Dear Parents and Families,
With Fall Break quickly approaching, we hope that your student(s) is finding success in meeting academic demands, while also continuing their involvement in co-curricular activities, practicing good self-care, and hopefully having fun! In these last few weeks before break, with exams, quizzes, projects and papers looming, if you haven’t already, this would be a great time to send a care package or a thoughtful text message or email to your student. If you're looking for care package ideas, our RamFam Preferred Business Partners might be able to help!
Fall Break is officially November 21-25th, with classes resuming on Monday, November 28th. Have you chatted with your student about their plans?
If your student is returning home for the break, this may be a very exciting time for your family, as for many students this will be the first time returning home since school started in August. Keep in mind that you may need to reestablish expectations or obligations. In this month’s newsletter, we feature an article from the Teahen Family, sharing their own perspective about the adjustments that occur when a student returns home for break after finding a newfound independence.
If your student is remaining in Fort Collins, we encourage you to check-in and ask about their plans for the week. If your student is living in one of the residence halls and remaining on-campus for Fall Break, please remind them to check in with staff in the hall about accommodations over the break. Students wishing to stay in the residence halls over break must apply by 12:00 PM on Wednesday, November 16th on the link found here. Residence halls close Saturday, November 19th at 10:00 p.m. and reopen on Sunday, November 27th at 8:00 a.m. For additional details about the opening and closing of the residence halls, late departures or early returns, and the charges associated with housing over break see the Residence Life website for details.
We also want to take time to recognize those students that will be graduating in December! Congratulations, Ram Family!!!! Enjoy this time in celebrating the accomplishments of your student -- we wish your student the best on the next phase in their journey! Thank you for all you have done to support your student’s success! Fall Commencement will be held December 16 – 18, 2016. At CSU, students will have their graduation ceremonies by individual College, ensure you connect with your student about which College they will be graduating from to determine the day and time of the ceremony. For additional details about Commencement at CSU, see the following links:
Finally, don’t forget to consider using one of our RamFam Preferred Business Partners as you plan your stay!
Enjoy this month’s copy of the e-newsletter. We hope you find the information helpful and supportive during this time of year! Wishing you and your family a wonderful November!
Parent and Family Programs
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Choose to be a RamFam Ambassador!
By Jaelyn Coates
Like service? Looking for community with other CSU families? Love your students?
If you answered yes to any or all of these, then you sound like the perfect candidate to serve as a RamFam Ambassador! Our Ambassadors are members of the Ram Family who are looking to build community with other parents and family members in the nearby area. As a RamFam Ambassador, you will get the opportunity to host events at your home or at local establishments, connect with individuals over coffee, or even come to the university to help with events during Ram Welcome and Homecoming and Family Weekend.
At Colorado State University, we value parents’ and families involvement in and support for their students during their collegiate experience. The RamFam Ambassadors program is an excellent way to enhance the connection between families, students, and the university as a whole. The RamFam Ambassadors program centers its values on service, inclusion, and community. Here at Parent and Family Programs, we believe in the power of the collective college journey. Parents and families are critical agents to not only ensuring a positive experience for students, but to also creating a quality university.
Serving as a RamFam Ambassador is the ultimate way to engage with other family members, students, and the broader university. If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador, or learning more about the program, please contact Jaelyn Coates at email@example.com.
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What You Need to Know about the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Effective with the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is now available as of October 1, 2016. Students and families are able to submit the FAFSA earlier AND use their 2015 income and tax information.
When completing the FAFSA, we recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which imports tax information automatically from the IRS, making FAFSA completion much easier. CSU’s Office of Financial Aid will start reviewing the 2017-2018 FAFSA in early-to-mid November and start awarding aid to newly admitted students for the Fall 2017 semester in mid-December, and for continuing students in early spring. We recommend students monitor their 2017-2018 financial aid status in their RAMweb. Authorized users, for example many parents and family members, may also monitor the status via FAMweb as well -- especially for any required documents or forms we may request prior to awarding financial aid.
Please contact CSU’s Office of Financial Aid for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-491-6321, or visit us in Centennial Hall.
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Commencement Information: Celebrate your graduate!
By Haley Katz, CSU Alumni Association
If you have a student graduating in December … congratulations! This is a very exciting time for both you and your student. Since graduation will be here soon, we encourage you to talk with your student about ordering a cap and gown. The deadline to order is Thursday, Nov. 10.*
Grad Pack prices start at $43 and include:
- Cap, gown, and tassel rental
- Alumni Association Annual Membership
- 20% Diploma frame discount
To view additional Grad Pack options or to place an order, click here.
*If your student does not order his or her regalia by Nov. 10, he or she is not guaranteed the proper regalia size or color for Commencement.
Official CSU License Plates make a great gift!
Still looking for the perfect graduation gift? Your student will love to show their Ram Pride on the road with official CSU license plates. The Colorado Annual Grad Pack includes all items in the Annual Grad Pack, plus official CSU license plates!
Learn more about or purchase a Colorado Grad Pack here.
Questions? Please contact the Alumni Association at (800) 286-2586.
