Celebrations have occurred, another verse of “Auld Lang Syne” has been sung, resolutions made, yes, we have successfully ushered in 2016. Hopefully as January rapidly approaches, you are considering your goals and resolutions for the New Year. We will excitedly welcome students back to campus in two and 1/2 weeks. The best part of the New Year is the ability to start fresh. As your student starts a new semester consider what resolutions/goals they may have set for 2016. If you are not sure, ask the next time you talk, text, or email. I challenge you to consider the power of the question this year. When your son or daughter calls home with a challenge; consider asking one of the following questions. You will provide them a platform to discuss as well as helping them to re-direct negative thoughts. Through these questions and the dialogue between you and your student, you will help them to find their personal resolve and success in 2016; ensuring their resolutions don’t plunge like the Ball Drop in Times Square.
1. Why are you here?
Time is finite and in the fast paced world we live in fleeting. Therefore, it is important to constantly remember “why we are here.” Whether this question is posed with a larger focus of “why am I here on earth,” or a more specific pondering “why am I a student here at Bellarmine University,” the answer will drive the individual to stay focused. Whether your student is struggling with missing friends back home or is struggling with balancing academic and co-curricular involvement,
2. Can you think of any habits you have which may negatively impact your success?
The New Year often brings renewed commitment to replacing old habits with new initiatives. Disorganization is suddenly improved with the use of a planner, folders, and intentional attention to the problem spots. Doing poorly in class is a thing of past, with committed study hours, getting to bed by 10:00, and attending study sessions. Discuss your negative habits/challenges with your student, which will make it easier for them to disclose what they may struggle with. Hold each other accountable and help develop a plan for success.
3. What positive can you take away from this?
Often it is not possible to control the situations or challenges that life throws are way, however, we can determine our reaction. The next time your student calls home frustrated with a grade, policy, or difficult situation, challenge them to find the positive.
4. What will you gain by giving up?
As the old adage goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. As many of us know, we hope that trying again and again will eventually result in something beneficial. Funny, how the experiences that often yield the most rewards are those that test us and require tenacity one can only find by digging deep. Help your student stay on track by offering encouraging words, taking note of and rewarding accomplishments. These positive moments will make it easier to, dust off and try again.
5. How do you want to remember this?
Each moment of the day is a memory in the making. Imagine if we held that in the forefront of our mind each day. Would we engage in more? Would we be more intentional? Your students four year experience at Bellarmine will begin and end quickly, help your student remember to make each day count. Encourage your son or daughter to get the most from the experiences being offered here on campus each day.
May your 2016 be full of new adventures, many opportunities, and memories to last a lifetime.
Interim Assistant Vice President for
Student Affairs/Multicultural Affairs