Better tomorrows start today

What to teach them before they leave...

There are a few life skills your child needs to pick up before they leave home. Hopefully, they will have mastered many of these already, but if they haven't, this is what you need to do...

Laundry is important

Get them to use your washing machine at home and make sure they understand what washing at different temperatures does to their clothes. When you drop them off, perhaps you could go to the laundrette (USW has these at the Halls of Residence) and make sure they know what to do there?


Mountain Halls Standard

A very tidy student's room in Mountain Halls, Treforest

Shopping for food

We know that they might opt to eat at one of USW's cafes or restaurants, but they need to know how to meal plan and cook for themselves. A big part of this is food shopping. All the main supermarkets (including Iceland) deliver to the accommodation on campus. If the whole flat chips in to pay the delivery fee, it's a very cheap way of doing the shopping. 

All of our campuses are near to local markets where they can stock up on cheaper fruit, veg, cheese and meat. It might be worth reminding them of how long particular foods will keep. 

Cooking 

If they can't cook, they'd better learn fast. Mary Berry's The New Cook is an excellent book, with basic recipes that won't break the bank.  You could also write down a few family favourites for them in case they get homesick for your cooking. Some training in food preparation might also go down well - how to chop an onion for example. 

Bargain-hunters

Students love a bargain. Make sure your child has bought a NUS Extra card (£12) which gives them the student discounts they love. As well as the usual clothing outlets, this even gets you 10% off in the Co-op. It's also worth using the Money Saving Expert website, as it has a dedicated student section. 

Asking for help

One of the main differences between school and university is that if your child is struggling, they will have to ask for help. USW has lots of student support available, from counselling and health services, to financial advice and careers support, but your child will have to access this support themselves. A full A-Z of services is available on Unilife, the student intranet. This is a page worth bookmarking. 

Money matters

Unless you are exceptionally generous parents, most students will need to plan their spending. It's worth sitting down with them before they leave, working out how much money they have, what their outgoings are and how to budget for their daily living costs. They should also check out the careers service website for part-time job opportunities.  

The student advice money team provides great advice about budgeting and your child can make appointments with them to discuss any financial difficulties. 

So hopefully your child will be launched into the world with all the knowledge they need to look after themselves and you can relax and feel proud of what responsible adults they have become.