As September approaches many will be thinking about starting or returning to Collage and University. This can be stressful for not only the students, but also the parents.

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Picture & Quote: Catherine Nessworthy

FUSE FM Ballymoney has their ‘Top 5’ tips for students starting back or for the first time to Collage and University, and a little advice for the parents too!

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TOP 5 TIPS FOR STUDENTS

  1. Be Prepared – Start by familiarizing yourself with your course so you know what to expectt. As well as preparing for the course, prepare the proper supplies. This is probably (in our opinion) the most fun for any student from ages 5-50+. Everyone remembers the feel of a freshly sharpened pencil or the pleasure of scribbling on a new notebook for the first time. Below are a few essentials you might need:
  1. Folders & Binders (the more colourful and fun they look will help with the stress of studies…or the early mornings!).
  2. pencils & Pens!
  3. Note Pads (again the more funky and colourful, the better).
  4. Highlighters (you won’t realise just yet how much these will come in handy!).
  5. Textbooks
  • Get Organised – Time management up to now has most likely been handled by your parents and teachers, but prepare to take over these duties. It may seem hard to begin, particularly those living away from home, to manage both your studies and social life. A good idea is to get yourself a daily planner.. Start as you mean to go on AND remember its important you don’t get yourself into a pattern of disrupted sleep as this can increase anxiety levels and has been linked to depression among students.
  • Part Time Work? – Not always a good idea to do more than a few hours for a bit of extra pocket-money, particularly in your first year as your just getting into student life or your final year when it really counts to get your head into the books. Already have a job? Be prepared and prepare your boss that flexibility of hours and extra time off WILL be part of your student life.
  • Ask For HelpNever be afraid to ask for help either with your studies or something more personal. You will not be expected to be great at everything so chatting with your teachers or fellow students on the course can help. And what if the course isn’t for you? Well the sooner you realise and accept this the better as it’s a lot easier to transfer early to another course rather that have to drop out and defer till the start of the next term year.
  • Become Involved – ‘All work and no play…’ Try and immerse yourself into the fun aspects of student life. It could be a club & organisation, a sport or even student radio! It will give you the chance to pursue interests with other people who have similar interests. Not got what you’re looking for? Why not start your own club and it might surprise you how many of your there are.

…AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL…HAVE FUN!

Remember these are only FUSE FM Ballymoney top 5 tips. There are others and the best advice you can get are from those who have went before you. Maybe don’t do as they DID, do as they SAY!

ADVICE FOR PARENTS

So wee Johnny or Jill are away to college or University for the first time and maybe even away from home. This advice could also apply to parents of students returning to college or University.

  • Support them especially emotionally as studies can be stressful. Often parents are the voice of reason particularly financially.
  • Help them prepare for those that are living away from home. It’s not just clothes they will have to pack, parents can advise and often pack the other essentials like bedding, cooking utensils and even how and what they will need to have to do their own washing.
  • Living at home? Give them plenty of space and worries not at first if some nights they don’t come home on occasions but do set clear rules about letting you know. Parents don’t need extra stress as well.
  • Money! Often students have to manage their own money now where they didn’t before. Support them but try not to nag. Sometimes they have to fall on their own sword a few times where money is concerned to appreciate it’s worth. Often the parents also need to learn when to close the ‘bank of mum and dad!).
  • This may be all new to both parents and the students but try not to worry as it really makes it a lot harder. Trust the student to make the right choices but prepare to be there if and when they don’t. Support bot ‘I told you so’s).
  • Enjoy the peace. Make the most of the peace and quiet, after all it may be disrupted in 3-4 years time with the patter of little footsteps when the go onto the next stage of there lives and the doors open to ‘Grandparents Daycare!)

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