Dear Bengal Parent or Friend,

The weeks before fall break can be a stressful time for your student. It is a time filled with writing papers, studying for and taking exams, and preparing for the inevitability of finals week (December 10-14). ISU has many resources available for our students to help them finish strong, including the Student Success Center (located in Rendezvous 323). Among other services, the Student Success Center offers tutoring, a writing center, and a math lab. Encourage your student to visit with their faculty members as well as their academic advisor. This is a good way to learn more about classroom expectations and how to best meet them.

Fall break and Thanksgiving recess are almost here. Classes will resume on Monday, November 26. For first-year students (and their families), the time at home may be challenging. The first year my daughters came home for their respective fall breaks, my husband and I realized we were no longer “empty nesters.” We found ourselves negotiating sleep schedules, the temperature in the house, and crumbs on the countertops. This article may provide helpful information and insight about how to navigate the changing roles and expectations of having a college student at home.

To all of our Bengal parents and families, I wish you a thankful and thanks-filled time with family and friends.

Bengals for Life!

Lyn Redington
Vice President for Student Affairs
Home for the Holidays: Tips for Emotional Wellness
As holiday decorations begin to appear, you’ll no doubt begin thinking of the college break your student will soon be taking. Hopefully they’ve been busily studying for and succeeding in their final exams and class projects. Contrary to the stereotype, college life can be quite stressful. In fact, the stress from college along with the stress everyone feels during the holiday season can be overwhelming to some students. We’re hoping these tips will help you, and your family, recover from life’s stresses and thrive this holiday season.

  • Be open to change. Traditions make the holidays fun and meaningful but they can also add stress. Students may want to see some of their friends over the break, they may want to spend some of the festivities with the family of a romantic partner, or they may just want to try out new things. Roll with it and you’ll all be happier.
  • Be compassionate. Your student will have changed in some ways and be the same in others. All changes, even good ones, add stress. Be compassionate with yourself as you’re adjusting to their changes.
  • Be healthy. No one is happy on a diet of sugar cookies and eggnog, at least not for very long. Balanced meals, exercise, and sleep need to be at the core of the holiday break.
  • Be connected. Connection makes things better. Isolation makes things worse. Work on connecting and supporting your student. Be worried if they isolate.
  • Be a partner. Boundaries and house rules are always tricky. Your student has been setting their own rules and living as an adult for the last few months. Friction inevitably occurs when they come back and parents expect them to follow all the same rules they did in high school. Walk a balance here. See what you can flex on and try to meet them halfway. They’ll appreciate that you are respecting their new independence.
  • Be supportive. If grades didn’t work out as planned or if they’re feeling discouraged, they need you to have confidence in them and encourage them to stay engaged. There are TONS of resources on campus dedicated to helping them succeed and connect. Encourage them to use Counseling and Testing. We’re here to help!
  • Be loving. Most of all, love lots.They need to know they’re loved and accepted no matter what changes have occurred.

If you’re worried about how your student is doing, reach out to them. More tips for communicating can be found online .
Career Conversations Over the Break
As your student comes home over the holidays, have a few brief discussions--not lectures--with them about the different college majors and careers they are considering. Help them explore different ideas, but let them take the lead in these discussions. Help them understand important factors to consider such as job demand, salary ranges, skills required etc. Help them understand how their unique gifts, skills, and abilities may translate into their major/career decisions.

For those students who feel ready to make important major and career decisions, suggest possibly doing an informational interview or some brief job shadowing with someone in that career over the holiday break. Informational interviews and job shadowing can be a great way for a student to solidify a decision. Your student can ask questions of someone who is already in that career, which can be very helpful for someone considering that field. A little preparation is needed for an informational interview, however; including scheduling a time to meet and preparing questions in advance. It can be well worth the time.

Help your student understand the importance that employers put on marketable skills such as:

  • Problem-solving skills (finding solutions to simple and complex problems)
  • Computer skills (programming, word processing, spreadsheets, and data base management)
  • Analytical/Quantitative skills (accounting, statistics, economics)
  • Communication skills (ewritten and oral)
  • Leadership skills (supervisory, extracurricular leadership roles, teamwork/team leader)
  • Interpersonal skills (working with others and being professional in manners and speech)

Discuss looking for an internship or job for the upcoming summer. Many companies like to interview and hire students in January and February for summer internships and jobs. Encourage your student to begin looking for opportunities over the holiday break by networking with family, friends, neighbors, and others.

Encourage your student to visit the Idaho State University Career Center for help with resume building, practice interviewing, job/internship searching, and help in choosing a suitable major or a career path. Licensed Career Counselors work with your student to help them determine an exciting path for their future. Find out more information about our services online . The Career Center is located in the Museum Building, room 418.
ISU Tree Lighting Festival
Students, parents, and families are invited to join us as we usher in the holiday season by lighting the 80' tree on the ISU Quad. Lights, carolers, hot chocolate, treats, and Santa will warm up the night on Monday, November 26, 2018 . Festivities begin at 7:00 PM with the lighting of the tree. Outside events include an interactive ice sculpture, rides on the Union Pacific trolley, and hot chocolate. Inside, families can enjoy craft stations, cookie decorating, holiday treats, a visit with Santa, and the short film Merry Madagascar in the Bengal Theater. All activities are free of charge and an ISU ornament will be given out to the first 200 people.
Important Upcoming Dates
Spring 2019 Registration Dates
  • November 7, 2018 (Junior)
  • November 9, 2018 (Sophomore)
  • November 12, 2018 (Freshman, Non-degree Seeking)

Finals Week
December 10-14, 2018

Last Day Fall Classes
December 14, 2018

First Day Spring Classes
January 8, 2019
Flu Shots
Keep your Bengal healthy by encouraging them to get their annual flu shot. Flu shots are available at the ISU Health Center! No appointment needed. Cost is either $20 cash or billing to private insurance.
Health Center fall hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
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