Welcome to my going to uni checklist – in which we talk about ALL the things you need to know before your teen heads off to university.
In about three months from now, I’m (hopefully) going to be taking Flea to university and settling her into her student accommodation.
Like all parents in my shoes, I have mixed feelings. I’m going to miss seeing her little face every morning, but I’m excited for Flea to have this experience that she’s worked so hard for. After her summer school last year, she’s really excited. And I’m looking forward to a new part of my life where I put myself first for a bit.
Preparing for Uni Checklist
Part of my job as a parent is to help Flea emotionally prepare for the change and feel excited and confident. And it’s practical, too. Can she get up every day, feed herself, stay healthy and safe?
Part of our preparing for uni checklist isn’t just pots and pans and wall décor. It’s giving Flea the knowledge and skills she needs to live independently. Based on past history, this is an important priority – remember the time I asked Flea to put on the kettle and make some gravy – and she put the gravy in the kettle?
I’m not sure if that was better or worse than the time she proudly offered to make me “soup and toast” and then served me a plate of “soup on toast”?
When TV Licensing got in touch and invited us to take a family quiz to see how much Flea knew about living independently, and how much I knew about her beliefs, I thought it would be a great starting point. I do recommend doing this with your teens – it’s quite the eye opener.
I was impressed that Flea knew the basics about having a TV Licence. Slightly less reassuring is the fact that Flea plans to “budget” £300 per month for food, attend 80% of her lectures and never change her bed linens. But there’s still time to talk about some of these things!
If you’d like to try out the quiz with your teen, I’ve included the questions at the end of this post, along with our answers! It’s really interesting and prompts some good conversations!
Do students need a TV Licence?
- If you’re only watching content on Netflix, Prime or other on-demand services that do not include live TV you do not need a TV license
- If you’re watching a communal TV in a common area of your halls of residence like a kitchen or common room, you personally do not need a TV license, as the accommodation provider has one
- You need a TV license if you want to watch or stream live TV programmes on any channel or TV service.
- You need a TV license if you want to download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer on any device
- You need a TV license if you are living in halls, and if you plan on watching live TV in your room.
- You don’t need a license if your parents’ home has a license and you’re watching TV on a device that is not plugged in – you don’t need a license to watch TV on a device powered by its own batteries, such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Note, once the device is plugged in, it’s considered to be live TV and requires a license.
- You don’t need a license if you only watch or stream content that isn’t live on services that don’t include iPlayer
- You don’t need a license for 12 months if you’re only living as a student for 9 months, so if you do need a license, then when you go home in June, you can apply for a refund for the months you won’t be at uni.
The TV Licensing Family Quiz
Q1: How often should you change your bedsheets and towels?
Flea: I change towels every time I use them. Bedsheets? I never do it, just when you do it for me (once a week is recommended)
Q2: How do you find out when bin day is?
Flea: Google it (check the local council website)
Q3: Do you need a TV Licence in student halls?
Flea: You need one, I think but you can share one in a flat (Students need to be covered by a TV Licence if they plan on watching TV that is live or has been recorded or watching BBC iPlayer in their room)
Q4: Do you need a TV Licence to watch recorded programmes?
Flea: Yes (yes!)
Q5: What item from home is Flea most likely to take with her?
Me: My favourite blanket. Or the dog.
Flea: My phone
Q6: How many times a week will Flea call home?
Flea: Three. No, two. Probably.
Q7: How many lectures will Flea attend?
Me: All of them!
Q8: How would you navigate cleaning halls with housemates?
Me: You make a rota
Flea: Share out all the jobs, and if you organise it, you choose the easier ones
Q9: How much should you budget for food each month?
Me: £100 a month
Flea: £300 a month
Q10: What clubs and societies will Flea join in Freshers Week?
Flea: Hockey, and sports clubs basically. And then some social clubs.
Q11: What is your best money saving tip?
Me: Go shopping at the end of the day and look for deals
Flea: Don’t go out drinking every night