- 1) Before the big move to university
- 2) During the big move to university
- 3) After the big move to university
The move to university is a very exciting time for teenagers. They are finally breaking free from the surly bonds of their childhood homes and looking forward to a newfound independence.
However, in between all the excitement (and the parents’ tears), there is a big move waiting. And as with most relocations, this requires a lot of planning. The more you plan, the less you and your child have to stress on the actual moving day.
Here is what you can do to help your teen when they move to university.
1) Before the big move to university
Make a list of items your teen will need in their dorm
Up until a few months ago, your teen was dependent on the family. The food was likely cooked for them and they probably didn’t even think of owning a bottle of detergent. Because they are going to be living on their own, you should think of everything they’ll need.
Apart from their study material, they will need several items to truly function as an independent adult. These include kitchen utensils, extra bedding, desk lamps, and toiletries amongst other things.
Also bear in mind that these things need to last for a good few years – they’re not just packing for a weekend away!
Go bargain hunting
Considering the fact that your teen will have to start from scratch, you are going to be buying a lot of stuff! To save money, you should look for bargains at the shops.
You can also let them take some of the items from home. This will also help them with the transition and they won’t miss home too much.
2) During the big move to university
Make the car ride as pleasant as possible
If you are taking your teen to university, remember that their emotions are all over the place. They might seem as if they can’t wait to leave home but the move to university is a daunting one.
During the drive, try to calm their nerves. Talk about all the exciting things they’re going to be exposed to and encourage them to open themselves up to the whole experience. Let them play their favourite music and allow them to drive a stretch if they can.
Remember that this is the last quality time you’ll have before they start growing up.
Help them but don’t smother them
While you might be thinking of your teen as your baby, they are stepping into adulthood. As a parent, it is important that you help them only as much as they need you to.
They must know you trust them enough to be independent. This is the time for them to start their young adult life.
When unpacking and rearranging their room, tune into what they want. This is going to be their space; let them make their mark.
3) After the big move to university
Leave them a list of emergency numbers
With the rush of moving, no one takes time to think of emergency numbers. This is especially important if your teen is moving to another province.
Research any emergency numbers, write them down and leave them on your teen’s desk after the move is done. Include numbers like the local police and fire station, ambulance services, and medical centres. You can also write down the number of the campus security office.
If you have family living in the province, write down their numbers, too. You never know when they might need a familiar face or a helping hand.
Stay in touch
This is the first time your teen won’t have the safety net of their family around them. In between the hectic academic schedule (and the parties), they are going to start missing you.
Make an effort to stay in touch. Whether it is a short WhatsApp message or a long video call, remind them where home is and always will be.
To let them know you’re thinking of them during exam times, send them care packages. And remember to spoil them when they decide to visit during the holidays!
The first year at university is like being thrown into a big pool and floating around until you find your rhythm. Whilst it is a big adventure, your teen will need all the help they can get.
With these few tips, you can make the transition before, during, and after the big move to university more bearable.
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