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People gradually move from the total dependence of childhood to becoming more independent adults. Students coming to university will be at different stages of this journey and may find it hard at times to know how to cope.

Becoming independent

Students who have left home for the first time may want more support than they can get from their family. Conversely, they may feel that their family expects them to stay in too close a contact. They may be very good at doing some things independently but not others. They may also feel more independent at certain times than others. At times they may feel helpless and out of their depth; this is normal and with encouragement they can get back on track again.

Students need to be able to look after themselves when they come to university. This means in physical, emotional and practical ways and includes: