Tuesday, November 22, 2016
For runners, I think it is pretty common to consider the most difficult part of the race to be when they have gone far enough to be very tired but to have the finish line still far from sight. That is the month of November for first-year students. They have run a race full of transitions, making friends, turning in projects, writing papers, and taking exams. The end of the semester is only a few weeks away, and they can feel it. They know an extended break is coming, but there is so much to do between now and then. However, there's a delightful little break between now and Christmas break. As of this moment on campus, it is starting to get very quiet. My Gateway class on Monday had fewer students than usual. Students have been waiting for Thanksgiving break for quite some time and are going to soak up every second of it to be rejuvenated (as much as possible) for the home stretch of the semester. It'll be a sprint to the finish, and they are going to get their fill of turkey, family time, and sleep so they are well-prepared.
As your sons and daughters start arriving back home, here are some examples of questions that might be supportive and appropriate at this point in the academic year.
1. What have you enjoyed most about your first semester at JBU?
2. What can you be doing in your classes to make sure you finish well this semester?
3. Which classes are going to be the most difficult to prepare for during finals week?
4. How is your relationship with your roommate?
5. Have you been sleeping?