Bobcat Families

The Georgia College Parent and Family Newsletter

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Inside April 2020

  • Empty Nest No More
  • New Counseling Resource: TAO
  • #GCUnited for Our Whole Community
  • Student Resources

Empty Nest No More

No one expected this. We may as well call 2020 "the unprecedented situation" for as many times as we've heard that phrase. Your college student certainly wasn't planning to return home so soon and without much notice. You probably weren't mentally prepared to share all of your time and space again, either. Sure, you would welcome a weekend visit; you may have even been looking forward to summer break. But to have them come home in the middle of the semester and for such a long time? There are bound to be some growing pains.


Stacked against the very real fears many are facing, like the threat of illness and job insecurity, having to adjust to a full house may seem like a petty woe. But living in close quarters with the stress of school work and working from home, mixed with the constant uncertainty about the future and inability to escape make for a high stress cocktail. These challenges can have a profound effect on us and should not be discounted.


There is no advice I can give that is better than the many articles and blog posts that have been published in recent weeks. I will link to some of those below and add my key takeaways. What I hope you will see is that whatever you are feeling is normal. Your student's transition to online learning is hard, and your own challenges are equally valid. Take care of yourself first -- you cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of your family next. We can't wait to see you all back on our beautiful campus. Be well.


What happens when college kids leave the nest -- and the coronavirus sends them back

by Amy Joyce for The Washington Post, March 16, 2020


  • This return home is not a break. We all need to keep our routines.
  • Setting boundaries at home will keep the peace and keep you safe.
  • This is temporary.


Helping College Students Cope with COVID-19

by Dr. Marcia Morris for Psychology Today, March 29, 2020


  • Mental health and mindset are most important at this time, for everyone.
  • Four key elements of mental health -- SHHH: Structure, Health, Happiness, and Hope
  • *Note: GC Counseling Services is available for tele-counseling and is offering group workshops. Now is a great time to get a mental and emotional "tune-up".


Your College Student is Home: 6 Tips to Help You All Get Through

by Katie Collins for Grown & Flown, April 6, 2020


  • Your internal clocks feel all wrong because this is all wrong.
  • Parents have many competing obligations, and that's OK.
  • Physical space is hard to come by, but give each other mental space.


'I'm in High School Again': Virus Sends College Students Home to Parents, and Their Rules

by Dan Levin for The New York Times, April 8, 2020


  • Students aren't the only ones struggling! Parents are equally challenged by this situation.
  • Families are finding new ways to enjoy each other's company.
  • Again, this is temporary.

New Counseling Tool for Students

Counseling Services at Georgia College is excited to offer a new tool to supplement their one-on-one services (which are still accessible virtually!) All Georgia College students can now access a free self-help platform called TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) to help build their resilience and coping skills. TAO provides modules and resources for students to explore at their own pace on topics like mindfulness, anger management, relationships, avoiding drama, and coping with anxiety.


TAO will not replace therapy for everyone, but it can be a wonderful tool in between appointments or for students who aren't sure counseling is for them. To learn more about TAO at Georgia College, visit https://www.gcsu.edu/counseling/tao.

#GCUnited for Our Whole Community

By now you have probably seen the hashtag #gcunited all across university social media. We are using this unifying tag to remind each other that we are in this together, and we are still a community, even when separated. Last week we launched gcunited.gcsu.edu with news, programs, information updates, and stories of the great things Bobcats are still doing in their communities.


GC Student Life, University Advancement, Continuing Education, Academic Affairs, and so many others are providing regular virtual programs and resources to keep our whole community engaged. That includes our parents and families! We know you need an occasional diversion from your work and the state of world affairs. We also need reminders that our physical campus (though we miss it desperately!) does not define our community. We are Bobcats, no matter where we are.


A few examples of #GCUnited programs featured on social media and on gcunited.gcsu.edu:


  • Daily fitness classes hosted by the Wellness and Recreation Center
  • Museum Mondays hosted by the GC Alumni Association
  • Mindfulness and Meditation workshops hosted by Counseling Services
  • Weekly discussion of "Dolly Parton's America" podcast hosted by The Women's Center


You are part of our community. Join in these programs with your student or on your own. We're still here, and we're not going anywhere!

Student Resources

Georgia College Helping Hands Fund

The GC Helping Hands Fund provides emergency relief for students facing dire financial need during this time. Gifts of any amount make a big difference in the lives of our students. Thank you!

Contact

Emily Jarvis is the director of parent and family programs at Georgia College. She holds an ABJ and MA from the University of Georgia. Her professional experience in higher education includes the areas of international education, residence life, student conduct, and parent and family engagement.