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Counselling and mental health support

Advice for parents

At university, students will experience many new, exciting and different challenges. 

Although it can seem that you are less involved as a parent, there are still things you can do to provide support through this period of transition.

What to expect

Understanding what your child is going through is the first step in learning how to support them through this period of transition.

A new kind of workload

On average, students will spend 25-30 hours per week on various aspects of their degree. While they may only have 10 hours of class time a week, hours may be taken up with study, assessments, group work research and other administration. This will also vary heavily depending on the time of semester. As units of study are managed quite separately, it can be common for students to have two or three large assignments due each week.

Adjusting expectations

University can be competitive. Students who performed at the top of high school may now find themselves getting passes and credits in their first year of university. This can be upsetting to the student, particularly if they have high expectations of themselves. Many of the skills required to succeed in university are different to those used in high school.


One of the biggest changes between high school and university is that students become responsible for keeping track of their own studies. Lectures can sometimes exceed 1000 students and even tutorials can feel too large to provide the same supportive classroom environment as in high school. Students become responsible for managing their own time, seeking assistance when needed and learning how the university operates.

For most students, university is a relatively smooth process. By and large your children have the capacity to cope if given the change but there may be some occasions where things can get difficult.

One of the most important ways in which you can support your child is to encourage them to make use of the support available to them and to get involved in campus life.

Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Level 5 Jane Foss Russell Building G02
Opening hours: 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Last updated: 01 August 2017

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