Helping Your Child Through Their First Year of College


14 Nov 2016

Posted in:  I am a Student

Starting college is a fantastic adventure, but it can also be a stressful and uncertain time. Read on for our top tips on helping your child get the most of their first year of college – in and out of the classroom.

Give them the financial lowdown

Be candid with your child about financial issues. Providing for education is one of the biggest financial outlays for any parent and it’s important that your son or daughter understands any pressure points. The beginning of college is an ideal opportunity to teach them about financial planning, saving, and sensible use of their money. Opening an AIB Student Plus Account will make it easy for your child to manage their money in college and comes with a host of great features - andminimal charges. If they’ve decided to apply for a credit card, you should also impress on them the importance of responsible credit use.

Help them help themselves

Make sure your teenager is aware of any campus advice and support services. Their first year in college is a particularly stressful time and for the moments you’re not there, your child may need to avail of a variety of services to help them through the various emotional and academic challenges they’ll be facing. You should be able to access information on all of the college’s services in the college prospectus or on their website.


Get the I.T. factor

Most colleges now offer electronic networks for accessing lecture notes and submitting coursework. This means a laptop has become an essential tool for college students, so think about investing in one for your child. If you shop around, there are lots of great deals on refurbished and second-hand laptops available online. You could also consider investing in an e-reader so they won’t have to lug around a heavy bag of books.

Broaden their horizons

Of course, the academic aspects of college are extremely important, but the extracurricular side shouldn’t be neglected either. Encourage your son or daughter to check out their college’s list of clubs and societies before they go, and have a shortlist of ones they’d like to join. Participating in club activities is one of the most important things a student can do to give them a truly well-rounded college experience, and will help them build valuable life skills, form lasting friendships, and provide some excellent material for their C.V.


Give them the ingredients to succeed

Making sure your child eats well is another important consideration. With a hectic college schedule it can be easy to fall back on ready meals and takeaways but if your son or daughter is spending a lot on expensive fast food options it will quickly eat into their spending money. Before they go to college, do a big shop with them and stock up on kitchen staples like rice, pasta, herbs and spices. A well-stocked larder will mean they’re able to whip up cheap and tasty meals throughout the college year.


Allow them space to grow

Although it can be hard, try not to over-parent. It’s always going to be difficult when one of your children leaves home, but you will need to give them the room to assert their independence. The best thing you can do is allow your child the space to grow, while still being there when they need your support.

Need help with college education?

AIB has a range of education loans available to help students all through their college cycle. We have options tailored specifically for AIB Student Plus Account holders to help finance their education and related costs.

You can also ask us any questions Twitter @AIBIreland and on Facebook.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.

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