Greetings from Residential Life!
Since September your student has been learning and growing both academically and personally. They have been taking on the world with increased levels of independence and responsibility, and their habits, thought processes, expectations, and even appearance may have changed quite a bit in just a few short months. Never fear! Residential Life is here to guide you through the transition back home for the holidays!
The first year of college is a unique season of life. For the first time they are not only living on their own, but also making decisions, learning, and growing independently. This semester has likely been a time of immense change for your student, and these changes often manifest themselves in a variety of ways—new haircut, new piercings, tattoos, changes in religious or political beliefs, etc. Your student will appreciate your support, rather than criticism, through this time of change. Recognize that while your student may be going through many changes, in the long run, your student will probably maintain many of the core values that you instilled.
Returning home for Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break is very exciting for students as they return to the familiarity of home, friends, and family. With that being said, there may be conflict in regards to what life will look like for your student once they return home. Keep in mind that your student has been living independently for several months, and their expectations may be different than yours. Take time to set boundaries and expectations prior to your student arriving home. This will help in making the transition from school to home easier for both of you.
As a parent, you have knowledge that can only come with experience. Share that knowledge with your student! Your past experiences are valuable to your student, and can help them to meet their goals and expectations for this year. Provide your student with your own advice, or provide them with resources on campus that will help them become more successful as a student. The Center for Student Success is a network of offices dedicated to helping students succeed at PLU. Academic Assistance and professor’s office hours are part of this network and are great places for your student to turn to for help with their school work.
Lastly, finals week is December 11-15, thus your student’s stress level will be high as they complete final papers, assignments and exams. Many students neglect healthy habits when they leave for college, and returning home provides the opportunity to reconnect with a more balanced routine. Encourage your student to practice healthy eating, sleeping and exercise habits to help reduce stress during exam time. These habits will also help to reduce sickness which could cause your student to fall behind in their courses. The Health Center and Counseling Center are fantastic resources to assist your student with their physical or mental health. Your support will guide your student to focus on their diet, sleep, relaxation, and exercise routine, helping them to be more successful in all aspects of their life.
Having your student back for breaks is exciting, and we encourage you to take full advantage of the time you have together. Guide them, encourage them, grow with them, and most of all, love and support them!
Residential Life hopes you enjoy the holidays and have a restful break.