Wednesday, 4 November 2009


(a) Importance of attachment

Humans tend to get attached to someone throughout their life irrespective of whether it is a physical attachment or a mental attachement. It is a natural phenomenal as it is a circle of life. This discussion will be looking into the importance of attachement and the issues surrounding it. The very first question to ask is 'why are we looking forward into an attachement'?

One of the many reasons as to the importance of an attachment has everything to do with the different kinds of relationship between two individuals and both physical and biological needs of a person. One good example which we will be looking into is the behaviour of a child. Quite often than not, a child will rely on his/her parents in providing sufficient clothings, food, education and the love to him. Quite frankly, it is the very first place where a child will ever learn to love! 

A child will neceessary need the physical attachment to his/her parents.  This is often said as a reliance on the child towards the parents because it is the crux of the development of a child's behaviour. If the parents can allocate sufficient time to teach their children, the children will be able to be independent at an earlier stage. That is where we have to look into a person's upbringing.

(b) Upbringing

When a child relies on his/her parents, naturally, there will be some sort of bonding between the child and his/her parents. What happenes next will be the fact that every single event will be registered by the child either directly or subconsciously in the mind of the child. Let's look into an example of James. 

James is a 21 year old student and he is curently being enroled in a university which is around 300 miles away from his parents' house. It is assumed that he is staying with his parents at the moment. James' character will greatly depend on how he was being brought up. If he has received lots of love and affection from his parents as a whole, it is natural that he might be uncomfortable in being far away from his parent's house especially if he has to study in a university which is so far away from home. The least which he can do is to go home as much as he could to see his parents. 

James might feel lost for the first time without his parents when he is about to start his course in a university which is so far away from home. He could not possibly go back home after classes. He has to move to an accommodation nearby so that it will be easier for him to travel between the university and his house. It might be very difficult for him to get ajusted to the new enviornment especially it is his first time staying away from his parents. He has to realise that he could not see his parents everyday and he could not receive the same level of attention from his parents since he is now staying quite far away from his parent's house. The good news is that he will be able to make more friends in the university!

At this moment in time, it is the best way to judge whether James comes from a good home or from a broken family. Naturally, if someone were to be from a good family background, the child will be more attentive during class or he/she will behave well irrespective of whether it is in the university or out of the university. What James is going through might be difficult for him. He is now outside his comfort zone and how is he going to fall back on? He will have to fall back on his behaviour. If he has a good upbringing, there is a tendency that he will be bahaving goodly. If he comes from a bad upbringing, there is a tendency that he will be violent or bahaving badly towards another. 

Having said that, it is just the general thing. There are those people who are the exceptions to the general rule. There are those people who coms from a broken home but yet they trive and they learned the hard way. A child would always get attached to their parents if they are the one who guide the child through thick and thin. A child needs love and warmth. If they can't get it from the parents, they will get it from other people like their friends. Naturally they will want to get attached to someone in their course of life. It would be down to whether it is a good attachment or a bad attachment.

(c) Good or bad attachment

Can a person change due to the enviornment? The answer is 'depends'. Generally, an enviornment will change a person's perspective. Just imagine James,  a university who has never left home, had to coup up with the level of stress of being alone. How could he take it alone without any help? That is why it is important that lecturers and tutors of the university should provide adequate support for students especially for those year one students.

There are times when a person is lonely, he or she will try to make more friends to take away the loneliness which builds up around the individual. This is where the good or bad attachment will appear. University students might not have a clue of whether they are mixing with a group of good friends or friends who are meant to destroy them in the end. A good student support officer should have his or her eyes and ears wide open. This is important as he or she might need to provide counselling services to an individual. 

When this happens, most of the time, the individual student will most of the time, get attached to the individual staff. The university support officer can merely provide advice but he or she could not do anything which is over the limit or stepping across the boundary of being a suppor tutor or being a personal tutor. 

There are many ways in which a student support officer or personal tutor could be widely 'advertised'. One good example will be the holding of many events such as open days and induction weeks should help students to settle down in their new enviornment. If not, there are student support officers to help them.  

(d) Student's Need

As part of a big organisation, it is really hard for a student support office to handle too many students. The normal complaints will be them handling too many students with too little time to spare. When a student is in need of help, the very first person whom they will look for will be their mentor, support tutor or even their best friends. If a student support tutor gets too attached to a student or a few students, it is very difficult for the individual to accept another person due to the fact that they have put a lot of their faith and trust onto the same individual.  Where is the boundary of the mentor or student support officer then?

(d)(i) How Do We Help Students?

How would a student support officer or a mentor help a student? In answering the first question of how would a support officer help a student, it is relatively straight forward. The university has been very supportive in providing ample guidance for each and every student to feel comfortable while they are studying in the university. 

There are many ways in which we can help a student. Often than not, a personal one to one meeting will always be welcomed by the student.  Besides a one to one meeting with the student, it is possible to arrange for a group meeting so that students could come together and have a good laugh. Besides this, the university could arrange for activities within the faculty to improve the relationship between a student and staff. 

(d)(ii) When Do We Help Students?

The first sign which will give way to a support tutor that a student is in need of help could arise from the way how the individual student behave. It is clear that there are bound to be some students who are shy and they are not keen to mix with other students in the class.  In such a case, the class tutor or lecturer should get in touch with the student's support tutor and try to arrange for a meeting between the student's support tutor and the student. It is wise to start addressing the problem at the very beginning of the term and not wait until the very last minute.

(e) Conclusion

A student's attachment to his or her lecturer or tutor is quite common now days. It is a beauty if the individual tutor or lecturer could be friendly but try to keep the boundaries. What is important is that we have to ensure that students will not fall behind with their studies. University life is meant to be fun and not dull! 

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