Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What can I do as a parent to help in the application process?


I was thinking today about the application process and how much there seemed to do! It also seemed like this was the first big thing my daughter wanted to do on her own, without my help! Scary times! Of course I still wanted to support her throughout the whole process but it's hard to know where to start.

If you do nothing else sign up for the UCAS parents newsletter : Click here to sign up for the UCAS Parents Newsletter!  

UCAS will then send you useful reminders throughout the year, anything from application deadline date reminders,  how to complete applications, open day dates and a really useful ‘what happens next?’ section! We are all so busy and these newsletters dropping into my inbox throughout the year were great for keeping my daughter and I on track

UCAS also have some great video guides that are aimed just at parents so it's really worth spending a few minutes having a look through.

How to guides for parents: Click here for the guide for parents
Parents and guardians section of the website: Click here for the parents section of the UCAS website

And don't forget if all else fails and you have any questions you can use social media to get the answer you're looking for. If you not familiar with Facebook or Twitter maybe now is a good time to start brushing up your skills! You will need Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with your Uni student once they leave for fresher's week!

More later in the week

Keeping in touch!

Hi everyone

Well as promised here are some of the ways we have stayed in touch with our daughter since she left home and went to Uni! I have to say that it was so hard not to want to pin her down and put a GPS tracking device under her skin when she first left, so I would always know that she was home safe and sound! (Apparently this isn't good parenting so I resisted! ) Anyway as you would imagine the first couple of weeks were rather hard. Knowing she would be going into the city centre with a group of students she had only just met and wouldn't be home until the early hours....Ahh stress! 

So apart from the usual phone, FaceTime and Facebook, an app called 'Snapchat' has turned out to be one of our favourites! It's exactly what it sounds! You get to send a photo, with a line of text, that your chosen recipient(s) can view for anything up to 10 seconds, just a quick snapshot of their day (or night!). I wasn't sure at first but I now love it as my daughter is great at sending 'Snapchats' of her uni life... so a trip to Asda or her curled up in bed working, or a selfie with all her friends happy and having fun.! This constant stream of reassuring photos is a perfect way to know what your uni student is up to without the need for them to spend hour's skyping or calling. And when they do call you have lots to talk about! We use it to send her 'Snaps' of home life too, that way when she comes home to visit she isn't hit by loads of changes that she knew nothing about....so a quick Snapchat of the dogs new bed or a present bought for a friend or what you had for breakfast! Anything to keep lines of communication open!

So if I can offer any advice about keeping in touch it would be to ask your child what apps they use to communicate with their friends, as they are more likely to use these to communicate with you too. Don't expect them to always call you because they might not! Make an effort to keep in touch but don't smoother them, they are busy making new friends and if you're lucky they might bring their new friends home to visit! But more about that soon!
Speak soon

Monday, 8 December 2014

On the student side of the fence....

Hi Everyone

Well I have been a little quiet lately and that is because I have been experiencing what it is like to be on the student side of the fence! For the last I don't know how many years, I have been studying for a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Leadership and Management with the Open University. In September I sat my final exam and then waited, not very patiently, for the results! Well last week finally I got them and I received a 2:1 overall. I was very frustrated that I didn't receive a First as it was just the result of one exam that let me down but it was my family, including my student daughter, who reminded me that a Upper Second Class Honours degree was a great result! The whole process made me think that actually sometimes we can all be guilty of aiming for the finish line but forgetting to enjoy the journey. Since then my husband and I along with our youngest daughter have tried to be even more supportive of our student daughter and give her as much reassurance as we can to make sure she enjoys her Uni experience as much as possible. Of course we want her to get the best result she can but not at the expense of the learning journey and life experience.

So be sure to look back later this week when I will be posting an update about the ways in which we have supported our daughter in her first term (without cramping her style!) and some of the different ways we have stayed in touch. 

Speak soon

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Hi Everyone

Welcome to my blog! Over the coming months I will share with you some on my experiences as my eldest daughter enjoys her first year at university. I am a proud mum of two daughters, my first born has just started a marketing degree and my youngest is currently in Year 11. I work as a Partnership Specialist in the education sector and I've been married to Rich for 21 years. 

Watching your first born child prepare to leave the nest and go on a magnificent educational adventure can be a real mix of emotions. Excitement that they have reached the goal they have been working towards for years, dread that the house will be so quiet that it won’t still feel like a home and at the same time trying to keep a permanent fixed grin on your face to help them enjoy the whole experience. Will they remember to try out that spaghetti bolognaise recipe that you so patiently taught them in the summer? Will they remember to change their toothbrush head when it becomes all splayed and no use to anyone?  Or will they be having so much fun they will forget to call? The reality of being away from home may be quite different than our teenager is expecting and I’m sure some tough love will be needed if she wants to come home too often (ok I can dream!) but what we can do as parents is remind her how proud we are, how much we love her and that home will always be that, home.

The first hurdle is over and that was of course being brave on moving in day! No fresher needs to see their parents in floods of tears when they are already filled with a feast of emotions themselves. So I kept the tissue box in the car and blubbed all the way home whilst reminding myself  that part of my parenting role was complete as I had raised a well-rounded, independent young adult who was ready to embrace uni life to the full.

I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences (and maybe some helpful tips!) throughout the year and please leave comments below if you have any questions.