Bobcat Families

The Georgia College Parent and Family Newsletter

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The Big Visit Home

The end of the semester is upon us, and everyone is feeling a sense of relief! That is probably true in your homes, as well. Freshman parents are eagerly awaiting their student's first long break at home after a taxing semester. Parents of seniors may feel bittersweet about the last holiday season at home before their graduate spreads their wings. In any case, the coming weeks will be a much-needed respite from the grind of classes and obligations.

In case you missed the Bobcat Families Webinar Series on "Your Evolving Relationship with Your Adult Child", there are a few ways you can mentally and emotionally prepare for the big visit home. The child who packed up their room in August has experienced many changes since then. The emerging adult you'll be faced with on December 13 may seem a little different to you, and they will likely feel very different about themselves.

While they are surely ready for the comforts of home and family, returning to house rules like chores and curfews may seem like a regression. At college, their time and space are (mostly) their own. That level of freedom might not fly under your roof. Additionally, they may have friends and significant others at home who will make demands on their time, which may leave you feeling cast aside. How can you convey your expectations without starting an argument?

Start with an open conversation about the next three weeks. What family obligations and projects do you expect to be done? Asking, "What are your priorities while you are home?" and saying, "These are the things I want you to do while you're here" gives your student a full picture of what is on their plate so they can manage their time appropriately.

Many parents admit to having hurt feelings over the holiday break. Brace yourself to feel like they are spending time with everyone except for you. Schedule some meaningful time you can both enjoy -- lunch together or a drive to see the lights. The time might never be enough, but quality really is better than quantity.

Finally, embrace the maturity your emerging adult is starting to exhibit. Share family stories, wisdom learned from your youth, and things about your life that have changed since they went to college. Your child will start to share adult experiences and perspectives with you, and that is a beautiful season of both your lives.

Happy holidays, Bobcat families!

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Congratulations to all the families of our December 2019 graduates! Your day of celebration is finally here! Graduation Day is a time for jubilation, but it can quickly turn stressful. Please review the following information to make this momentous day nothing but joyful!

  • Commencement for all Fall 2019 graduates is Saturday, December 14. Doors to the Centennial Center open at 11:00 a.m. All guests must be seated by 12:45 p.m., when the processional will begin.
  • There is limited seating for guests with disabilities or mobility issues. There will be two rows of reserved seating on either side of the arena, including 12 wheelchair spaces. One member of your party may sit with your guest who requires accessible seating, and the remainder of your guests will need to sit in the general seating areas. Because space is limited, guests needing accessible seating should plan to arrive early.
  • Please do not bring items like large purses, bags, balloons, noise makers, food, or drinks with you to the ceremony.
  • Following the ceremony recessional, you will meet your graduate at the reception, which will be held in the Centennial Center behind the west bleachers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Registrar's Office at 478-445-6286 or Congratulations on this important milestone for your student and your family! We look forward to celebrating with you this weekend!

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Save the date for Siblings Day 2020! Younger siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and family friends are invited to spend the day with their favorite college kid on Saturday, February 8, 2020. More information coming soon to!

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Tips for Winter Break

As soon as final exams end, students jump in their cars and rush home to begin their breaks. In addition to studying and enjoying the festivities happening around campus, encourage your student to take a few moments to prepare their home-away-from-home for the long break. Whether they live in a campus residence hall or in an off-campus house or apartment, a little preparation will make both their break and return in January worry-free.

Residential Students

Students living in the residence halls have been given detailed instructions for Winter Closing. Trash must be removed, mini refrigerators must be defrosted, and thermostats must be set to the lowest heat setting, just to name a few. Your student doesn't need to bring everything they own home, but they should think carefully about the things they will need as they won't be permitted to re-enter the halls until Sunday, January 5. The Village at West Campus will remain open, so students can come and go as they please, but they can avoid an unnecessary trip by planning ahead for the things they will need.

Off-Campus Students

Students living off-campus need to be aware that holiday time is when break-ins are most common. Make sure all windows and doors are locked securely. If a security system isn't in place, an inexpensive wireless security camera can give them peace of mind while they are away. Putting lights on a plug-in timer can also give the impression that the house is not vacant. Make sure trash cans and recycling bins are wheeled away from the street to avoid municipal fines.

A few other tips:

  • Give your space a good cleaning right before you leave.
  • Make the bed with clean sheets. One less thing to worry about when you return!
  • Toss out all snacks. They'll be stale (or worse) when you get back.
  • Don't forget your fishy friends! You would be shocked at the number of fish and aquatic animals left behind over school breaks.
  • Submit any work orders or maintenance requests before you leave. Housing Facilities and apartment maintenance offices use this quieter time to make repairs and improvements.

You weighed in...

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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.