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Episode 39- Advice from Dean of Students

Nov 02, 2020

Episode 39 - Advice from the Dean of Students and Parent & Family programs; the second in my four part series.

If your student was lucky enough to go to campus then they are likely to head home soon. This is the second of four episodes to help get ready.

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  1. If your student is transitioning from on campus to remote, make sure that they have a defined “work space.” 
    • It’s easy to see home as comfort & relaxing.  With the addition of Thanksgiving food & rest, it would be easy to break good habits in terms of studying & preparing for exams. 
    • Having a space where it’s for your student & then allowing them to make that space their own will help their success.
    • What  I found is providing your student a space that is just theirs (they don't have to set up and tear down for meals or daily)
      • Also this should not where they sleep. 
    • Make sure they have appropriate lighting.
      • natural light from the sliding glass door
      • additional lamps because they will work longer than the light outside. 
  2. Don’t get too stressed if your student is studying at odd hours.  Remember, that a college student’s schedule is different than high school.
    •  They are approaching the finish line – expect them to be stressed & focused. 
    • However be aware if stress turns to feeling overwhelmed.  Remind them of the basics – are you eating?  Are you sleeping?  Are you practicing self-care?
  3. Now that most finals are on line, make sure they are preparing for that type of exam. 
    • Encourage them to reach out to upper class students or TAs if this is their first college exam.
    • Also don’t forget that there are often times study sessions (even online) or TAs will have review sessions.  Encourage your student to take advantage of these opportunities.
    • If an exam is open for a period of time, encourage your student not to wait until the last minute. 
      • If something should go wrong with technology this gives them a buffer to solve it.  Procrastination is not your friend in the world of on line exams.
    • Consider the pets. Where are they when your student sits down to do an exam? I heard a story about dogs going nuts barking and student could not leave the table where he was taking his exam to stop them. 
      • I believe he just got frustrated, looked at the webcam and let a big 'ol curse word fly.  He was lucky instructor didn't take off for that because she could have (according to her class rules).  
      • So, for every subsequent exam, he made sure to lock the dogs inside so they couldn't bark incessantly where he was distracted.  
      • If others will be home during their exams, be sure to respect their space and LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Interrupting them during an exam could really cost the student! 
  4. If your student is returning to school to take finals, send something small (a card, a text or a care package) to encourage them.
  5. Anticipate this being a stressful time for your students.  Remember your job is to be a sounding board & support person - - not to try to take the final for them or e-mail the instructor your opinion of how they grade.
    • Make sure they have plenty of coffee or their caffeinated drink of choice.  
    • Don't complained that they don't spend more time with you.  
    • Maybe ask for dinner with family and then hung out for about an hour after that.  Then, he needed to get back to work.  Don't require it though.
    • They should tried really hard to keep the same schedule/routine they had in person and family should respect that.  
    • Do not ask them to do any chores around the house.  Even though they are "living at home", they are still very much full time students with incredible demands on them from university.
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