Parent to parent

Mother and daughter smiling and chatting to each other in the kitchen

Rachel and Claire

Claire Parkes hasn’t looked back since the day she started university. We spoke to her mum, Rachel, to find out how she’s found the experience of having a daughter away from home for the first time.

Settling in

“The biggest thing on my mind was whether Claire would make friends and settle down into university life quickly. That’s why it was nice to drop her off on moving day and find out there were activities already planned to help everyone get to know each other.”

Getting the essentials

“Planning well ahead is essential. Claire and I found very helpful, along with a list from her university’s accommodation office of the items that would be provided in her self-catering flat.

“We went through the list and agreed between us what we already had, what we could get second-hand and what we would need to buy new. We ended up with kitchen utensils from charity shops – a cheese grater is a cheese grater after all and a second-hand one works equally well, as long as it isn’t rusty!”

Missing Claire

“Of course, I missed her, but I could see she was pursuing something she wanted to do. I missed having her friends around the house as well and hearing what everyone was up to. Most of all, I missed her technical support with things like the DVD player!”

Woman looking at camera with kitchen cupboards in background

Useful tips

1. Recipes

Encourage them to keep a few recipes for easy-to-make meals on their mobile. It also reminds them of the ingredients when they go shopping.

2. A quick text

Text messaging has been great for staying up to date. I don’t want to be intrusive by ringing all the time and a quick text has been an easy way to find out what she’s up to or to let her know something that’s happening at home.

3. Tea and coffee

I’d recommend taking a few tea bags or jar of coffee too – vital when you drop off your son or daughter, so they can make you a brew before you set out for home!

Parent to parent