In the run-up to your child leaving for university there’s lots to do – from shopping for student essentials to packing for the big move. But if you want to sleep easier at night once they’ve left, there’s a couple of things you could add to your ‘to do’ list.
Teach them how to cook. Your child doesn’t need to be a master chef, but knowing they can make simple, satisfying meals will be one less worry for you. Send them off to university with a culinary repertoire of basic, nutritious recipes, and you’ll feel more confident and happier about their ability to look after themselves.
Take them food shopping. A few tips on savvy shopping to make their student budget go further will also put your mind at rest about how they’ll manage their money. If you’re worried about how they’ll make ends meet – and how you might have to help them financially – discuss how they can budget.
In short, if they’re prepared and ready to cope with student life, you’ll feel better about them leaving home.
Talk to your child about how you're going to stay in touch when they leave for university, and explain how regular updates from them – however short – will save you unnecessary worry!
In this digital world it's so easy to stay connected through free messaging and video chat software, so set up a family account where all family members can chat with each other, leave messages and post pictures. Not only will you feel connected to your child at university, but you’ll also be keeping them in the loop about what’s going on at home.
Arrange a time to video call them; bear in mind they’ll be busy with their studies, their new friends and flatmates, so be sensible about when and how often you call.
Even a quick text message can help you stay in touch and leave you feeling reassured that they’re ok.
And don’t forget you can always contact the university direct if you have any serious concerns about your child.
Find out more
Newcastle University is a special community and we want our students to thrive in an exciting and enriching environment. Read our blog to find out how our dedicated teams will support your child.
Although we use the terms parent/child in this blog for simplicity, it is intended for anyone fulfilling a parenting role.
Published By Judith Charlton on 16/10/2020 | Last Updated 23/08/2023