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The Art of Adjustment: How to Navigate Relationships When Your Student Comes Home for Break
By The Teahen Family (Hank, Linda and Alexandra,
Class of 2017)
Fall Break is a welcomed vacation from the rigors of studies even if it is only for a few days. For many students, they are going home to their families and for some that live exceptionally far away, this might mean visiting with newly made friend’s families or relatives. No matter what scenario you fall into, the transition and routine change from college-life to once again under a family member's roof may present a few obstacles not always anticipated (and often unrealistic expectations on both parts). Most students want to enjoy the freedom they have experienced since leaving home and often family members want to experience family time again (similar to before your student(s) left home) with rules and expectations.
Well, this could be disastrous if both parties cannot find middle ground to function during this time or what you might call your “new normal”. First and foremost, and generally speaking, most students are exhausted and just want to sleep-in. They look forward to sleeping in their bedroom and crashing on their comfortable, familiar bed. “The thought of eating a home-made meal, sitting in a room bigger than a breadbox watching TV and relaxing with family and friends is heaven.” Oh, and don’t forget the laundry. This all sounds wonderful, right? Well, now the sun starts to set and your student who got up about 11-12 noon wants to see and spend time with their friends. Now comes the most difficult and growth altering part - rules, responsibilities, family time vs friend time and ultimately curfew. Family members may want to revert back to their familiar structure while your student wants to implement and practice their freedom and independence as they have in college- what do you do to keep the peace? Remember that they got up at 11-12 noon so they are definitely not going to bed by 10:00pm; they now want to go out with their friends until they tire sometime past midnight and then start the cycle all over again. Their time clocks have been altered to accommodate studies, classes, and their social lives which will not likely change for the week they are home.
As family members, we need to have patience and understanding in these changes especially since we have encouraged our children to acquire personal growth and maturity away from us. This does not mean that we give up our values or our expectations of them, we just need to adjust the parameters during their time at home that we have previously set for them but in ways that is also comfortable for us. And conversely, our children need to understand that one semester, or year(s), in college does not mean that they come home and act like they are at college or do not have any family obligations - they may need reminding that they are sleeping under our roof, enjoying our meals and most likely receiving some monetary assistance during the school year. Yes, that does mean we still have the “remote control”. It means that we, the family members, still get to make the rules! Our family motto is, “When you are totally independent of us financially, then you can set your own rules; as long as we are providing financial assistance, there are strings attached.” As family members, I believe the majority of us are all working very hard to provide for our students in order to offer them an opportunity to grow, mature and be educated at one of the very best colleges in the United States, Colorado State University. This is an awesome responsibility for us as parents and family members, as well as for our students to understand the commitment on their part.
This life experience, this awesome college opportunity, is certainly a partnership and experience to be shared both by parent(s)/family members and student(s). Colorado State University, Parent and Family Programs, is so unique to our school and is always there for each and every one of us. Their staff is available to guide us through each and every year as we and our students face new challenges, compromises and most certainly independence. Following our own daughter’s college progression, currently a senior this year, we have seen first-hand how her education, growth and awareness have developed into tremendous personal responsibility and accountability. We thank Colorado State University for being an integral part of her life. Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you all have a safe, enjoyable time!
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By CSU Health Network
Helping your student push through and move forward
Students are very familiar with stress. They might also wonder why some of their peers on campus seem to handle their challenges relatively easily while others struggle to meet similar demands. That difference relates to resilience, or grit: the ability to overcome and draw strength from difficult situations. In recent years, researchers have identified protective factors and processes that help individuals cope and explored how those can be nurtured.
Why is resilience so important?
“Resilience skills can help students not just get through college but actually thrive and flourish while doing it,” says Viviane Ephraimson-Abt, Coordinator of Resiliency and Well-Being at the CSU Health Network. “Resilience skills bring out the best qualities in a person and activate desirable behaviors. Resilient students can tolerate change, stress, uncertainty, and other types of adversity more effectively. They are less likely to experience setbacks and diminished work/school performance, ‘learned helplessness,’ and other problems.”
Is resilience born or made?
“Resilience has been very conclusively shown to be a bundle of skills that everyone can learn, develop, and practice. One of the leading researchers calls resilience ‘ordinary magic,’ because it doesn’t require anything fancy or sophisticated to build,” says Ephraimson-Abt.
What builds resilience?
- Hanging in through a challenge
- Learning from experience
- Building strong relationships
- Seeing a challenging situation as a turning point
- Relying on humor and realistic optimism
- Utilizing supportive resources
7 ways to help your student build resilience
Encourage your student to:
1. Think of three good things
Positive experiences are opportunities to identify and build our inner strength.
2. Practice mindfulness
“The Mindfully Managing Stress program helps students find easy ways to manage stress and improve resilience and well-being,” says Ephraimson-Abt. CSU’s Mindfully Managing Stress program is based on evidence based mindfulness interventions, like Koru Mindfulness through Duke University. The program includes a four-week series for students, a weekly drop-in practice group, a one-hour outreach session, an online practice app. and new this year is a half-day Mindfulness Retreat for Students, offered for free on Saturday, November 12th. Click here for more information.
