If you look back at when you did something for the first time, it’s likely that you remember feeling unsure of yourself and perhaps a little anxious about heading into the unknown. Starting university is a big challenge for a young person. It’s quite normal for them to feel nerves. They’ll have to make new friends and adapt to a new environment and everything that comes with that.
So, how can you help your son or daughter to feel confident in their first weeks at University?
In the first few weeks, it’s probably a good idea to stay in close contact with them, to keep encouraging them, to ask them to tell you how they feel, how they’ve dealt with certain situations, to share with you their concerns, successes, plans, and dreams. In short, help them to express their emotions if that’s what they need. They need to feel your support, to know that you’re there for them and are listening to them throughout this process of real change. We all think that being an adult means having complete independence and self-sufficiency. But, while being able to live and work autonomously is a key skill for life, it’s also true that at significant moments in our lives we may need the support of others.
Sometimes we all need a helping hand and some affection and starting university might well be one of those times.
The University organizes what are known as welcome days at the beginning of the academic year and on these days there are specific activities organized for first-year students. We want them to feel at home at CEU UCH as quickly as possible and, to do that, they have to get to know the University and all of the resources available to them (sports activities, student clubs, the student mentoring programme, the facilities, their personal tutor, the guidance service, and many other things that they will see over the first few days). Encourage them to take part, to meet other students and to experience university life – it will all help them fit in better and more quickly.
The first days at university are always a rollercoaster of emotions for every student, so remind them that adapting to new circumstances can take time. Gradually, they’ll find their feet and be able to take on the challenges that they’ll face at university.