As the spring semester winds down, students are faced with deadlines for final papers and class projects, end of the year activities, and, of course, final exams. At the same time, “spring fever” can bring lots of distractions.
Our Personal Counseling Center recently provided students with some practical suggestions to help them stay centered and focused as the end of the semester approaches. I thought I’d pass these strategies along to parents — and perhaps you might encourage your sons and daughters to keep them in mind when they are feeling a bit overwhelmed. You might even pick up a couple of hints of what to do to help yourself feel less stressed during these busy days. I know I have!
- Give yourself time to be outside and take in the sun light. Sunlight will boost your mood – so soak it up!
- Combat procrastination by starting in on easy tasks first. Most of the time, all you need is to get going and the rest will flow.
- Schedule 15-minute breaks every hour of studying to take a walk outside, stretch, or connect with a friend.
- As the end of the semester approaches, work load increases as does the need to spend time with friends – honor both of these needs and schedule in time for studying and dates with friends. Remember, be realistic with how much time these activities really need.
- To stay healthy and happy in body, mind, and spirit, try to keep to a routine that includes regular sleep, nutrition, exercise, work, and social time. And, don’t forget the super important “me time.” Time alone can be rejuvenating and essential for those of us who are exceptionally busy and/or with introverted traits.
- When stressed out, take a minute to breath in and out fully. Remind yourself to return toward a compassionate place. Talk to yourself like you would a best friend. Allow judgment of yourself and of others to soften. Focus energies on gratitude and things that you can control.
To schedule an appointment with a counselor, students can call 401.865.2343 or stop in the office in the lower level of Bedford Hall next to the Student Health Center.
Take good care,
As the spring semester winds down, students are faced with deadlines for final papers and class projects, end of the... MORE
Students came back from Spring Break and what a welcome they received — classes cancelled due to a snow storm! Hopefully, they didn’t bring all their winter clothes home and just left themselves with spring clothes and flip flops!
My experience tells me that March can be full of challenges for students. They need to get refocused and ready for mid-semester exams. They are also dealing with pre-registration concerns and housing decisions for next year. With so much going on, it is easy for students to feel more overwhelmed and less in-control.
Parents, this is a perfect time to remind your sons and daughters to make use of campus resources. The Personal Counseling Center and the Office of Academic Services can provide them with practical tips and strategies to help them prioritize their commitments and deal with stress. This month also might be a good time to send your student a special care package from home.
That’s all for now, as we look forward to spring.
Students came back from Spring Break and what a welcome they received — classes cancelled due to a snow storm!... MORE
Steve Maurano, the College’s associate vice president for public affairs & community relations, asked that I pass this along.
“The College has recently unveiled a new, permanent exhibit detailing its 100-year history in celebration of our Centennial. The exhibit, created by artist Thomas Lynch of Marion, Mass., chronicles PC’s history in four panels that each depict approximately 25 years in photos and memorabilia. The exhibit is accompanied by a timeline. (The existing timeline is temporary; a more permanent timeline is currently in production.)
If you find yourself on campus, please stop by Harkins Hall to see the exhibit. It is located in the second floor rotunda of Harkins. Take a few extra minutes to also view the College’s historical walkway along Harkins Hall’s second floor corridor.”
I do hope you have a chance to visit this wonderful exhibit. It really does capture the true spirit of our Friar family through the ages.
Steve Maurano, the College’s associate vice president for public affairs & community relations, asked that I pass this along. “The... MORE
Hi everyone – I am from Marshfield, Mass., and a pre-engineering major in the 3+2 program. The 3+2 program allows me to get an individualized bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics, and chemistry from PC in three years, then continue my education for two years at Columbia University or Washington University in St. Louis – allowing me to obtain a second bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Although my time at PC is short and hectic, I still manage to be thoroughly involved in many of the communities on campus. I am a member of the Board of Multicultural Student Affairs (BMSA), the treasurer of S.H.E.P.A.R.D, and a member of Asian-American Club. I am currently in the process of reapplying to be an Orientation Leader in the fall, a role which I very much enjoyed last fall. I love connecting with students who are new to the PC community and helping them cope with their new lives away from home.
On the academic side of things, I am a tutor in the physics department and, beginning this semester, I am also doing research in the S-lab at Providence College, which is run by Dr. Stephen Mecca. One of the best things about being a second semester sophomore is that a number of my courses are now more major specific.
My Advice to Parents
Encourage your students to become involved in the campus community because it is the best and easiest way to make PC their home away from home. Through my involvement with various groups on campus, I have found a variety of friends and mentors with students, faculty, and staff.
Encourage your student to try a club even if they are unsure of the choice because, at this point in the year, people are still trying out clubs and looking for the “best fit.”
