An Introduction to Online Higher EducationSuzanne Shaffer
The weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break are tough on students. No way to sugarcoat it. They are buried in work: reading, exam preparation, final projects, paper writing, etc.
Some first-year students experience another wave of homesickness after the Thanksgiving holiday. Seniors are extra stressed as they work on theses and capstone projects while applying for jobs and graduate school.
You may not hear from your student much, or at all. This is natural and most likely okay. They need space, but they also need encouragement and support.
What are the best ways to help?
When you do talk — or in a quick text or letter — you can reinforce strategies for getting through finals healthy and whole.
They should keep their eye out for finals support events on campus at the student union, health center, etc. and reach out for stress relief through the counseling center.
Understand that they may not have time for the usual phone calls. Send an occasional text/social message that doesn’t require a response. Write a letter!
Check in to confirm their travel plans and offer to help if needed.
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