If you’re anything like me, you are watching the secondary school years just fly by. Questions like do they want to go to uni and which uni is best and is it even worth it these days start to invade your thoughts as you plan for the future that is rapidly approaching. One the one hand, if they are actively discussing their future this is a really good sign. On the other hand, however, it means your job as a parent has just changed gear. Whether you like it or not, the reality is that pretty soon we will need to know what our kids plan to do when secondary school finishes whether we like it or not. Let’s look at some of the ways you can prepare for uni with your teen. There is nothing like being too prepared for things like this.
Financial stability begins now
Yes, we’re going to start with the biggie. Finances. Money. Budgeting. Student bank accounts with extended overdrafts may be one thing to look at when the time comes, but for now, we’ll concentrate on the best way for your child to start saving towards the move to uni. Whether it’s money towards accommodation, tuition fees, books, travel, or even just having enough set aside not to worry about new clothes and the food bill, a Junior ISA from Wealthify offers tax-free savings that aren’t to be sniffed at.
The best part? The Junior ISA will transform into an adult ISA on your child’s 18th birthday, meaning they’ll continue to benefit from tax-free savings without having to cash out their child account and shop around for an adult account. Teaching your child about finances is one of the best ways to prepare for uni life when they will need to manage their budget independently.
Five of the best (meals, that is)
Boiling an egg. Easy peasy. Right? Wrong. I’m willing to bet that the average teenager out there can no more be trusted to measure out the correct amount of pasta for two servings of Bolognese than they could be trusted to fly a plane with their eyes closed. Don’t assume that your child has soaked up the over the shoulder cooking tips you’ve dished out over the years as you masterfully navigate a lasagne or home cooked roast. Make sure your child knows how to prepare at least five wholesome meals.
It doesn’t have to be anything exotic. Grilled fish. Chicken and vegetables. A simple curry with boiled rice. Remember, left to their own devices, they will instantly fall back on microwave meals, takeaways, and beans. Lots and lots of tinned beans. Now’s your chance to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Prepare for Uni by Getting a New Hobby
You can’t force friendships with new people. But you can stack the deck. University goers typically only encounter two sets of people on a regular basis. Flatmates and course mates. Given that most flats will host around five or six students, and most courses have space for around 30 students, opportunities for friendships may be limited.
Within that tiny group, your son or daughter will be looking for someone who likes the same music or films, or someone who enjoys similar tastes in nightlife. Don’t risk a lonely introduction to university. Develop a hobby now as part of your plans to prepare for uni. University will offer endless clubs and societies. From sports and politics to astronomy and poker, a shared hobby is a great way to meet new people.