Ah, so the day arrives, the day of reckoning for so many, when boys become men, and girls enter the ever-challenging world of womanhood. Parents cry with joy – ‘We’ve done it, we’ve actually done it. Our kid is going to university!’ – and are overcome with pride and happiness. Many never thought they would see the day. Many lost hope when their child attempted to stuff their head in the oven on countless occasions, and many, quite rightly so, never crammed the idea of university down their child’s throat from the minute they could read and write. Nevertheless, any parent relishes the day their child leaves home and embarks on an academic career. And moving to university is seen as a right of passage, a new beginning and the next chapter in a young person’s life. Having said that, it is a chapter that most parents do not get to read, or even peek at.

But not everyone shares in this same newfound independence and furthermore, not every student leaves their parents teary-eyed and sobbing outside the university halls, waving them goodbye until Christmas. So how do you manage to have the same freshers’ experience living under your parents’ roof ? How do you maintain your parents’ proud, pleased and full of praise mood when you’re coming home at 6am with a doner kebab in one hand and a garden gnome in the other?

Here is how.

Firstly, it is harder for those staying at home to get out and mix with other freshers. You are not thrown into the deep end and do not have hundreds of other nervous students eager to make friends living on the same campus as you; it can be easy to miss the events you see advertised and just stay at home. This is a mistake. Be more open-minded than you ever would normally be, and go along to as many events as you can. And importantly, never shy away from going alone because there will be hundreds of other students doing the same. A great way to be introduced to students starting first year is to join ‘Freshers 14’ groups on Facebook or The Student Room to arrange meet-ups and plan what events to go to etc. You do not want to miss out on all the fun of your first week of university life so make sure you break through your comfort zones and get as involved as you can.

Secondly, it is important to keep focused and make sure the academic side of university is always on the forefront on your mind. Partying and socialising is what Freshers’ Week is all about but if you know you have an appointment, induction day or campus tour in the morning, then that should always come first. Show your parents that your studies will always be the most important aspect of university life and that you are willing to work hard, be determined and centered from the onset. If you stick to this then your parents should not mind the drunken antics, later nights and longer lie-ins that will follow. Be responsible and your parents will trust you.

Freshers’ Week should be a great experience for everyone and if you are living at home then do not be afraid. This week will introduce you to new friends and new ways of thinking. Be ready to get involved and have the most fun and exhilarating week of your time at university!

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