So, you may have already seen an article or two giving students advice on the best and most practical ways to move to university but this article is just for the parents. Because, let us face it, this move is a pretty big deal for you too. Though these truths are not universal, I am sure a lot of them will ring true. For one, your offspring will probably call home less and less frequently as the year goes on – but they still know you are there. However, it needs to be their prerogative to ring you and ask you for help because the whole thing about house removal for uni is that it is a stepping-stone to adulthood. This starts right at the beginning in the move. Let you are soon to be student make the decisions. There are only so many times they can hear about how it was in ‘your’ day! However, a first time first year university student is going to be very new at this whole independence thing so here are some areas where you can offer gentle encouragement.
This is the big one. Loans and grants will mean that this probably will not be the poorest your student will ever be, but they will feel like they are. If they are going to be economic and sensible with their money, it needs to start right from the move and the storage. There are many ways to deal with this. Do not buy an excess of things for your child if they are not extremely necessary. If your student wants something new for university just because… and you do not feel it will be useful ask them if they can buy it for themselves – if it is so important. You will soon find that the list of ‘essentials’ quickly diminishes.
Packing the Car
This links to economy, unless you drive a 2 seater Smart car or, indeed, do not drive at all, and then there is absolutely no point in hiring a van to move all the stuff for university. Student bedrooms are not huge and the amount of time spent in them doing anything other than sleeping, going on YouTube or eating is next to none (yes, the lack of a mention of university work is deliberate). Therefore, it is added expense and inconvenience to hire additional transport for the move to university. In addition, as the driver, you still get final say. If the stuff is piled too high and you do not feel that you will be able to drive safely then you are fully within your rights if you want to take out the inflatable comedy hammer.
Do not take any food with you for the move but, before you go, find out where the nearest big supermarket is and how to get to it. Chances are, people will be just as lost as you are and will be in no position to tell you where to get food. A nice idea is to foot the bill for the first big food shop – lots of tins and foods with a long shelf life – so that at least you know what and how your student will be eating for the first couple of weeks of university life. If your student is not a driver or does not have their car with them at university, probably a good idea, then point out or walk out a route to the supermarket from the residences so that you do not get a panicked phone call from a hungry fresher in 2 weeks’ time.
Above all, try not to worry and be an overly fussy parent. You will not be invited back and however much you want your student to taste independence you still want them to need you a bit.