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Turkey in One Hand, Book in the Other?

Hello parents!

    First, let me make a happy little Thanksgiving season announcement. Last Friday, at the national Association of Higher Education Parent Programs Professionals (AHEPPP) conference, BU Parent Programs won an award for “Most Creative Institutional Initiative” for the Bellarmino Vino event held in September.  So here’s a Thanksgiving,” thank” you for all you BU parents who have been so supportive and involved with our university. We, quite literally, couldn’t do it without you!

On to business–Now is the time of year when your students are anxiously preparing to wind down the semester. many of them, especially freshmen, will be confronted with a bit of a shock. That shock often manifests as a remark something like this: ” I am actually going to spend my Thanksgiving working on a paper,” or, “I can’t believe I have test right after break, so I’ll be studying the whole time.” Many students are surprised to discover that they are obligated to do, at the very least, some academic maintenance over their breaks in order to make sure they’re prepped when they come back.

Having said that, I’d like to clarify something. Professors do not craft syllabi, assignments, and projects in such a way that students should be skipping stuffing and pie and family Scrabble in order to finish big projects. No student should be under such pressure that he or she should spend the majority of the holiday holed up with books and papers. Often, students are a bit put off when they realize that, for the first time, them must take a small portion of their holiday to continue their work, and when that happens, they tend to exaggerate. On the other hand (I must admit, I was one of these students) some procreastinators count on the holiday weekend to catch up on work, or complete that big project they’ve put off, and so end up buried under school work, but by their own fault.

My point, here, folks, is that students should probably be doing some upkeep on their studies and assignments over the upcoming holiday break, but it’s nothing that should intrude on valuable family time or cause undue stress. Encourage them to do a could hours of work in the mornings of afternoons, just to keep with with everything in a balanced way (no student should need to spend all of Sunday cramming in a bunch of last minute work due Monday, either), and remind them that, for a lot of us there are obligations that we would rather forget and set aside over the holidays, but on the steady path toward adulthood, ignoring responsibilites ceases to be an option (perhaps some of you can word it in a more appealing way–my phrasing makes it sound so stuffy, doesn’t it?).

Anyway, here’s hoping we all have a safe, happy Thanksgiving and get a lot done.

Jessica Hume
BU c/o 2005
Director of Writing and Parent Communications

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About Cassie

I'm the Director of the Writing Center and Director of Parent Communications at Bellarmine University.

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