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Articles: How Can I Be a Good Parent All Year?

September: Labor Day (no classes)

Learning to adjust to campus life and a new community can be stressful. You can help your student by encouraging them to participate in student activities and learn about the community they now live in. Research suggests that students who go home every weekend tend to have more difficulty adjusting to college than those who limit their visits.

Although most parents "live" for their student’s visits, it is important for you to establish a life without your student. The "empty nest syndrome" is best overcome by staying active, developing outside interests, and strengthening relationship ties with your spouse, family and/or friends. Remember -- your student does best when he or she knows that home is "okay."

October: Fall Visit / Parents' Day

While you are welcome to visit the campus at any time, this day is set aside for families and friends to visit. Come see HLG in full swing! You'll have the opportunity to spend some time with your daughter or son and also check out Hannibal's tourist attractions. In any case, set this day aside on your calendar -- you won't want to miss it!

October: Fall Mid-Semester Exams

These tests are scheduled close to the fall break. During this period, most new students will be taking their first set of college exams. This can be a very stressful time, mainly because they are not sure of what to expect. Midterms are often the first tangible measure of students’ academic performance and allow them to determine if their study habits are productive. If your student is experiencing difficulty, strongly urge him or her to contact his or her advisor or instructor.

October: Fall Break

This will probably be your student's first extended visit back home. New students are often eager to share with their parents the new thoughts or ideas they have developed during the first few weeks of class. Remember that your student has been exposed to a lot of new experiences, but don't panic! Give your student the opportunity to tell you what college is like. Keep in mind that your student will probably want to spend time with friends from high school and/or sleeping. For a variety of reasons, this break is likely to seem all too short!

November: Thanksgiving Break

Family traditions and gatherings are important to your student. Although they may seem to only "pop in and pop out", they do look forward to familiar sights, faces, smells, and goodies. This is a great time to reminisce about all the good things the family has experienced. If your student is unable to go home for the holidays, spend time discussing ways to connect with a church "watch care” program, relatives, and/or local family. Adopted "moms and pops" are wonderful to have during the holidays.

December: Fall Semester Finals

For new students this can be the most difficult part of the semester. Although cramming and all-nighters are highly discouraged and pretty worthless, they are a college tradition and most new students will give them a try. Another care package is a timely gesture of support. Your student will love it. Remember that your student has been through a great deal of change and adjustment during the first semester. Their grades may not be as high as they or you would like. On the average, college performance will be about the same as for high school, or perhaps a bit lower -- because of the difference in academic rigor. Remind them that they have had to deal with a lot more that just academics, and let them know that you have confidence in their abilities.

December – January: Christmas Break

By the time students make it through finals week, they are ready for a break. Most want nothing more than some down time when they arrive home for winter break. This can be difficult to remember or accept since you've been eagerly awaiting their visit. Allow your student time to rest and adjust to being home. Students have lived independently for a semester and have established new habits such as: sleeping late on weekends; eating whatever they want; and, taking naps during the day. Be aware that your student may resist restrictive rules or expectations. It takes compromising on both sides to make this a fun and relaxing break.

January: Residential Housing Opens

By now your student is feeling comfortable with residence living. Again, there is the opportunity to request room changes after the second week in the semester.

January: New Student Orientation

New students will participate in orientation and receive important information about registration, residence living, student activities, and campus services.

January: Day Classes Begin

Spring semester presents challenges for many students, especially those in their first year. Some students struggle with homesickness, finding it hard to readjust after being in the supportive and comfortable environment of home. Others may welcome the return of their independence; yet feel overwhelmed by the demands of a new semester imposed after a seemingly too-short break.

Spring Fever!

When spring arrives, trees bud and green grass reappears. But for many students, the ability to focus may begin to wane! You will probably hear the word "burnout" mentioned more than once. Conversations about time management, support services, proper nutrition and exercise, and good decision-making may help offset this common occurrence.

By this time, many first year students are very comfortable in the college environment and thrive on feelings of confidence and self-assurance. They attempt to establish their own identity and changes take place in attitude and appearance! They want to "change" with the season. As you and your student shop for that "new spring look" please keep in mind the appearance guidelines found in the Student Planner: PLEASE NOTE INAPPROPRIATE ATTIRE: Tight fitting or revealing clothes; exposed undergarments; clothing displaying alcoholic beverages, tobacco, profane language, suggestive or derogatory phrases, symbols or pictures; sleep wear (except in housing units); athletic practice or game clothing (except in the Sports Complex or Athletic Fields). Sleep wear must not be worn during open lobbies and open visitation. Blouses, tops, and shirts must be of sufficient length to cover the beltline. Shirts and footwear must be worn on campus and in all college facilities, including public areas in housing units.

March: Spring Break

For many students, the tradition is to spend Spring Break with friends on a fun-filled vacation or mission trip. Other students will use this time to search for a summer job. Regardless, your student may be scarce during this busy week. You may need to negotiate time spent with them. Find some time together that you can both agree on and make the most of it -- the week will fly by!

Mission Opportunities

Since the college is committed to the spiritual as well as the academic and social development of individuals, a strong emphasis upon spiritual life and activities will be evident on our campus. Opportunities for Christian service include mission trips during school breaks and service opportunities through various organizations and local volunteerism.

April: Easter Break

Students are welcome to stay on campus for the duration of this break.

May: Spring Semester Finals

Students are now a little more comfortable with finals. They know what to expect, and regardless of how grades turn out, it will all be over soon. Still they encounter new decisions such as where to live next year, with whom to live, what to do over the summer, and how to get their belongings home. Therefore, in the midst of making plans for your student's return, help them to stay focused on the task of studying for finals.

Summer Break

The end of the school year marks another separation, this time from fellow students with whom their lives have become intertwined. While you look forward to your student's return, remember that they will be parting with their friends. They may feel caught between two worlds.

Residence Hall Closing

Departure time for each individual student is no later than 6 hours past the student's last examination. When a student has an exam on the last scheduled day of finals, the student’s departure time is no later than 5:30 p.m. Students wishing to stay on campus during the summer must either take classes or have a job, and apply for housing in the Student Development Office. Summer housing is charged by the month. Meals are not served.

Contact Information

Student Development Office