April 2016 Edition

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Final Semester Blues

Certain times of the academic year tend to be universally challenging to students, while other times are times of great joy and accomplishment.  Parents who recognize and are able to understand the ups and downs of the academic year are better able to help their students to navigate these challenges. During the month of April, there are several common themes that students face, such as:

Spring Break provided a much needed vacation and chance to energize for the rest of the academic year, however, can also prove to be a difficult transition back to academics after the break.

Easter Break might have served as a chance to get caught up with their studies or further behind.
Spring fever sets in – students are ready to be finished with the semester.

Mid-term worries develop as academic pressures increase, papers and exams begin to pile up.

Planning fall semester classes during registration period may be stressful, but students may start to or have developed direction in their studies.

Families can help their students with these topics through conversations as well as sharing resources on campus for assistance such as their assistant dean, the Academic Resource Center, their Community Directors, resident assistants or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Conversation starters for the month of April include:

  • How are you feeling about classes after having a break?
  • What tests, papers, or projects do you have coming up?  How are you prioritizing multiple demands on your time?
  • What are the things that you are doing to manage stress?
  • How can I best support you?

Helping Your Student with Their Career Plans

As summer approaches, students are closing out the year but also looking to solidify internships and employment. Perhaps, your student is unsure of their career plans. Your student may change their career plans frequently. In both instances, you have the opportunity to play a crucial role in helping your students determine what they want to do in the future.

Encourage your student to think about their passion and strengths.

Career exploration begins with our interests, passions and strengths. Encourage your student to think deeply about those things and how they relate to a career. Knowledge of self is the best way to determine what they want to do and how they want to utilize their skills.

Allow your student to make the decision.

Occasionally, you can ask about his/her career plans, but too much prodding can backfire. It is understandable to want them to pick a major that is "practical." However, it should be balanced with his/her own interests and passions. Only sometimes does picking a major mean picking the career for life. It is common for students to change majors after further study, internships and career counseling, so don't freak out when they come up with an outrageous or impractical idea. Chances are plans will evolve. Feel free to make suggestions about majors and career fields, but let him/her be the ultimate judge of what's best. Career development can be stressful. Perhaps this is the first really big decision that your son or daughter has had to make. Be patient, sympathetic and understanding, even if you don't agree with their decision.

Emphasize the importance of internships.

Job placement is not included with your student’s degree.  Colleges grant degrees, but not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive job market is critical. Your son or daughter can sample career options through summer employment, volunteer work and most importantly internships. Why internships? Employers want not only a college degree. They want experience and internships are the answer.

Encourage extracurricular involvement.

Part of experiencing college life is to be involved and active outside the classroom. Interpersonal and leadership skills, qualities valued by future employers, are often developed through extracurricular activities.

Persuade your student to stay up-to-date with current events.

Employers will expect students to know what is happening around them. Make sure they are reading about current events. When they are home on break, discuss national and world issues with them.

Expose your student to the world of work.

Most students have a stereotypical view of the workplace. Take your student to your workplace and explain what you do for a living. Show him/her how to network. Help him/her to identify potential employers.

Teach the value of networking.

Introduce him/her to people who have the careers/jobs that interest them the most. Have him/her contact people in your networks for information on summer jobs. Encourage your student to “shadow” someone in the workplace to increase awareness of interesting career fields.

GU Votes: Student Led Initiative to Make Voting Easy For Your Student

In partnership with Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, GU Votes is a student-led initiative to promote and facilitate civic engagement and voter participation among Hoyas and the broader Georgetown community.  

To that end, GU Votes has launched #1000GUVotes, a grassroots campaign aimed at registering 1,000 Georgetown students so they can take part in the slew of elections to be held on November 8, 2016.

In order to reach 1,000 Hoyas, we’re collaborating with Georgetown administration and student groups across campus to make registering to vote as easy and as straightforward as possible - whether you’d like to cast a ballot in Washington, DC, or in your home state.

Thanks to the Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics), Georgetown’s Office of Government Relations and Community Engagement, and the Georgetown University Student Association, we’ve enlisted the help of a voter registration tool called TurboVote, which allows incoming freshmen to register online and sign-up to receive alerts regarding important election dates and deadlines. We encourage you all to visit georgetown.turbovote.org to find out more about the other awesome features offered by the platform.

The current presidential election cycle serves as a testament to the significance of civic engagement and voter participation among young people. We hope that GU Votes becomes a crucial mechanism to empower and inspire Hoyas to have their voice heard at the ballot box.

For more information, keep an eye on politics.georgetown.edu. We plan to publish a more detailed voter registration guide in the coming months and are in the process of finalizing a series of fun events. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions by sending an email to Naomi Lim at ipps@georgetown.edu.