Any parent with a child moving away from home is going to be nervous about sending them out on their own. You’re going to want to help them wherever you can. In those few days, when you’re both in town there is quite a lot to sort out, so help will be needed.
Here are some things to consider for parents helping their children settle in at Rhodes University.
Make sure that it’s booked long before Orientation Week begins, preferably as soon as your child has decided for definite they are going to Rhodes. There is limited accommodation, prices soar, and locations become more distant the closer it is to O-Week.
To do in Grahamstown:
If you have a big car you can get some shopping basics at home and avoid the extremely busy shops during O-week. But you don’t need to pack everything and the kitchen sink because, though small, Grahamstown has pretty much everything at the modest Peppergrove Mall and High Street stretch.
Don’t only pack summer clothing because it is a summer term. As is too often, Grahamstown can see four seasons in one day – and it’s true. February can be extremely hot, so if you have the budget, invest in a fan for res. Heaters are provided in the rooms for winter.
- Get involved
Go to parents orientation, take a campus tour, and attend the socially-awkward jazz evening. You will be grateful you did all these things when your child refers to a particular part of campus and you know exactly where they are talking about. The talk by the Vice-Chancellor is always interesting, especially when he brags about the amazing pass rates. You can repeat these stats to everyone (I know my mom does).
- See their accommodation
Help them move in, but don’t do it for them. Seeing it will be comforting because you can see res isn’t all that bad, and you can also see if there are any other essentials the room will need before you leave.
- Improve skills sets
Make sure your newly-independent child knows how to use the washing machines in the laundry rooms and which slot to put the soap in. Let them know which clothes can and can’t be tumble dried. This sounds obvious, but a little demo will save a laborious and lost-in-translation phone conversation when someone is down to their last pair of clean socks.
- See the sights
Grahamstown is an old town with a rich history and many things to do and see. Make use of your time there and get familiar with some local history. A great way to do this is to visit the of the museums, like the Observatory Museum which offers 360 degree views of the town. The 1820s Settlers Monument and the Grahamstown Cathedral are also worth a visit.
Click here to see the Top 10 things to do in Grahamstown.
- Eat out
Take your child for a last memorable meal before you leave, preferably to a restaurant they could never afford to eat at on a student budget.
Though it is sad, and your child (probably) won’t want you to go, make sure you leave by that Tuesday. It is important that they build bonds with fellow students and don’t have you as a safety blanket for O-Week, as this won’t benefit them in the long run. So, steel yourself, big hug and remember you are only a Skype call away.