Advice for parents about the career options for their children

Top Tips for a Smooth Transition into University Life

Making the jump from school to uni is a big moment. The more advice parents can give on how to do it right, the better.

There's no quick and easy way. Money will be tight and many students will no doubt have to work as well as study. But some tried and tested pointers definitely help with the challenge!

Our guide gives you 5 simple and effective tips to pass on for a smooth transition into student life. From buying books to finding a home, it's a great starting point… 

1. Budgeting

Many young people have been relying on the famous "Bank of Mum & Dad" in order to get by, up to now. At uni they'll be independent for the first time!

Here's the thing. The sooner they get to grips with the idea of budgeting, the easier life will be. Planning for weekly and monthly spends is crucial to their finances.

That can be very intimidating if their maths skills aren't the best. However a variety of budgeting apps are available that do the fiscal heavy lifting for them.

For example, Money Dashboard is like having a financial adviser in your pocket, making cashflow easy to keep track of. It's also free, so pretty unbeatable.  

Learning

  1. Worrying about essentials such as food is important, but it's easy to forget about things like books. These are important, though they can really set them (and you) back a few quid.

    We know what you're thinking. How much pricier can uni life get? Don't worry, because there are ways to get hold of books without breaking the bank.

    Signing them up for Amazon Prime Student may not sound like an educational move, but it gives them access to the Kindle Lending Library. An offer not to be sniffed at!

    Alternatively, they can buy second hand. Students from previous years could be happy to sell their old books, or why not try a nearby charity shop or website…? 

    3. Discounts

    Going to uni is an uphill climb all the way. It's a rewarding experience and they'll no doubt  have a great time. Still, they're going to have to adjust to juggling every penny they earn…

    Newsflash!In case they haven't heard, being a student opens up a world of discounts. Outlets and retailers know they're struggling, and they want their custom.

    Getting an NUS (National Union of Students) card is a no brainer. It's called TOTUM these days, and saves them money on everything from food to train tickets.

    It will also pay them to watch the web for incoming offers. If they are spending any money as a student, then it's always good to do a quick Google search first for "X student discount" or "X student deal" to see what student offers are out there to cut the cost of their purchase. 

    4. Accommodation

    Student accommodation is something you both should think about carefully. Laying your money down for the first place you see is not advisable, and can cause problems.

    Now, before you all decide anything you need a plan. Would your child prefer to live on campus, or somewhere away from the action?

    If somewhere with a private landlord catches your eye, what are the terms and conditions? Check out what's included in the price, as there may be hidden charges.

    Biting the bullet and having them stay at home could be an option, should their chosen uni be within commuting distance. There are definite pros to this… as well as a few cons! 

    5. Jobs

    Unless they're lucky enough to be from a wealthy background, getting a part time role to keep their finances afloat is a hard reality of student existence.

    The crucial piece of advice here is: get a shift on!The usual image of student jobs is waiting tables or doing factory shifts. They have to be quick off the mark, as everyone will be after these vacancies.

    While it can be healthy to do something different on the side, they could also be subject to zero hours contracts and unreliable patterns.

    Of course they may want to consider career-focused opportunities. Freelancers are increasingly using online platforms such as Upwork, although they do have their critics.

    We're not saying the transition to university life will be the smoothest they've ever had. But if you follow and pass on our tips you'll help your child avoid the many bumps in the road…