An FSU Game Day is Like No Other

 

By Calista Flores

Football season is one of the most lively and exciting parts of the fall semester! They are a great occasion for alumni and family members to visit the area and get in on the school spirit along with students. The options on how to spend a Game Day at Florida State are endless, but here are a few of my favorite activities.

A fun and free option is the True Seminole Tailgate. This event starts two hours before kickoff where there are tables and tents right outside of Doak Campbell Stadium filled with food, activities and organizations to engage with.

While you pass by the Stadium, don’t forget to have War Stripes painted on your face by the Lady Spirithunters.

Once you find your seat the Stadium, fans can experience some of our iconic traditions, such as watching Osceola and Renegade charge onto the field and plant their flaming spear right before kickoff and participating in the War Chant as thousands of passionate ‘Noles put their heart into the Tomahawk Chop. If you attend the game, you absolutely have to stay until half time to experience our world-renowned Marching Chiefs performance. It’s a show you won’t regret watching!

For those who don’t want to purchase tickets or just want to beat the heat, fans can park outside the Stadium and throw their own tailgates to experience the Game Day energy. You can also visit some of Tallahassee’s popular restaurants like Madison Social and Spear-It to enjoy amazing food, socialize, and watch the game on their TVs.

No matter how you chose to spend the day, being in Tallahassee during Game Day is an unforgettable time and will give anyone who experiences it a new appreciation for Florida State. For more information about how you or your student can get tickets, visit Florida State Athletics official site.

Within Boundaries, Get to know your Student’s Experience

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By Bridget Duignan

One of my favorite aspects of college is being able to share my experiences with my family.

This first came to fruition when I started talking about my friends on the phone and posting photos on Facebook. When my family and I talk on the phone, not only do they inquire about me and how I am doing, but they do the same when asking how my friends and important people in my FSU experience are doing as well. It makes me feel comfortable to let them know what I am doing and who I am with⁠—and mostly, how happy it makes me. I know that it makes them happy, too!

Because my family has become more familiar with the people I surround myself with, we have established new elements of trust and mutual comfort while they are at home and I am at school. They are now able to see my friends and I reflect in each other and enjoy our collegiate experience.

Of course, this could be a hard topic to approach. Allowing your student to establish the boundaries they feel comfortable with in sharing will allow for mutual trust. Within these boundaries, I encourage families to be involved with a student’s life beyond just the student themselves– include inquiries about friends, professors, acquaintances, and experiences, too!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Florida State

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By Abby Cloud

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Florida State’s campus is bustling with the excitement of celebrating the Day of Love with those they most adore. There are many opportunities for students to get out and have fun this week with friends, partners, and other students alike for a variety of different FSU clubs, organizations, and athletics. 

Check out some events that are taking place on campus and make sure not to miss them!

Donuts and Dog Treats, February 13. Alzheimer’s Project at FSU is hosting a Valentine’s Day Bake Sale on Landis Green from 10am-3pm. This organization at FSU will be selling Krispy Kreme donuts as well as some Valentine’s-themed dog treats for you to share with your favorite furry friend! 

A Lovely Local Comedy Showcase, February 13. Club Downunder/Union Productions are hosting a Valentine’s-themed comedy showcase in the Augusta Conradi Studio Theater from 7-11pm. Some of FSU’s most popular comedy groups, including 30in60, No Bears Allowed, and The Eggplant, will spend the night cracking jokes for their audience. Doors for this event open at 7pm, while the show starts at 8pm.

A Lisa Frank Valentine’s Day, February 14. Club Downunder/Union Productions continues their Valentine’s celebrations with a Lisa Frank-themed Valentines event on Landis Green from 11am-2pm. Come visit and make friendship/relationship bracelets, decorate a Valentine’s Card, decorate a donut, grab some cotton candy, and more! This event is free for FSU students. 

Valentine’s Day on the Red Planet, February 14. For those 21+, this event allows partners to “search for life on Mars” with a space mission simulator at the Challenger Learning Center. Through this simulator, guests can experience what true astronauts and space voyagers go through while on a mission. The Center will also serve champagne and light hors d’oeuvre. This event does require an admission fee and registration. 

FSU Baseball v. Niagara, February 14. If sports are your thing, then you’ll probably want to check out FSU Baseball’s Opening Night on Valentine’s Day! FSU Baseball will kick off their 2020 season against Niagara University at 6pm. Two more games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday as well. Students get in free—all they have to do is show their Student ID at the gate.

Tips for When You Are Struggling Academically

 

By Mike Collins

Hello all! My name is Mike Collins and I am a junior studying biological science from Collierville, Tennessee. Being a STEM major, my classes are not always a breeze to get through. As a result, I have become an expert on where to go if you’re struggling in ANY class!

Office hours and utilizing your Teaching Assistant.

Every single professor and even teaching assistants at FSU is required to hold weekly office hours. This is time they have to spend on answering students’ questions. Moreover, this is a perfect way to develop a professional relationship with your professor and maybe seek out research opportunities of interest with them.

Late night tutoring at Strozier Library.

