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Agree the ground-rules – if possible while you are still at home.

Start with cash – the amount they are prepared to give you by way of parental contribution, and when and how it is to be paid.

Then define contact frequency – how often they expect you to be in contact; how often they expect you to visit home (if at all).

And transport – if you need them to help you move at the beginning and end of term.

You should be able to preserve your independence − but without distancing yourself too much, or it will make your parents anxious and Christmas impossible. You are an adult with a separate life to lead. Pride and/or concern will usually mean they will want to visit you at university. Before they come, warn them what to expect. Don’t let them just turn up – it will be at the most inconvenient moment. Fix an exact time and date when your more disreputable friends are out of the way.

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