New Students

Supporting your new student

First year can sometimes feel like a roller-coaster. This presentation gives you insight into some of the ups and downs during first year and how you can support your son or daughter during this time.

What can parents and guardians do to help the new student in their life?

  • Maintain regular contact with your new student throughout their studies. 
    • If your new student is moving away from you to attend the University, communication between you will become less frequent. It's important to make the effort to speak to your new student regularly so that they are comfortable letting you know, as well as any good news, if they are experiencing any struggles. Check in on your students regularly, even if it's just a text message or a quick email. 


  • Listen to your new student.
    • It can be difficult for a new student to admit if they are struggling during university, an experience which is lauded as such a universally exciting and important time. University is a fantastic and life-changing event, but as with any intensive learning experience there may sometimes be moments where anyone can feel a bit overwhelmed.

    • Parents and guardians hold a unique position in the life of a new university student. Unlike the majority of new people your student has just met at university, you know your student very well; unlike any University staff, you are not there to monitor your student's performance. To be able to casually speak to someone who understands them without any pressure of impressing people is an invaluable asset that many students deserve. 

    • With contacts as close as family it's important that any new student feels like they don't have to bear a brave face 100% of the time, that their family will be there for them during their troubles as well as their triumphs. 

    • Having a solid base of family support can help students navigate the intensity of university, and their academic performance will reap the benefits of this.



  • Emotionally support your new student if they need you. 
    • You know best the talents and the immense potential they hold. Remind them of this if they ever doubt it. Be their own personal cheerleader.​​​​​​


  • Share your wisdom.
    • Even if you didn't attend university or third-level education yourself, you have a wealth of life experiences to draw from if your new student comes to you seeking advice. Share with your new student what life lessons you've learned - they may some of the most important lessons they learn at university.


Parents' September Welcome Event

During Arrival Weekend in September the University and the University Students' Association host a session for parents that explores some of the changes first-year undergraduate students may confront, and discusses ways parents and University staff can work together to help students manage their journey at the University. More details on this event can be found on the University Events App:

Parents' Welcome Event page on the University Events App website

If you are unable to attend the session, or if you would simply like to re-look at what was discussed, please download the PDF of last year's presentation with the speakers' notes.


The University also provides a useful 'Student Services: Here to Help' guide which outlines all of the support services available to students.