What to expect
We know from many years of working with students that there are key points in the year when they are more likely to find things difficult. Not all students will conform exactly to this pattern but most will apparently swing between excitement and upset, particularly during their first year. This is a natural part of the process and not something to be worried about unduly. Reassure your child and remind them of the support that is available within the University.
Key transition points
The beginning of the year - leaving home and settling into University is obviously a stressful experience. Remind your child that just because it isn't perfect straight away that doesn't mean they are in the wrong place. It can take time to find your feet and your friends. Give it a few weeks and most students settle down. See also - Homesickness
Week 6 - even for those who don't have to submit their first assignments at this point, this is can often be a time when students struggle a little. It can feel like they have been away from home for a long time and Christmas is still a long way off. At this point a visit home or a visit from you or a friend can help to ease their difficulties.
December - having lived away from home for three months the prospect of missing their new friends and having to live by your rules can feel like a backward step. Discuss this with them before they come home so that everyone knows what can be expected.
The first week in February - it is dark and cold and once again your child is leaving home to return to University, this time without the excitement of a new experience. Reinforce the tips from this website on how they can take care of themselves and reassure them that as Spring arrives most students do feel better.
Exam periods - it is obviously stressful having to prepare for and sit exams. Direct them to the information on this website on helping to manage exam stress and resist the urge to state what grades you expect them to achieve -the extra pressure could have a detrimental affect rather than motivating them.