How to Survive... Transitioning Your Child Into University

By Nicole Chia 2021-06-15 17:07:32

It’s that wonderful time in a young adult’s life when they’re ready to fly from your care and enter the world of adulting at university! This can potentially be a stressful time for both you and your child, dealing with issues like living alone for the first time, being in a new country or environment, or just dealing with no ayi to do their laundry! Despite all this, you and your kid will survive this big life event! Here are some tips to help you along the way. 


1) Remind them every day that they got this! Most students deal with stress caused by self-doubt, setting unrealistic expectations or just learning suddenly how to be an adult. Take some time to prepare for life on their own by getting them to do things around the house, like their laundry, dishes and cleaning the bathroom. Tell your ayi to leave random jobs around the house with the excuse, “Sarah will do it; she’s learning how to adult!” and act like an angry roommate if she fails to hold up her end of the bargain and scream, “Wash your dishes Sarah it’s been three days!” Use the time to teach them how to cook. This is a life skill they’ll appreciate and build upon for years to come. Everyone loves a university roommate that can cook! The Community Center Shanghai runs excellent classes you can sign your kid up for to make them the most popular kid in the dorm!


2) Talk to your kid about the importance of managing their personal finances. Sure, RMB may seem like monopoly money to many expat kids but when they get into university life, the last thing parents want is for them to be treating you like their personal ATM. Start your kid off on the right foot by letting them manage their own money for travel, clothes and going out. Set up a bank account together in their university city and encourage your child to build up some savings in advance of going to school. They can even look for a part-time job to earn some cash on the side (refer back to tip #1 and pay them for top notch ayi work!) and help them research places to find part-time jobs before they enter university. Glassdoor( is a great place to start looking for side gigs before they step foot on campus.


3) Help them complete their Shanghai bucket list! You don’t want them to go off to university with any thoughts of something left unseen. Cool places to check out include Sega Joypolis (4F, 3300 North Zhongshan Road), a night at the Intercontinental Wonderland or explore Koreatown in Changing District! No matter what you do, make sure to include yourself in all the plans because before your kid leaves, you want to make sure to oversaturate them with suffocating parental love!


You may have made the joke that you can’t wait for your kid to turn 18 and finally leave the house but now that the time has arrived, it’s hard to let go. Just know that no matter where your child decides to go, you have set them up for success. Especially if that includes access to a credit card for emergencies and tickets to fly home! However, expect them to have a suitcase full of dirty laundry when you see them next because let’s face it, no matter where your kid goes in the world they still expect you to fold their socks. 


“Make it a point to help them check off their bucket list and make some fun lasting memories!”