Bobcat Families

The Georgia College Parent and Family Newsletter

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Dealing with a Loss in College

Many students will experience a loss during their time at college. The death of a family member, friend, or even a beloved pet brings about grief that can be hard to overcome, especially being away from home and family. For parents, helping students move through the grieving process and come out whole on the other side involves supporting them from afar, utilizing campus resources, and looking out for signs that grief is becoming something more serious.


Support from afar. When your student is struggling emotionally, the distance from your home to Milledgeville feels like a world away. Your instinct may be to check in every day, even several times each day. Listen to your student's signals. They may need that extra reassurance from you for a time. Eventually, they will be ready to get back to life as usual. But if they begin to isolate themselves or if they are unable to be independent, it may be time for you to seek out additional resources. It is also helpful to have a way of contacting a roommate or close friend to check in unobtrusively if you begin to worry.


Campus resources. To properly care for your student, we want to know about life-changing events like the death of a loved one. Georgia College is committed to helping students persist when they are ready. If your family experiences a loss, please contact the Office of Parent and Family Programs so we can notify the right people to support your student. From facilitating necessary absences to making a connection with Counseling Services, we can help ease some processes so you can focus on caring for each other.


Monitoring grief. You know your student better than anyone. A wide range of emotions during grief can be completely normal. But if your student seems to be experiencing prolonged depression, thoughts of despair or self-harm, or other concerning behaviors following a loss, it might be time to seek help. Unhealthy coping strategies might include:


  • Extreme changes in appearance or personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol use, overeating, or under-eating
  • Over-involvement in academics or social activities to avoid dealing with emotions


If you sense that your student isn't coping well, we can help them connect to Counseling Services or an off-campus provider. Individual sessions, group grief counseling, and direction to resources can give your student the strategies and support they need to overcome a hurdle -- not just to be academically successful, but to develop lifelong well-being.

Siblings Day | Saturday, February 8

Registration for Siblings Day is now open!


Siblings Day welcomes the younger brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and family friends to spend the day as a college kid with their favorite Bobcat! Participants ages 8-17 will experience interactive games, chill hang-outs, and plenty of Bobcat spirit.


For full event details, visit www.gcsu.edu/parent/events.

From Here to Midterm: An Advising Primer

"Don't worry mom/dad. I met with my advisor!" That phrase quells many worries, but the advising process is a big mystery for many parents. Here is what students are experiencing with advising from now until midterm. (We recommend printing the helpful infographic at the bottom to stick on the fridge!)


First Week of Class: January 6-11

During the week of drop/add, advisors were available on a drop-in basis to help students with all their first week schedule needs. The Advising Center assisted 1,052 students during the first week! Drop-in advising will be available throughout the Spring semester.


Registration Advising: January 13 - March 6

The early bird definitely gets the worm when it comes to registering. In the next few weeks, advisors will be e-mailing students about setting up their Registration Advising appointments. Encourage your student to schedule early!


Midterm Grades: February 25

Students will receive a midterm progress grade by this date, which helps them know where they stand in a class. They should talk with their professors if they are concerned with their midterm grade, even if they have a "Satisfactory".


Last Day to Drop with a 'W': March 2

The Advising Center will offer drop-in advising on March 2 so students who are considering dropping a course can see an advisor before the 5 p.m. deadline.


Registration Week: March 9-12

Students should register as soon as their registration period opens! The Advising Center will be available all week to assist. Students can drop-in Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. for assistance.

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Soup to Recoup

We are at the peak of cold and flu season, and it's difficult for students to stay well when they are living and working in close quarters. University Housing offers a service, free of charge to parents, called Soup to Recoup. When your student is under the weather and you can't care for them yourself, housing staff will deliver a microwavable bowl of soup and a get-well card to their room.


To request a Soup to Recoup delivery for your student, simply complete this form. The comfort of knowing you're thinking of them should have them feeling better in no time.

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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.