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There will inevitably be certain points in the year when your child is more likely to find things difficult and they will likely fluctuate between highs and lows, particularly during their first year. This is a natural part of the process.

Pressure points

Undergraduate study is based around three terms:  

Michaelmas  (October-December)

Leaving home, whatever the circumstances, is usually a big deal and likely to be a stressful period for all concerned. It’s important that your child is aware that even if they don’t feel at home in Cambridge immediately that doesn't mean they don’t belong here. It will take time for them to find their feet and meet new friends and this is completely normal. Most students settle down within a few weeks of arriving.

A big hurdle for many students at this point will be managing their time effectively, as they will be juggling a variety of responsibilities alongside a significant academic workload.

Halfway through the first term can be a time when students struggle a little. The terms at Cambridge are short but very intense and it may feel to your child that they have been away from home for a long time and yet the end of term is still a long way off. At this point, a weekend at home or a visit from you or a friend might help to ease their difficulties.

Having moved away and lived independently for a term, the prospect of going home again for Christmas may feel like a retrograde step. Discuss this with them beforehand to help them to manage the vacation and return home.

Lent (January - March)

Your child will be leaving home again to return to University but this time without any of the novelty value! Returning may be difficult but they will soon settle back in. Reinforce the need for them to look after themselves.

Easter (April - June)

Easter Term brings with it the main exam period and this is obviously a stressful period for almost all students. Direct them to the resources and links on this website to help them to manage exam stress and if at all possible avoid adding to pressure and expectation they are already putting on themselves. Eating well, getting enough sleep and doing a bit of exercise during this period will all help to improve their ability to revise for and get through their exams.