Heading Home for the Break? Sustainable Campus has Some Reminders for Students

if your student is traveling for thanksgiving, please remind them....png

As the excitement about coming home over Thanksgiving Break approaches, FSU’s Sustainable Campus wants parents to take the initiative to remind their students about last minute tasks that should be completed prior to leaving home. Not only will these tasks help out the students as they spend time away from dorms and apartments, but they also have the opportunity to benefit our environment. 

Prepare your student for the break by passing along the following reminders:

Bring home shorts and t-shirts. If your student is coming home, encourage them to bring their warm weather clothes since it will be chilly in Tallahassee for the next several months. They can swap out their wardrobe again during spring break when the weather warms up again.

Donate unwanted items. Holiday breaks are a great time for students to gather up items they no longer need or use and donate them to local thrift shops or drop off locations around Tallahassee. There are several Goodwill donation bins around town where students can drop off items at any time. If students comb through their belongings now, it’s less they’ll have to organize and pack when moving out in the spring. 

Pack strategically. If your student is coming home, encourage them to bring home Halloween/fall decorations, this semester’s textbooks, and anything else they won’t need next semester. This will also save time and space when packing in the spring.

Power down. Remind your student to unplug all their appliances except their refrigerator and turn off any power strips. They should also turn off their heat/AC and shut off all their lights.

Reduce food waste. Encourage your student to eat any perishable food still in their fridge and to donate any non-perishable food to the Food for Thought food pantry on campus.

Trash and recycling. Remind students to take out their trash and recycling before they leave.

Lock up: Remind students to lock their doors and windows, and secure their bike if they have one.

Share. Share these reminders with other parents to help students be prepared.

Sustainable Campus wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Edited by Abby Cloud

Last Opportunity to Apply for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship

By Abby Cloud

Hosted by the Center for Leadership and Social Change, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship is open and currently accepting applications.. The stipend is made possible through the collaboration of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Family Connection Council, and the Black Alumni Association.

Thirteen chosen students will receive awards of $350 that will be issued by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Family Connection Council, and the Black Alumni Association. If chosen as a scholarship recipient the student will receive the award as a check or direct deposit during the fall semester of the following year. The purpose behind the stipend is to assist students in completing their education here at Florida State University. This stipend is awarded on a competitive basis and both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply.  

This stipend has two sets of eligibility criteria: those who receive the FSU Black Alumni Association awards must identify as African America/black and those who receive the Awards from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Family Connection Council can identify with any racial or ethnical background. 

For undergraduate applicants, the criteria to apply is as follows: undergraduate students must have at least 15 credit hours of college work here at FSU before they submit their application for the stipend and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. A full-time undergraduate student should be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours. 

For graduate applicants, the criteria to apply is as follows: first year graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition to these requirements, graduate students should also plan to be enrolled full time at Florida State University for the subsequent academic year. A full-time graduate student should be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours. 

If you have received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship in the past, it is requested that you do not apply again due to the volume of applicants. 

To apply, students must submit a transcript, letter of recommendation, and respond to four essay questions. Applications are due on November 22 by 11:59 p.m.

For more information regarding the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Stipend Scholarship, refer to their website here. To apply for the Book Stipend click here. If you’re seeking further assistance, please contact Kenya Shakir at 850-645-7504 or kshakir@fsu.edu

Staying Healthy on Campus

By Stephen Lemerand; Edited by Abby Cloud

The biggest challenge to staying healthy on campus is that any assistance or guidance your student previously received from family are now restricted to online communication or the times you get to visit. Other than that, your student is on their own, making their own decisions. This can be a great thing. In fact, if your student puts effort into staying healthy, studies show that the habits people adopt during adolescence and/or young adulthood typically predict their health habits later in life. That being said, there are numerous resources available for your student to stay healthy on campus, various faculty and staff members for your student to get help from, and many spaces on campus for your student to utilize.

