What your University-bound child REALLY wants from you
It's a matter of days now until the newest line of University students ready themselves to fly the nest and begin undergraduate courses across the country. For most parents, it’s a day they dread forever; seeing their children grow up and leave the family home to find themselves and become responsible young adults rather than the kids they still are in the eyes of mum!
On the flip side, it is a very exciting time for your kids. They get to experience life in a new town or city, make an entirely new social circle and start at the bottom of the ladder to learn and train for their professional career.
Amid all of that excitement and nervous energy, it’s important for mums and dads to think practically this month. This is where the old Scouts motto ‘Be Prepared’ comes in – make sure that you consider all eventualities and cover all bases so that your child can make the most of all the opportunities that university life will throw at them.
To that end, let’s take a look at the must-have items your children will appreciate having in their halls of residence from day one – even if they don’t use them straight away!
Arguably the cheapest and simplest item you’ll purchase for your child to take to university. Nevertheless, it can prove to be one of the most important, certainly in Fresher’s Week. By keeping that bedroom door open they can socialise more easily with their flatmates and build initial bonds that will help your children to integrate quickly into uni life.
The last thing you want to worry about is whether your child is able to feed and water themselves each week. Take away the stress by getting hold of a supermarket gift card – such as the popular Sainsbury’s card – which enables parents to load money onto the card for use in any Sainsbury’s supermarket or coffee shop as many times as you like. A great idea, particularly if your child lives just around the corner from the nearest Sainsbury’s!
If your child is venture further afield than half-an-hour by car, it’s likely it will be more cost-effective to buy them a Young Person’s Railcard to travel home by train, rather than driving to pick them up. For just £30 your child can get up to a third off all rail fares. In fact, after just two or three long-distance journeys, the card will have already paid for itself – ideal if they’re coming back regularly at weekends.
Though they might not appreciate a first aid kit at first, they certainly will when they need it! Create a starter pack that gives them all of the basic first aid items in the event of an accident, such as plasters, TCP and cotton swabs. The hectic uni lifestyle might mean they’ll also appreciate a bunch of paracetamol, ibuprofen and Berocca to keep a lid on study morning hangovers (!). A large insulated Medpac is the ideal storage solution, and - even better - it's safe and durable storage for Epi pens and asthma inhalers, as well as for specific medication for epilepsy and diabetes.
Some student accommodation can be, how shall we put it, a little basic to say the least. In the colder, winter months you’ll want to ensure your child is comfortable and warm to keep them fit and healthy for studying. Invest in a good blanket or duvet to keep them cosy every night.
A simple, low-maintenance pot plant can create a calming environment whilst improving the quality of air in their bedroom.
With just a little forward planning you can make sure your child is happy and content for the next chapter of their young life, giving you much-needed peace of mind in the process!