Photo: December - One Down and One to Go

December - One Down and One to Go

Faculty/Staff Insights


Monday, December 19, 2016

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It is December 19th, and all is quiet on campus.  I arrived at work this morning and walked through the Walker Student Center and heard something I haven't heard since the beginning of August.  I heard nothing!  Commencement for our December graduates took place on Saturday, and the first semester has officially been completed.  All our students have packed up and departed campus to enjoy their Christmas break.  This, of course, includes our first-year students.  They've made it.  The first semester, with all of its transitions and challenges, is in the rear view mirror.  The first semester, that often seems like the longest of all the semesters to many, is done.  Now our first-year students are at home and aren't required to be in class for 23 more days.  Not that they or I am counting!

So, all is well, right?  Hopefully that is true, but it's not always true.  Arriving back home after four months of being in college can be an adjustment for parents and students.  First-year students have experienced significant changes and growth since arriving here in August.  They are likely more confident and independent than they were when they gave their last hug goodbye at the start of orientation.  Now they are returning to a setting that likely hasn't changed as much as they have since they were last there.  That can be a challenge for parents and students.  For the parents, what does it look like to parent a college student now that they are back under your roof?  For the students, what does it look like to honor and respect your parent's home and rules now that you're back for a few weeks?  These questions, if left unanswered, can cause some tension.  However, if they are answered well, the relationship between parent and college son/daughter can enter into a wonderful, healthy stage.  At the very least, we know that this break will be a time of needed rest for the student before arriving back to campus in January with the confidence that they've done this before.

As your sons and daughters return, here are some examples of questions that might be supportive and appropriate at this point in the academic year.

1. What was your main takeaway from your first semester in college?

2. If you could change one thing to make the second semester better than the first, what would it be?

3. Is there anything about your study habits that you'd like to change before the beginning of the second semester?

4. What challenges are you expecting from your 2nd semester courses?

5. What does getting good rest look like for you during this break?

Blog HomePosted By: Austin Robertson - 12/19/16 10:00 AM



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