Questions Jesus Asked:  “If you love only those who love you what credit is that to you?  Luke 6:32
Dr. Roger Parrott

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Fall belhaven

Fall Break is just around the corner!  It’s always good when students can take a couple of days and decompress from the daily grind of classes, which is why Belhaven offers a Fall Break for our students.  The dates for Fall Break this year is next Monday and Tuesday, October 13 and 14th and classes will start back up at 8 am on Wednesday, October 15.  It’s important for students to take that time and visit with family or friends or just to get away from campus so they can experience a refreshment and revitalization of both mind and spirit.  Of course, it’s always a good thing to take a break after working hard to do well on their midterm exams!

If you are interested in knowing what your student’s midterm grades are,  plan on talking with them after October 16th.  Midterm grades will be posted by October 16th and students will have access to those grades on Blazenet under their grade report.  Midterm grades are oftentimes a good indication of how students will finish the semester so if your student is doing well, they should finish strong.  Of course the opposite can be true as well; if they aren’t doing well at midterms, then they might not finish as strong as they hoped.  The good news is that midterms can serve as a “wake-up” moment for students and they CAN change the outcome.  It might be a challenge, but it’s a challenge they can overcome with commitment, dedication, and a lot of focus and hard work.  If your student isn’t doing as well at midterms, encourage them to think through their choices, their study habits and their responsibilities to extra-curricular activities.  Hopefully you can help them determine what steps to take to finish strong!  They can also come see one of us in the Think Center and we’ll be happy to help them think things through and come up with a good plan.

If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to contact one of us in the Think Center at 601-968-8865 or at stsuccess@belhaven.edu or you can contact me directly at rpirtle@belhaven.edu.  We’re here to help!

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It’s almost October and with this month comes a change in seasons, cooler weather, falling leaves, and if you’re a college student, midterms.  At Belhaven, instructors post mid-term grades by October 16th.  What does this mean for your student?  Most likely, he or she has papers and exams due in almost every class.  For some students, midterm means the first real academic pressures of the semester.  Midterm is often a wake-up call for many students as they begin to realize how much work is left to do before semester’s end.

How can parents help?  LEARN…Listen, Encourage, Ask, Remind, and Notice.

Listen. Try to refrain from “fixing” their stress. Give them a chance to vent.

Encourage. Assure them that they can do well and persist.

Ask. What are they doing to get help?  Are they using campus resources?  Have they talked one on one with their instructors? Have they kept up in classes?

Remind. Talk about a time in the past when they persisted through a difficult time.

Notice. You know your student best. If he or she seems unusually stressed or distant, trust your instincts and investigate.

Still not sure how to follow up on your student’s academic progress?  Each class instructor hands out a syllabus at the beginning of the semester.  The syllabus is a guide for students that outlines class expectations, major assignments, deadlines, and other important information specific to that particular course.  A very simple way of finding out more about your student’s classes is to ask for a copy of the syllabus and discuss specific projects and exams.

If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact Ron Pirtle, Dean of Student Development, at rpirtle@belhaven.edu. If your student needs campus academic resources information, direct him or her to the Think Center in Hood Library.

Family Weekend!

If you weren’t able to make it to our 2014 Family Weekend, we missed you!  We had a great turnout and were excited to see families connect after being apart; it’s amazing to watch our students light up at seeing their family again!  All families members had something to do, from “Rec the Night” to the President’s Brunch and the Family Tailgate…it was a great time to reconnect!  If you missed this year’s family weekend, start thinking now about joining us next year!

President's BrunchDiscover Day Tours   TailgateFamily Tailgate

 

Tailgate funRec the Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Helping your student through homesickness

By Lucy Ewing

Colleges have programs in place to welcome new students, but many first years will still experience homesickness. There are times of the day and family traditions that tug at a freshman’s heart. And there is the effort of making new friends, perhaps the biggest challenge of all.

Students I spoke with recalled missing the smell of waffles, eggs and bacon every morning, or the big Sunday dinner. They missed the comfort of home: “Beds, chairs, and really all furniture at college are pretty uncomfortable!” one student said. (Bargain bungee chairs are not the same as the family sofa.) They missed family and friends and pets, especially at night. That’s when you may get those wistful phone calls.

Just hearing a parent or sibling’s voice can improve a student’s mood and mindset. However, some upperclassmen caution that parents and freshmen calling each other too often can slow the acclimation to campus.

So, too, if campus is close to home, parents might be tempted to offer refuge. This is the time when you remember that your role is changing. The parent in you wants to jump in the car and rush to make things better; instead, think about how you can serve as a coach and advisor to help your student beat the homesickness blues.

Remembers one grad: “My mom and I are really close, and in the beginning I really wanted to go home over the weekends. My mom gently suggested that it would be better in the long run if I stuck it out at school.”

Social engagement is key to your student gaining confidence and a sense of belonging. These suggestions were offered by students who have been there and made it through — share them with your freshman.

  • Go to the activity fair or tables set up around campus and join one or two groups.
  • Attend the residence hall movie nights and outdoor hikes planned by your Resident Advisors. “Surround yourself with positive people and energy.”
  • Head to the gym or the dance studio to stretch and work out. “This is very therapeutic.”
  • Attend a church service on campus. Join a choir and sing!
  • Take a shopping trip to the mall with some friends. “We became friends with the clerks at the best yogurt shop in town!”
  • Share care packages from home with everybody. “It usually benefits everyone!”
  • Find a group of people that remind you of your home friends. “If you trust your friends and know they genuinely have your best interest at heart, you will feel comfortable on campus.”
  • Say yes to most invitations in the beginning. “There were many times when I would have rather said ‘no thanks’ to walking to class or getting a meal with new classmates, but if I had I would have missed out on meeting some of my dearest friends.”

The experience of confronting homesickness while settling in at college teaches your student how to negotiate all kinds of new territory.

How do you know when your student has settled in? When the next call you receive sets you at ease — a good sign that your student is working things out for herself. How does your student know the homesickness hump has been hurdled? “I knew I was over my homesickness,” one upperclassman said, “when going back to campus meant going home.”

Lucy Ewing is in her 17th year as a national board certified teacher with the Boulder Valley School District and has been recognized by the Impact on Education Foundation and Jared Polis Foundation. She mentors with the Friends School as well as the University of Colorado CUTeach program for students in science and engineering. Writing is a passion for Lucy. In addition to articles for UniversityParent, she is a Denver Post “Colorado Voices” columnist and a college essay tutor. Lucy is parent to two recent college graduates, and she and her husband love nothing more than visiting them on both coasts.

homesickness tip

Taken from an article on www.universityparent.com

 

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family cookout

Don’t forget about Family Weekend coming up September 26 & 27, 2014!

We look forward to seeing you for Family Weekend and it’s a great time to return to Belhaven to see your student.  The weekend is full of activities OR you can just hang out and cheer for the Belhaven Blazers in our first afternoon home football game.

For more information go to Family Weekend or register online today and let us know you plan to attend!

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We’re really excited about the new aerial video tour of the Belhaven Campus!  You can check it out here:

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