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Making friends is one of the first priorities for most students. If your child hasn’t developed friendships in the first few days/weeks they may feel worried or despondent but these things can take a bit of time. There are many different ways of making friends and meeting people at University and once students have met their fellow freshers at their College, become immersed in their studies and involved themselves in clubs/societies, they will have a wider group of contacts from which friendships will naturally emerge. It is worth remembering that homesickness and feelings of not fitting in are very common for students moving away for the first time, as are feelings of exhaustion from socialising and the emotional energy expended from adapting to a completely new environment.

Encourage independence

Whilst it might be very tempting to resolve every problem or challenge that your child encounters, it’s important that you resist the urge to get involved too soon to ensure that they continue to develop independence and build resilience. Help them to find the various routes of support available and try to empower them to resolve any difficulties in their own way. Their sense of self-worth and achievement will be all the greater for having navigated any obstacles themselves.

Strike a balance with communication

Try to maintain a healthy balance of communication so that your child feels in touch with you but also free to live their life. Discuss and agree with them in advance the ways in which you plan to keep in touch and how regularly.