December 2015 Edition

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Coming Home (or Not) For The Holidays

For many students, going home for the holiday break is the first extended period of time spent with family since arriving at college. While there may be some wonderful things about returning home, for many students (and their parents) this can also be a stressful time. Things may have changed at home: your old room may be an office now, old family rules might feel unfair, parents might not recognize how much you've changed since leaving home, or maybe home was never a particularly happy place for you to begin with. Either way, managing vacation time and coping with family problems are things that might arise.

One of the things that can make returning home for students difficult is learning that the actual structure of their family has changed. One way to manage this is to talk with your students ahead of time about how much time that you will spend with them. Ask them if there are things they want to do with you and let them know if there are things you'd like to do with them. If your student is going to be sharing time between two families, establish these plans ahead of time and let everyone know what you'll be doing.

While family change can make vacation stressful, sometimes it's the fact that your family hasn't changed that's causing problems. Old family rules, curfews, and expectations just may not fit their students anymore. Your student has been living independently for at least a few months now and your parents may have trouble acknowledging this and altering their rules and expectations accordingly. This can also be something you talk about with your students in advance of them returning home. Review what the old rules were and propose some new ones, understanding that there will likely be a compromise involved. Clarifying rules before you get home can help reduce conflicts around them once you're there.

For many students, home has never been a happy place and the idea of returning there for vacations might feel like anything but a vacation. If being home is exceedingly complicated or painful for your student, they might decide to spend a holiday with a friend's family. Alternatively, they could opt to stay on campus. Vacation time is meant to be exactly that: a break. If being at home does not allow them to relax and feel rested and ready to come back to school then planning to spend time somewhere else might be their best option.

Holidays can also allow greater understanding and compassion for family members. Even if  things are not ideal, enjoy the time you get to spend with your student. Remember reasonable compromise can help to minimize conflict and tension in your relationship with your student.

NSO Staff Selection to Begin!

Why should your student get involved in NSO? The role is one of the most coveted positions at Georgetown University. The position is more than a mere introduction or a brief welcome to campus; it’s the opportunity to impact and shape how new Hoyas engage within the Georgetown community.

Over 500 students apply to be a part of the orientation process as captains and orientation advisors. The position is not an easy one.  Captains and OAs serve as representatives of the college, and as role models for incoming students.  Captains and OAs are often campus leaders with energetic and positive attitudes about the school and the college experience.  Qualities such as maturity, dedication, caring and compassion are important. They are knowledgeable about campus facilities, policies and procedures.  The students undergo extensive training regarding group leadership and facilitating group discussion, and also regarding the transitional experience, diversity, pluralism and other issues facing incoming students. 

Students also enjoy the social culture of New Student Orientation. “Developing new lifelong friends is definitely one of the biggest appeals of the program. It doesn’t feel like work when you get hang with your best buds all day,” says junior Emma Barnitt.

Georgetown New Student Orientation has approximately 32 Captains. 30 Captains serve as facilitators of small groups of OAs to encourage and guide them, as well as to communicate important information during training and NSO. 2 Captains serve as Event Captains and assist the Coordinators with tasks and logistics of training and NSO. To be a Captain, the application process includes a group interview and individual interview. Full-time undergraduate students who have served on NSO previously may apply to be a Captain.

There are approximately 180 Orientation Advisors (OAs) who serve as either Freshmen OAs or Transfer OAs. To be an OA, there is both an application process and a group interview. Any full-time undergraduate student can apply to be an OA. OA applications normally appear in February.

 If your student is interested in an opportunity for leadership and involvement, encourage them to apply to NSO when the respective application opens.