To keep up-to-date on all of the events that are happening on campus, I suggest that students follow Providence College student life social media. I especially recommend that you encourage your sons and daughters to read the “Morning Mail,” a campus email that is distributed daily and provides lots of information about upcoming academic and social programs.
Hi everyone – I am from Marshfield, Mass., and a pre-engineering major in the 3+2 program. The 3+2 program allows... MORE
January 17th was the first day of classes, and the second semester is well underway.
As your sons and daughters returned back to campus, they probably were experiencing a whole range of emotions. First-year students may look forward to catching up with friends and roommates, but might also find themselves facing some of the same challenges as first semester – with the added demands of new classes and new professors.
Seniors, on the other hand, return with the realization that they are about to begin their last semester as undergraduates at Providence College. A lot of their time and energy will be spent on making plans for life after PC.
No matter what their mindset is, students don’t need to feel trapped in their halls or apartments during those cold and sometimes snowy days of the early weeks of spring semester. (Hopefully, Mother Nature will be kind to us — I don’t like snow.) There are lots of things to do and ways to get involved to prevent cabin fever. In fact, the College is launching a new daily email newsletter for students called the Morning Mail, which will allow them easy access to information about upcoming campus events and programs of interest. So please, parents, remind your students to check their email regularly.
Of course, there are lots of special campus events this semester, as well. Our Centennial celebration continues, and Alumni & Family Weekend is right around the corner. Before we know it, seniors and their families will be sharing in the excitement of Commencement weekend activities.
Before I close, I do want to acknowledge the recent passing of Fr. John Peterson, a member of the Dominican order for 54 years. Fr. John, who was a dear friend to many of us, was known for his kindness and compassion. He will be deeply missed.
I wish you and your families the very best this semester and in the coming year.
January 17th was the first day of classes, and the second semester is well underway. As your sons and daughters... MORE
I wish all our Providence College families a peaceful and joyful New Year.
God bless and enjoy your time together.
I wish all our Providence College families a peaceful and joyful New Year. God bless and enjoy your time together.... MORE
This week I am introducing our first “Up Close and Personal” feature. So, let’s meet with Fr. Mark Nowel, dean of undergraduate and graduate studies and associate professor of biology (he also happens to be my boss).
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Union, New Jersey, where I attended a parochial school staffed by Dominican sisters. It was when I was a graduate student studying developmental biology that I first met the Dominican Friars who were the chaplains at the University of Leicester in England. I was impressed by their preaching, their dedicated pastoring of the university students, and their life of evangelical poverty and common prayer.
So, it was after being surrounded by their example and guidance for the five years of my stay there that I decided to apply to the Province of St. Joseph. By God’s grace, I was accepted, and I joined the novitiate class of 1980 — along with Brian Shanley (now PC’s president) and Chris Cardone (now the Archbishop of Honiara in the Solomon Islands) and eight others. I arrived at PC in 1986 — shortly after my ordination — to teach biology and to assist the residence life office as a hall director in Raymond Hall. Since then, I’ve taught in the biology department, headed the residence life office, been assistant academic dean, and now the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. I’ve moderated The Cowl and the Pre-Health Professions Honor Society, served as NCAA Faculty Representative, and assisted in the parochial ministries of many parishes in the Providence area.
What do you like most about your role as dean of undergraduate and graduate studies?
I enjoy problem-solving as our students strive to find their passions and overcome the obstacles to earning their degree. I also enjoy witnessing the passions of our faculty as they propose new courses from their impressive backgrounds to enrich our students in their areas of expertise. And, I tremendously love feeling the joy each year as our graduates cross the stage as I read their names — sharing in the well-deserved celebration of their accomplishment and attesting to their growth as human beings.
When you are not wearing your “dean’s hat” what do you like to do for fun? Any special hobbies?
I’ve always loved to travel, ever since I was given the life-changing opportunity to travel to England to begin my graduate work as a Fulbright Scholar. I’ve taken groups of students to China several times for an educational/travel summer opportunity. I’m fascinated by that complex country and culture. I love snorkeling, and I do a little woodcarving in the little free-time that Fr. Shanley allows me!
(Editor’s Note: I think Fr. Nowel is being pretty modest here. His “little woodcarving” has resulted in some beautiful pieces of work.)
Do you have any advice for parents as the end of the semester draws near and their students are faced with approaching deadlines for papers, class projects, and final exams?
If their sons and daughters have left finishing their major projects until the last minute, they should tell them that they need to take control of the situation to get their work done. There will be plenty of time for rest and relaxation and to catch up on their sleep AFTER their final exams are over and their papers have been submitted: THAT’s what the Christmas break is all about!