First of all, the Center for Health Advocacy & Wellness (CHAW) is an outstanding resource your student can use that is located in the center of campus, on the fourth floor of the Health and Wellness Center (HWC). CHAW offers a variety of services. Your student can make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Coaches to receive services and assistance to optimize your student’s nutrition habits to support their overall wellness. Nutrition staff at CHAW embrace a wellness versus weight philosophy to ensure your student’s wellness and health are at the forefront of the focus. CHAW also provides sexual health consultations, testing, pregnancy consultations, and safe sex supplies to ensure your student is informed and prepared if they choose to engage in sexual behavior. In addition, CHAW provides consultations for your student to discuss sex, sexuality, and/or gender issues. In regard to alcohol and drug use, CHAW provides SMART CHOICES programs that provide students with confidential and comprehensive risk reduction. CHAW can also help your student through Tobacco Cessation if they are looking to quit tobacco usage. CHAW also provides individualized educational wellness coaching that can aid your student in improving their overall well-being and academic performance. If your student prefers a group setting, they can attend one of the various, free presentations that CHAW provides.

The other main resource that can aid in helping your student stay healthy on campus is Campus Recreation. Campus Rec follows a “Find What Moves You” mantra. They understand that each student’s fitness level, fitness preferences, and fitness goals are different, and thus, they aim to provide each student with an opportunity to find something that they will enjoy. With two on-campus fitness facilities, the FSU Reservation 15 minutes away, countless intramural and club sports teams, various group classes, personal training, a Rec SportsPlex facility 15 minutes away, and main campus recreation fields, Campus Rec does an outstanding job ensuring your student can find a way to stay active while at Florida State that they feel comfortable doing and will enjoy!

On the 2nd floor of the Askew Student Life Center, the University Counseling Center (UCC) is available for any students that are looking for help with mental health or other personal issues. Students can receive individual, group, or couples counseling. The UCC also offers alcohol and drug services, crisis intervention, eating disorder treatment, and referrals in other departments or services on campus and/or in the community. The UCC also shares some relaxation and wellness tips through their website for students to use, such as helpful smart phone apps and informative reading materials categorized by topic, but it is noted that the resources are not intended as a substitute for assistance by a qualified mental health professional. 

Family Support Matters: How Supporting Your Student Can Assist Them Through College

Once your student starts college, it’ll be a hard adjustment. Between moving from home, living long distances from close friends, and essentially having to start over in a brand new city at a brand new school is a rocky path. While it may appear that your student is transitioning okay, extending your support as a family can do a world of wonders for your student as they go through classes, friendships, realizations, problems, and more.

When you hear “supporting your student through college,” it’s possible that your mind jumps to money; you’ll think of tuition, scholarships, grants, food plans, grocery and gas money, financial disbursements. However, as much as college students love some extra cash and fast food, familial support extends beyond these actions. Support can mean sending a letter to their mailbox, which I can assure you never gets any mail otherwise. Showing support can mean remembering little details they tell you, like if they have a huge exam coming up or if they have an event this weekend with their student organization. Showing support can be sending a good morning or good night text, or calling them sometime in the afternoon to talk about their day. It doesn’t cost much to let your student know you’re thinking of them, whether you’re right across town, nine hours south, or in a different state. 

As the semester goes on and stress about classes is at its peak, the best thing you can do for your student is to support and encourage them. This support can come in brief reminders such as reminding them that it’s important to go to class, take time to study hard for tests, and to make sure they’re taking care of themselves. These actions may seem like you’re babying or being overly-controlling, but it really isn’t; students can use advice from the people that can give it best, which can be their family. No matter what you tell them, they are sure to think about it twice if it comes from you- especially in a caring manner. If your student is particularly struggling with school, consider researching the resources FSU offers to help them. Chances are they are completely overwhelmed or swamped with schoolwork, and if it’s their first year, they might be completely unaware of what to do. By sharing resources like Academic Support from the Academic Center For Excellence or the University Counseling Center, your student will recognize that you’re helping them as best as you can without being there with them. It does take some stress off, but it also keeps them responsible because they have to make the final call for what they do.

As far as a student perspective, many students appreciate the support they receive from their parents in any form. Whether you like to send care packages every once in a while, constantly give them updates from home, or text questions about their classes and schedule, I can assure you they enjoy it even if they don’t always respond (your student would notice right away if you were to stop). It’s the little things that they do notice and appreciate it, mostly because nobody can give you enough attention and love like a family can!

By Abby Cloud