3. Be NUMB to negative thoughts
The NUMB Technique, a four-step process for redirecting one’s thoughts, was developed by Dr. Ilena Boniwell, professor of Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.
Notice the negative thought. Keep an elastic band around your wrist and flick it each time.
Understand it. Why is this thought occurring?
Manage it, using the acronym ACT:
- Active intervention: Walk around the block or run up and down stairs.
- Calm intervention: Take a few minutes to meditate or refocus.
- Talking intervention: Involve a friend or therapist.
Build on the positive emotions.
4. Nourish happy experiences
Our experiences drive our brain development.
5. Identify and apply strengths
- Recall past experiences (good and bad).
- Focus on the strengths that brought that positive experience or helped to overcome that challenge.
- When experiencing difficult situations in the future, think about how to use those strengths to handle challenging situations.
6. Find a growth mindset
To build grit, develop a “growth mindset.” Find ways to remind yourself regularly of the following:
- The ability to learn is not fixed. It can change.
- Failure and setbacks are not permanent and can be overcome.
7. Nurture close relationships
Social connectedness is key to protecting us from stress. Helping friends or family members, and volunteering, can help improve self-confidence, self-worth, and resilience.
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Teach Your Kids to Talk to Strangers
By: Summer S. Shaffer, Career Center
The very sound of the word “networking” often strikes fear in the hearts of students. However, networking is vital to a successful job or internship search. Director of Career Education for the CSU Career Center, Katie Lloyd, shares, “The word “networking” might be tired, but the concept is just as relevant as ever. It’s so important for students to actively engage employers, CSU alumni, friends, family, and others in their job search.”
Family members can help support their student through encouraging networking as a natural part of their college experience. Not only will this help your student feel more confident to participate in networking activities it will also help them move toward a successful future. Lloyd offers, “I tell students to talk to everyone they meet about what they’re interested in. If my best friend is a PR director, and you want to go into PR, I won’t know to connect the two of you unless I know about your interests.”
The spring semester is an ideal time for students to participate in networking opportunities on campus. “Step outside of your comfort zone and start talking to strangers – over 800 employers came to CSU last year – there are so many amazing opportunities to connect. Students are often surprised to find that many people will be willing to help them. They just need to take the first steps and reach out – we can teach them how to do that well. CSU has over 210,000 alumni and our students already have such a common experience with those people. It makes it easier to reach out, and alumni are often willing to give back,” shared Lloyd.
A few networking events for your students to add to their calendars:
For a complete listing of Career Center events visit www.career.colostate.edu.
The Career Center offers 24/7 online training in how to land a job through networking, resume, cover letter and interviewing preparation available to your student via Ram Career Ready. Encourage your student to actively check the Career Center calendar of events for updates and additions. Practice makes perfect, networking is no exception. The more practice your student has the more comfortable she or he will become participating in networking activities.
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HIGHLIGHT: Adult Learners and Veteran Services Office
By Lisa Chandler
The Adult Learner & Veteran Services office specializes in assisting adult learners, student veterans, and student parents adjusting back into an academic setting and in building a community. Our office (LSC 288) is a space available to students for studying or socializing, and we have a small kitchenette completely available to students. Our office connects students with resources both on and off campus for childcare, financial aid, academic support, and so much more. We also run Ram Kidz Village in the Morgan Library, which offers supervised instructional activities for young children while their parents study. Throughout the school year, we offer a variety of programming catered towards adult learners and those with families of their own, including movie nights and picnics. We’re also currently implementing our P.A.V.E. (Peer Advising for Veteran Education) and P.A.A.L. (Peer Advising for Adult Learners) programs, and our Women’s Veteran Initiative in order to make our campus a more inclusive and welcoming space. Our biggest event of the year is our annual Veterans Day 5K (taking place on Saturday, November 5th), which we use to raise money for veteran education. We’re a tight-knit crew with a strong sense of dedication and community, we’d love for you to visit; and the best part is, we always have free coffee!
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Call a Ram
Call-A-Ram students are well into their efforts to talk to you! Colorado State University students have been, and will continue to be calling you -- our CSU parents and families. The Call-A-Ram students provide great insight into CSU from a student perspective and will help you find resources for many of the issues your student may be facing.
They are also calling to fund raise for the Parents Fund. The Parents Fund gives parents and families the opportunity to enrich the lives of all undergraduate students by funding university-wide programs to support leadership, diversity, service and learning. The Vice President for Student Affairs determines where the need is greatest for use of Parents Fund gifts. For example, this year alone, Parents Fund has helped to support the use of translation services for large scale programming, such as Ram Welcome. Parents Fund has also helped to honor the 40th Anniversary of the Black/African American Cultural Center and El Centro - part of the Student Diversity Programs and Services, dedicated to supporting students with diverse identities. Parents Fund has also helped to support the Veteran's Symposium, gathering employers, officials, and campus community members all dedicated to supporting veteran students.
We know families of college students have many expenses, but this is an opportunity to enhance your student's education outside of the classroom. This fund is sustained on donations from numerous families and we appreciate the support you can provide! Thank you!!
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