This week I am introducing our first “Up Close and Personal” feature. So, let’s meet with Fr. Mark Nowel, dean... MORE
I love Thanksgiving because it is centered around family, friends, and, of course, good food (pumpkin pie is my favorite). Most of all, however, it provides us an opportunity to reflect on who we are and who we are called to be. We give thanks for the people in our lives and the many gifts God has bestowed on us. We remind ourselves that Thanksgiving is just one day of the year, and that we have 365 days to show our gratitude and give thanks.
Fr. Kenneth Sicard, the executive vice president of Providence College and a good friend, has forwarded to me a prayer of thanksgiving that I am pleased to share with all of you. I wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Blessed are You loving Father
For all your gifts to us
Blessed are You for giving us family and friends
To be with us in times of joy and sorrow
To help us in days of need
And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration
We praise You for Your Son Jesus
Who knew the happiness of family and friends
And in the love of Your Holy Spirit
Blessed are you for ever and ever
I love Thanksgiving because it is centered around family, friends, and, of course, good food (pumpkin pie is my favorite).... MORE
Hello Parents and Families,
I am happy to introduce to you Brittany Price, a junior at Providence College, who is a social work major and theatre minor from Southborough, Mass. Brittany is involved in lots of activities at PC — she is a member of the Dance Club, Theatre Dept., and secretary of the Asian American Association. She has served as an Orientation leader and student advisor for the Freshman Wellness and Human Flourishing Cohort. In her “free-time” she is a Zumba instructor. Brittany recently attended the PC Career Expo and is happy to share her experience with all of you.
“On Wednesday October 5th, I attended Providence College’s Career Expo for the first time. I did not think it would be valuable my freshman or sophomore year, but as I have been taking courses this semester, I realize I am getting pretty darn close to being an adult in the real world. To my surprise, the Career Expo explored a ton more than future job opportunities — there were more than 40 graduate schools, and the chairs of every department at PC were there for a major and minor fair. As I walked through the sea of PC students, I was proud to recognize several of the freshman I knew from being an Orientation Leader in August, strutting around in pencil skirts and suits and shaking hands with professors and admissions counselors at various grad schools.
In addition to seeing new faces, I was ecstatic and surprised to see recent PC alumni representing various companies such as PwC and Ernst & Young. It was awesome to catch up with them and hear about their experiences in their careers so far. The fact that they were back at PC just a year or two later to recruit also made the Career Expo all the more authentic to me. Now that I know what it has to offer, I definitely recommend that students from all classes drop by the next Career Expo.”
*Please note that the Spring Career Expo will be held on March 22nd.
Hello Parents and Families, I am happy to introduce to you Brittany Price, a junior at Providence College, who is... MORE
Well, here is some Providence College trivia for you.
Did you know that there were two Brian Shanleys in the class of 1980? Of course, one went on to become our president. The “other” Brian Shanley lives in Newport, R.I., with his wife Susan Walsh ’79. Their son Peter is currently a sophomore at PC. I recently asked Brian to reflect on his son’s first year experience to provide some tips for new parents. Here’s what he shared:
There’s an old college axiom which reads, “What’s the job of a freshman? Become a sophomore.”
Sounds simple, but it is not always easy. A lot goes on as the first semester of college moves along. Besides the excitement of new experiences and developing friendships, there also can be anxiety, loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed. College always looks great on television and through social media. And how many times have we all heard, “College will be the best time of your life?” Expectations can overshadow reality and lead to a sense of disappointment. Helping your child keep a sense of perspective, humor, and self are important during those first few months.
So how do we as parents help? Some tips:
- Set up a weekly day/time to “speak” with your child. Text and emails don’t cut it. A soothing voice, a story from home, brothers/sisters and pets can all help. These check-ins bring a sense of regularity to an often out-of-balance schedule. I advise no more than twice a week. Students need to learn/know they can make it on their own without speaking with their parents daily.
- Help students by supporting them without “doing for them.” They are now in a safe place with quality people, programs, and resources to assist them on their independence journey. Students need to begin to learn how to advocate for themselves and use their own voice to see what it sounds like and how it is received.
- A small, old-school letter in the mail can help wipe out an entire bad week.
- Talk to them about their classes and ask about workloads and study habits. They are there for an education, and so developing good academic work habits is a key to lessening the stress and achieving results.
We all know that each year brings highs and lows. College is no different. Dealing with the issues is the key to the growth and maturity of our children. Enjoy the journey!
Brian is currently an administrator in the Office of Admissions at Salve Regina University, in Newport, RI. He is also a member of the Providence College Parent Program Advisory Team.
Well, here is some Providence College trivia for you. Did you know that there were two Brian Shanleys in the... MORE