I always feel that the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the busiest times for me. Maybe, many of you can relate to that, as well. I have projects to finish, papers to correct, and, of course, lots to do to get ready for the holidays. It is times like this that I especially appreciate having a friend or family member to help me to put things in perspective – and remind me that it will all work out.
Now that your sons and daughters are back from Thanksgiving break, they are probably finding themselves feeling a bit overwhelmed with all they need to do before heading home for winter break. Time is running out on the fall semester and students are racing to meet deadlines to complete papers, projects, and other class assignments. Parents you can be a real source of support to your sons and daughters at this especially stressful time — and remind them that it will all work out.
Here are a few helpful strategies you might want to consider as your student gets ready for finals:
- This is an especially important time to encourage use of support services. The Personal Counseling Center and the Office of Academic Services are two resources that can help students feel less overwhelmed and more academically prepared to deal with end-of-semester responsibilities.
- Help them to reflect on how they coped with stress in the past. What worked for them? Remind them of some of the positive choices they have made to get them through challenging times.
- Be mindful that right now students may neglect some of their own physical/emotional needs. Staying up late, pulling “all nighters,” consuming large amounts of caffeine, and eating on the run, can contribute to students becoming physically ill at a time when they need to be healthy and in control. Encourage a visit to the Student Health Center at the first sign of trouble.
- Time management skills are put to the test right now. For a student who is on real “overload,” just helping him/her to break down larger tasks into smaller ones or strategizing a plan of action can make a real difference as the semester comes to a close.
Finally parents, as you well know, this is a great time to send your student a care package. Of course, goodies and snacks are always appreciated. One mom told me that at this especially stressful time she always puts little notes of encouragement in every package she sends her daughter. She calls this her own version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Remember to take good care of yourselves at this busy time.