The main academic year that most high school graduates dream about – and most parents worry about – has got to be the very first year at uni. Making new friends, taking on exciting and frustrating academic challenges, as well as dealing with a myriad of emotions are only a few of the obstacles that the first year at uni brings. But for every parent whose child is about to start uni, there are some year one mistakes you should be aware of to help prevent your child from making them. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Parents, be vigilant because living on campus is very important for the first year at uni. But if your child is not taking up accommodation on campus, then you need to make sure that you know exactly where they are living – if they are not commuting to school from home that is. One of the first mistakes that some freshmen make is taking up accommodation too far from campus. This lengthens the commuting time to school and can also affect academic work. This is why it is important as a parent to be involved in picking out the right campus or student accommodation for your child. So many parents make the mistake of giving their child the money to pick their own accommodation, and sometimes their choices may be unsuitable for their needs. If the uni campus accommodation is limited or unavailable, ensure that you select a comfortable and safe student accommodation that is as close as possible to the university.
Some first year uni students may be either too shy (or too confident) to reveal their lack of knowledge, so most fail to ask for assistance when they need it. As a parent, always encourage your child to ask questions when in doubt. Other personal mistakes that freshmen make include taking on too many college activities, not using social media wisely, not having enough sleep time and not forming their own personal network of friends.
Financial mistakes can cause your child to have a very stressful time at school. And as a parent, such mistakes will cost you a lot of money also – especially if you’ve spent years financially preparing for your child’s university education. Some of the financial mistakes that first-timers make include piling up petty debts as a result of irresponsible living, not saving money for emergency situations and not using credit cards wisely. Some students (whether knowingly or not) live way beyond their means, by not creating and sticking to a spending budget. And as a parent, you can unknowingly play a huge role in helping your child make these financial mistakes by readily making money available to them every time they ask.
A first year student might pull through financial, lodging, and personal mistakes. But most academic mistakes can be the difference between succeeding and failing in school. Some academic mistakes that new uni students make include being distracted by gadgets, devices and social media, instead of studying. Other academic mistakes include not building any strong connection with their faculty, poor time management, a lack of proper planning, and even not attending classes. It’s a good idea to encourage your child to have fun and enjoy their new surroundings but also let them know that this shouldn’t be at the cost of their university studies. Help your child to remember that there is a greater purpose to their time at uni and working hard at their academics remains the number one priority.