Perfect for the night owls out there: tutoring over a good number of introductory and intermediate subjects from 9pm–1am that goes from Sunday night to Wednesday night every week! Tutoring is administered by student-tutors who have earned at least a 95 or better in the classes that you’re taking and they are regularly tested on the material. Sometimes, the tutor has had the same professor as you and they can clue you in on what to expect for their exams!

English Reading and Writing Center.

Located right across from Academic for Center Enhancement (ACE)—which is also an amazing resource—this is a perfect way to get your paper proofread before you submit it! Fun fact: students have statistically performed an entire letter grade better on their papers by using this resource.{“type”:”block”,”srcIndex”:0,”srcClientId”:”cd20697b-ebf4-4ae6-80fe-6bc2ea47e09a”,”srcRootClientId”:””}

Prioritizing Your Student’s Mental Health: Where They Can Go on Campus

 

By Tamia Brinson

More often than not, academics can require a lot out of your student and be quite demanding. Between homework assignments and studying, it can be easy for your student to forget or find the time to take care of themselves. Encourage your student to utilize their resources that are dedicated to their mental wellness.

There are quite a few on-campus resources your student can use if they find they might be needing a little extra help with their mental health. University Health Services are located in the Health and Wellness Center, and there is a psychiatry clinic located on the 5th floor that specializes in managing mental wellness.

The University Counseling Center, located in the Askew Student Life Center, is where your student can go to speak to a counselor. They assist students with an array of issues ranging from homesickness and general worries to struggles with relationships and anxiety.

Lastly, there is the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW) located on the 4th floor of the Health and Wellness Center. CHAW encourages students to make healthy lifestyle decisions that will lead to life-long health and wellness. Here, they can get a life coach that will help with tracking their progress and making sure they stay on top of their goals.

Taking steps to take care of your mental health can be intimidating, so be sure to encourage your students to go and let them know that you support them and that you are a resource as well. Academic life can keep your student busy, but it’s important that they prioritize their mental wellness along with their grades.

A Mental Health Checklist for Your College Freshman

By Melissa Fenton; Edited by Abby Cloud

Before your child leaves for their freshman year of college, you will find most of your time is spent making lists. There are lists of all the questions you want to ask at parent orientation. There are lists of financial aid forms to complete, and lists of student organizations they may want to check out when they get there. And don’t even get me started on the lists of all the STUFF you have to buy that they’re gonna need to have for their dorm room. That’s not even a list really,  it’s actually a fully filled out journal of necessary (and some very unnecessary) home furnishing items. Who knew there were 150 types of mattress pads? 

But there’s one college readiness list that you need to write and it may be the most vital list you ever write. I’m talking about a “mental health checklist,” and if you’ve never thought about making this kind of college preparedness list (or didn’t even know this existed or needed to be done), don’t fret, because I’ve put one together for you. 

Most college parents do a fine job of preparing their new freshmen to go away, but unfortunately they often overlook something mental health professionals call “A check up from the neck up,” (and preparing in advance the type of mental health checklist I’ve written for you).  

Where is the campus mental health/counseling center located? You and your student need to find out exactly where this building is located on campus, and when they’re open for walk-in patients. And I mean exactly where and when, because should they need to get there in the middle of a crisis, they may not be able to read a campus map, find a phone number, or research operating hours. In addition, FSU has a phone in counseling hotline option, where a student needing immediate help can reach a therapist by phone, so get that phone number (and hours of operation, building name too!) and program all of that into their phone. Again, in a crisis nobody wants to be looking for phone numbers. 

What services does the FSU mental health/counseling center offer? Now that you know where it is, what are they able to do to help your student when they need services? This will can and will vary by campus, so visit their website during the summer and go over with your student what they can help with, and if they will need an appointment to be seen or have walk-in hours.  Also, find out if they have any type of support groups or group therapy options available, and what is required to join. (Will they need to be seen first?) For example, these are the group therapy options offered by Florida State University’s Mental Health Center.

Where do I get medications filled? Do not even think about sending your kid away without having a pharmacy in their college town already picked out. Again, kids in a mental health crisis, or really when any type of illness happens mental or physical, trying to figure out where they can get meds filled last minute is a major inconvenience. There is a CVS pharmacy located steps off campus, so put their phone number in their phone (or find another of your choosing) so if they’re at an urgent care center, they can quickly tell the doctor where to send scripts. 

(**If your student is currently taking a medicine that has been classified as a controlled substance- like ADHD meds, then they may only be able to receive a 30 day supply at one time. They may also be required to have a doctor’s office visit every 30 days to refill their scripts, so if that is the case, you may need to acquire a physician for your student that is located near campus. Keep in mind if they don’t have a car, the issue of getting to off campus doctor’s appointments will need to be addressed.) 

