Your child is now an adult
Yes really! Both universities and the law recognise students as adults, and while you may still see them as your baby, it's important to acknowledge their independence. Privacy laws prevent universities from sharing information without explicit consent, except in specific cases so your involvement in your child’s education will likely be very different to that you may have experienced with their school or college. This change can be challenging as a parent, and it’s completely natural to worry and to want to be involved, but your role now is to encourage their autonomy, provide guidance, and let them learn from their experiences (even if it means making a few mistakes along the way).
But what if they are struggling?
Starting university can be demanding academically, socially and psychologically and at some point, pretty much every student will have a wobble – I cannot emphasise enough how normal this is! Keep those lines of communication open so your child feels comfortable sharing their struggles with you. Sometimes, they might hesitate to talk about it because they don't want to let you down – so make sure they know it's okay to face challenges and encourage them to talk about it and seek support from the university if they need it. All students at the University of Hull have access to a 24/7 Student Assistance Programme and the number is on the back of their student card – encourage them to use it if they’re having a hard time. You can also find out about the range of support services we offer.
Make sure they’ve thoroughly read all of the information they receive before they enrol as not only will this include the opportunity to tell us about any support needs they have, but we also know that being prepared, knowing what to expect and engaging with all the induction activities plays a significant role in reducing that initial worry and stress.
If your son or daughter is feeling homesick or struggling to connect, encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone and participate in activities. Going to lectures, social events, joining clubs or societies might feel difficult and anxiety-provoking at first but it's in doing these things that connections and friendships are fostered. Hull University Students' Union organises a huge range of activities and events and your child’s academic department will have a range of induction events. Student space is a brilliant resource and includes great advice on making friends.
If they’re experiencing more than a wobble and you’re worried about your child’s wellbeing you can share these concerns with us by completing our Report A Concern form. We take these concerns very seriously and we will support your son or daughter.
While we won’t routinely contact parents, our support teams and practitioners recognise the importance of families in a student’s support network and will generally encourage students to let parents know if they’re struggling. All students are asked to provide the details of an emergency contact when they enrol. Make sure that they do this and that they update the details if they change. Where there are significant concerns about your child’s safety, we will always consider involving emergency contacts.