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Parent Email–May 3, 2013

University Parent

May 3, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • Boomerang Graduates
  • Stress Relief Canine Style
  • Student Success Courses
  • Care Packages
  • Dining Services Parent Survey
  • University Parent Social Media
  • Miscellaneous

At the beginning of the week, students were studying outdoors on Northrop Mall. April ended nicely, but May has pushed us back into winter. This morning's snow is due to change over to rain and sleet. Keep an eye on the umbrellas by watching Northrop Mall, courtesy of the College of Science & Engineering's webcam.

Boomerang Graduates

Moving home may not be what most students expect after graduation, but it happens. In a recent national survey conducted by the Minnesota Parents Association, nearly 40 percent of recent alumni from colleges and universities around the country said they had moved back home for at least a short time after graduation. In some cases, it's because no job offers have come in, while in other situations students move home while waiting to begin graduate school, looking for a new apartment, dealing with a romantic breakup, or saving money for whatever the next steps will be.

For many students, a campus-area apartment lease will continue through the summer, and that boomerang grad may not move home until September. Whenever it happens, though, parents and students will benefit by making plans in advance.

  • Students should be making themselves employment-ready. That means taking full advantage of their college career center before they leave the campus area, practicing mock interviews, working with advisers on their resumes, and having a portfolio of examples of their writing, presentation skills, and other accomplishments. They can develop a plan for the job search and have it underway before coming home.
  • Parents and students should negotiate ground rules, including chores, whether the graduate will contribute financially, and whether there is a time limit on how long the hospitality lasts.
  • Parents are encouraged to avoid micro-management while empowering the student to retain their independence, establish goals, and take steps toward meeting their goals.

One of the major issues families face when a young adult comes home is "loss of privacy and independence," but not just for the graduate. Parents, too, have adjusted to having their own schedule and an increased level of independence. Still, parents and students alike said they appreciated the opportunity to get to know one another as adults, and they appreciated the family time together.

It's also important to keep in mind that nearly all students are planning to move out as soon as it's practical. More than 40 percent have left within six months, and most have moved on within a year.

Stress Relief, Canine Style

The weather, the end of the semester, pending finals, preparing to move out of residence halls, watching friends leave.... There are plenty of reasons for students to feel stressed at this time of the year, but next Friday students can pet and cuddle their way to calm with Paws for Learning's therapy dogs, sponsored by University Counseling & Consulting Services. The dogs will be at 303 Coffman Union from 1-3 p.m., Friday, May 10.

Student Success Courses

The Rothenberger Institute (RI) provides one-credit courses to support student wellness and success. You can learn about their courses on the newly designed RI website. Students can register for the classes just as they register for other academic courses. The classes are listed in the course registration system under Public Health.

Care Packages

The students and staff at Gopher Express have designed care packages to help students get through finals. Exams are scheduled for May 13-17. You can order online or call 612-626-1912.

Dining Services Parent Survey

As we mentioned in our previous parent email, University Dining Services is surveying parents of enrolled students regarding  on-campus dining services and meal plans. They would like feedback from all parents, whether or not your student lives on campus. The information you provide will be used in strategic planning. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. There will be a drawing for $25 of FlexDine as a grand prize for participating in the survey. FlexDine can be used for dining options on campus, for you or for your student.

The deadline for responding is May 10. You can take the survey and enter the drawing at http://studentvoice.com/umn/mmps2013.

University Parent Social Media

Photos, news, and fun facts are posted regularly on the University of Minnesota Parent Program's Facebook page. If you haven't joined our Facebook page, please do. We are currently 2,188 members strong. Is it too lofty a goal to ask for 2,500 by the time Parent Orientation starts in June?

We discovered earlier this spring that parents also like Pinterest, so we asked our student intern to develop a University of Minnesota Parent Program Pinterest page. She has put together a wide range of "boards," using her own ideas and suggestions from parents.

Miscellaneous

This month, students' greatest concerns will be related to the challenges that come at the end of the semester. Take a minute to read through May's Timely Issues.

We have been curious about who uses our University Parent website, so we're currently using our web-based Parent Question of the Month to gather some demographics. In April we simply asked where parents live: 40 percent of those responding live in the Twin Cities area; 17 percent are from Greater Minnesota; 20 percent are from Wisconsin, and 20 percent are from other states. We barely recorded any international parents.

Please respond to the May Question of the Month!