April e-Parent Newsletter
In this issue:
Karla C. Carney-Hall, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
It’s hard to believe the academic year is almost over! Each April brings milestones
for every class …. One year down. Halfway there. Only one year left. Graduation. We
truly hope that your son or daughter has had an amazing 2012-2013 at IWU. We’ve had
a great year and look forward to another great year next year.
This issue of the parent newsletter will focus on summer transitions, and we’ll be
in touch this summer with all the exciting news for next year. Hint: State Farm Hall,
The Gates at Wesleyan, campus-wide wireless Internet and expanded broadband, a newly
remodeled Dugout dining area. Have a wonderful summer!
Annorah S. Moorman, Ph.D.
Director of Counseling and Consultation Services,
Assistant Dean of Students
College students returning home for summer break can be difficult and a stressful
adjustment for everyone in the family. As students have been away from home for the
majority of the year, a natural independence has set in. If this is your child's first
year in college, your sons or daughters are no longer new high school graduates but
young adults who have been on their own for a year. However, in their absence, the
family has developed a new dynamic as well. A different routine has been established
and the student’s return forces adjustments to that new family homeostasis.
A year without much direct supervision, curfew or real imposed rules of behavior can
lead to significant confrontation when students return home. An iron-fisted approach
to handling changes with students is rarely successful. It may be your home, but students
will rebel against an authoritarian approach. However, students need to understand
that they are back at mom and dad’s house. The following suggestions may help both
parents and students make a smooth transition when college students return home for
Communicate. It’s important to use positive communication using “I” statements, engaging in a
discussion ... sharing one’s view, but appreciating the other perspective as well,
rather than one party just “laying down the law” or declaring “how things are going
Show respect and support. Show the other party that you are trying to understand and appreciate their perspective.
Expecting your college student to join you for dinner every night might be a recipe
for disappointment, but asking them to let you know when they have other plans is
a matter of respect and courtesy.
Talk about house rules and be willing to make mutually agreed upon adjustments. A high school curfew time may no longer be appropriate, so if a later curfew is appropriate
or if it’s a better agreement for parents to be texted/notified about late nights
out, this should be discussed and agreed upon.
Talk about house responsibilities. It’s important that students contribute to the family household. They cleaned their
residence hall room and did their own laundry while at school, so students should
continue to take this initiative while at home. It may be more helpful for them to
help with driving younger siblings around or helping with meals or errands with two
working parents. It’s important to be clear and reasonable about these expectations,
especially given other demands on their time (summer jobs, internships, summer school,
reconnecting with high school friends, staying in touch with college friends).
Encourage your son or daughter to get a job or internship. Filling time with a job is a great way to experience the working world, make new
friends, and again, demonstrate that you are stepping up and being an adult.
Keep your sense of humor. This living situation is temporary. It won’t be long before students are returning
to campus for another academic year, and college graduates get jobs or go to graduate
school and move away from home. So it’s important to appreciate and enjoy this time
while you can.
Making the Most of Summer Break
With summer just around the corner, students are looking forward to enjoying some
free time away from papers, tests, study sessions and the hectic pace of college life.
While time to rejuvenate is important, there are many ways students can take advantage
of the down time to make their summer both productive and profitable.
Summer Internships: While it’s a little late in the internship searching game, and deadlines for “competitive”
internships might have passed, there are still plenty of organizations and businesses looking for summer interns. Students can utilize
the IWU Hart Career Center resources to get started on the process and visit titancareerlink.experience.com and aggregate websites, such as indeed.com or idealist.org to begin looking for opportunities.
Part-time Jobs: Summer is the best time to pad that bank account, and the skills and responsibilities
gained through work experiences are important for future career success. All jobs
are helpful, but if a student can line up a job with their major, even better (i.e.
camp counselor for education majors; bank teller for finance majors; blog writer for
English majors). Students shouldn’t be afraid to pick up the phone or stop by an organization
in person to inquire about available positions. Employers appreciate motivation, communication
skills and assertiveness in their future employees. Not sure where to start looking?
Try part-time job sites snagajob.com and groovejob.com.
Strengthening that Personal Brand: As the world becomes increasingly “virtual,” it’s essential that students are actively
building a positive presence in the social media arena. Summer is the perfect time to develop a professional
LinkedIn account and start adding to a professional online network. Students should
consider turning to a blog, Pinterest, Tumblr or About.Me to showcase personal accomplishments,
perspectives and interests. (It’s also a great time to clean up the high school Facebook account and edit any
unfavorable online images.)
Connect or reconnect with a local network: Students could consider setting up a job shadow or informational interview with professionals
in the community to learn more about a potential career field. Perhaps there is a
high school teacher or mentor that would enjoy getting back in touch. Summer break
is an ideal time for students to attend community events or visit a local chapter
of a national professional organization. Improving networking skills now can reap
great future benefits.
Volunteer: Non-profits and political campaigns are always looking for additional help and it’s
a great way to give back to the community. Volunteering often also helps students
to uncover a personal passion, make valuable professional connections or simply sharpen
interpersonal communication skills.
While summer is indeed time for a “break,” it can also be an ideal time to work on
a professional career development plan. Encourage your son or daughter to make the
most of their time this summer. If they need assistance, send them to visit the Hart
Career Center (2nd floor of the Myers Welcome Center), 309-556-3071, www.iwu.edu/career-center/
Executive Assistant to the President
Commencement is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating seniors
and their potential for making a difference in the future. The Class of 2013 will
inaugurate a new tradition at our outdoor ceremony on May 5 when we confer their degrees
on the recently unveiled Kemp Commencement Plaza at State Farm Hall. The graduates’
families have received several letters, information about a live Webcast of the ceremony,
and four tickets required for indoor seating if the weather turns threatening on May
5. Information is also available on the University website at www.iwu.edu/commencement. Also see the President’s letter on Commencement
Immunization Records for Graduate School
If your student plans to attend graduate school, please ask him or her to stop by
Arnold Health Service and pick up a copy of their immunization records. All graduate
programs require proof of immunization and some new grads may need an update on their
tetanus-diptheria-pertussis vaccine. The Health Services retains medical records for
6 years after graduation, so even if they are unsure of their future plans at this
time, obtaining a copy of their records may still be a good idea. You may want to
make several copies for safe keeping, as you never know when the call for returning
to school for a higher degree may occur. If your student graduates and then finds
they need these records, they may fax or mail a request to us with their name, date
of graduation, what records they are requesting, where to send the records and include
Arnold Health Service
Illinois Wesleyan University
PO Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
or FAX (309) 556-3805.