Winter 2016 Edition

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My Student is Sick - What Can I Do?

Let’s face it being sick in college is not the most pleasant of experiences. Your student will likely have no one taking care of them, like you do while they’re at home. At the same time their responsibilities and obligations continue to pile up as they're stuck in bed. So just what are their options if they get sick in college and how can you help?

Head to Georgetown Student Health Center for a check-up. First and foremost, if your student is sick for more than a day or two, have really bad symptoms, or otherwise just don't feel right, utilize what Georgetown has to offer. Make an appointment -- or just walk in -- to the campus health center. They can check your student out while also offering advice and medication to get them back on their feet.

The health center is staffed by Family Practice faculty physicians and nurse practitioners with particular training and experience in college health, and who are dedicated to providing high quality health care.

What should you, as a college parent, do? You might feel helpless when you hear that your college student is sick.  Your caretaker role is different now, but there are still a few things that you can do to help.

  • Don’t rush in too soon.  Be there, and let your student know that you’re there for advice or just to listen, but let them take the lead.
  • If you’ve set up a “call home” routine, now may be the time to break the routine a bit.  Call a bit more (just a bit) to check in.
  • Don’t take it personally if your student doesn’t want your help or advice.  This may be part of his growing independence.  Be proud of his desire to deal with this issue himself.
  • Encourage your student to rest, eat well, wash her hands, drink fluids, and be sensitive about spreading their germs to others.
  • Send a get-well or thinking-of-you card.
  • Send a “health” kit – soup, tea, cold medication, thermometer, tissues, hand sanitizer, crackers, comfort items.
  • Remember confidentiality issues.  If your student visits the student health center, they will not be able to talk to you about your student’s illness without their permission.  Don’t call the clinic or the Community Director and ask for information.  Remember that at this stage you will need to communicate with your student, not the school.  (However, if you have concerns about your student, or are worried that he or she is not getting the help that they need, certainly call the Community Director.  The CD may not be able to tell you anything, but they may be able to discreetly check on your student.)
  • If you sense that your student is more than mildly sick, use your judgment.  If you feel they should come home, discuss it with your student.  Suggest that he or she discuss it with the health professionals on campus.  Sometimes a day or two at home will help them recharge and be better able to cope.

Campus Ministry Offers Daily Lent Devotional

Rev. Kevin O' Brien, S.J, Vice President of Mission and Ministry

Last Advent and Christmas, over 6,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents of Georgetown joined us for an online daily prayer experience. Similarly, as an aid to individual spiritual preparation for Easter, the Lenten Daily Devotional offers brief reflections and prayers written by students, faculty, staff, and alumni drawn from the University's Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian communities.  Each morning, an email is sent to subscribers containing the day's reflection and prayer, and links to daily scripture readings.  We invite you and your family to join us for this digital retreat. Encourage your son or daughter to sign up. This digital is just another way that our extended Georgetown family comes together across distances. 

You will hear a variety of voices from different parts of the Georgetown community. In this diversity, we experience the utter creativity of God. In a world rife with too many divisions, our praying together is an important witness to community in diversity, one of the values central to Georgetown’s identity.

While we celebrate our blessed diversity, we give thanks for the unity we find in Jesus Christ, who gathers us into one body. Whether you pray from the Catholic, Orthodox Christian, or Protestant tradition, may you feel more deeply connected to the Church of Christ and to Christ’s summons to be a disciple.

As I reflect on my own discipleship at the start of the retreat, I follow the lead of Pope Francis in this Jubilee Year of Mercy and strive to live with greater tenderness: to treat others and myself more gently. What virtue or disposition do you seek to cultivate with God’s help? If you instead seek freedom from a disposition or habit, consider a different kind of fast: fasting from fear, cynicism, or excessive critique, for example. As we go about these spiritual exercises, we are careful not to turn the retreat into a self-improvement regime. More fundamentally, this is a privileged time to encounter God’s abundant grace, with which all things are possible.

Let us pray for one another on the adventure ahead! 

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