Supporting Your Child at University
It’s a proud day for any parent when their child finishes matric and has secured a university entrance for their dream degree. Your childs degree is the stepping stone to their future and a gateway to permanent employment.
When they head off to their chosen university, they will be picking up a new level of responsibility. They will have to learn how to cook for themselves, manage their money and remain disciplined in their studies. They have to do all this while balancing what is probably the busiest point in their social life to date (possibly ever).
So it’s no surprise that some students find university to be something of a stressful experience. Learning new skills while balancing the various elements of student life can take some getting used to. As a parent, it’s up to you to make sure that your child is being supported through the course of their degree – but without you getting overly involved – and letting them find their own way.
There are a couple of aspects that first-time students tend to struggle with when they go to university: managing their money, their degree, the social side and where they are going to stay.
As a parent, this is what you can do:
There are two sides to managing finances when it comes to studying a degree: paying the university for their tuition and paying for everything else.
If your child has received a student loan, then the tuition fees are usually arranged between the loan company and the university or if they haven’t then you, as the parent would cover the costs directly.
Budgeting is an important part of the student lifestyle and it is common for students to spend the majority of their money irresponsibly – after all, they are often inexperienced financially and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the social aspects of student life.
As a parent, you can sit your future graduate down and work out a budget so that they know what they can and cannot spend.
University is the final level of academic progression for the majority of students; as a result, it poses the biggest academic challenge in your child’s life. Some courses are more intensive than others, requiring your child to put in hard work from day one. Other courses are more relaxed, but generally, the work will get more intense as the course progresses.
University is a fast-paced learning environment, where it’s up to your child to take control of their own education – perhaps for the first time. If they aren’t prepared, this can place a strain on them academically, especially around the busy exam period. If they feel that they are struggling with the academic side of their course make certain that they know that they can give you a call to discuss their problems and that they know that you are there for them when they need you.
When your child heads off to university, they will be placed into an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar people. In a situation where people generally don’t know each other, making friends quickly becomes a necessity – but it isn’t always that easy. Some students struggle to settle into the social side of student life.
Student friendships are predominantly structured around the social student culture and it can be easy to be left behind if your child doesn’t feel comfortable with this culture. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways for your child to meet new people via sports, cultural and social outlets.
You know what your child enjoys and you can therefore give them pointers on how to best involve themselves socially.
It may be the first time that your child is ‘leaving’ home, which is obviously stressful in many cases. The uncertainty of where they are going to stay needs to be addressed quickly because it will be their base.
Accommodation therefore needs to be comfortable, affordable, clean, safe and close to the university. Which will give both you and your child peace of mind.
If your child is going to university and you’re unsure on the best accommodation option for them, contact RENT360 for all of the best student accommodation options available in Johannesburg.
Where both your childs accommodation and their experience as a student are equally important.