Finally, there are a few other things that you and your future freshman should talk about before they leave. Try to encourage them to be able to recognize the difference between a bad day and a bad mood, versus a serious mental health concern. College mental health centers are referring to this as resilience building or distress tolerance, and are creating programs to help students differentiate between small and insignificant problems and large and very serious emotional concerns. By this I mean, situations like a fight with a roommate, a failed pop quiz, or a breakup with a boyfriend can all certainly contribute to a dark mood, but do they need to be addressed by a therapist? Or would a long phone call to mom or dad help that student process the situation more clearly and calmly? Make sure to also discuss the variety of physical symptoms that can appear that are directly related to emotional stressors, and vice versa. Is your student feeling suddenly physically ill? Headaches or upset stomachs?  Do they have loss of appetite? Has their sleeping been interrupted and insufficient? (More than what normal college kids endure.) Have they been going through a tough emotional time and now it is causing physical illness? They need to be able to notice that, and that is when it’s time to visit the counseling center.

Having a plan set in place before crises happen (and they will, trust me) is the smartest thing you can do as a parent and student, so do it before they leave. It will help reduce everyone’s stress in the end.

College 101: FSU Resources that Benefit Students

 

By Lily Borror

A common misconception is that you can just skate on by through college and not really have to “try.” Well, this is wrong! It took work to get here and it takes work to stay here.

There are tons of resources that Florida State University gives you to help you succeed, but it is your job to use them to the best of your ability (and yes, this does involve reading).

Here are some of the most important things to utilize frequently as an FSU student.

FSU Email

This is the email given to you by FSU and is how anyone on campus can contact you. You will get a lot of important emails sent to your FSU email address.

Class Syllabi

This is given to you by your professors during Syllabus Week every semester and has all the rules and policies you are expected to follow.

Class Schedules

This is where you can find where your classes are, what they are, who your teacher is, and what time they are.

Class Calendars

This is given out during Syllabus Week by the professor and has all the assignments and due dates for the semester.

FSU Alerts

These are sent out during any emergency on campus or right off campus that would potentially affect you and the FSU community.

Staying Happy and Healthy: Practicing Self Care as a College Student

By Abby Cloud

It’s already a month into the semester and many students could be experiencing a spring semester slump. This time of the spring semester is difficult for students because not only are they dealing with the first big assignments, exams, and due dates around this time, but they are also coming to the realization that their next break is over a month away. 

It’s hard to stay motivated with so much going on, but it’s important that your student takes care of themselves—especially when school becomes overwhelming. Students can become easily frazzled or stressed out, resulting in poor mental and physical health.

To get through moments like these, it is key that your student is making sure that they are taking care of themselves in order to be the best student they can be. Here are some things they can do. 

Manage their time. The number one way for a student to cause stress is by neglecting to finish their schoolwork. Putting off that project or test due in a month will sneak up on them quickly, and unless they want the consequences of turning in a mediocre assignment—poor grades—then it is beneficial to just manage their time in order to submit their best work. Not to mention, managing time between classes now can help in the long run when they have to balance their time more as an adult. Practice doing this now and they will see the results.

Eat healthy meals. College students can be notorious for spending their money on fast food and eating out. However, in order to keep their bodies healthy, students need to consume healthy food items—not greasy fast food every night. Encourage your student to make good choices and eat at their dining hall or to cook meals at their apartment. Eating protein, vegetables, fruits, and more will allow students to absorb the nutritious, vitamin-rich foods that are necessary to keep their body healthy.  Not only will their body thank them, but their bank account will too. 

Get a good amount of sleep. Between extracurriculars, classes, a social life, and more, a college student’s last worry is getting the right amount of sleep. But if they find themselves feeling restless, sluggish, and tired all the time, ensuring they create a fixed sleep schedule will improve their energy and health. While it’s difficult to imagine sleeping as something detrimental to their well-being, getting a good night’s rest will do wonders.

Spend less time on technology. Another way to completely drain yourself is by constantly looking at your phone, computer, and television. Switching between different screens all day long will make students feel tired, create eye strain, and result in headaches for some. Instead of sitting and staring, try encouraging your student to set aside a few minutes each day devoted to being completely technology-free. This could be reading a book, hanging out with their friends, exercising, or something else that fits their interests and hobbies.

Make time for yourself. If your student is consistently finding themselves overwhelmed with school, extracurriculars, work, or other obligations, remind them that it’s okay to make time for themself. It’s not necessarily wise to advise them that they can skip or avoid these responsibilities, but it helps to encourage students to make time for themselves outside of these other engagements. If they that their days are usually consumed with responsibilities and commitments, perhaps they could try to schedule a few minutes devoted to a task or something else that helps them relax at some point during the day.

Getting Creative at FSU

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By Amorie Barton

Creativity and the arts has always been a very important aspect of my life. I love to create new things that everyone can enjoy and I knew I wanted to continue down this creative path at Florida State.

Being a Theatre major has opened my eyes to a world of creative outlets in FSU and the surrounding areas. Even if your student doesn’t want to go into a major in the College of Fine Arts, they can still find ways to engage artistically in the community and with other students.

If your student loves to perform, direct or write scripts there are a variety of opportunities in the School of Theatre and the FSU Film School in addition to opportunities in student based organizations.

Students can audition to be cast in films at the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts, in the School of Theatre’s Mainstage season, and even in the School of Dance’s performance season. The variety of Acapella groups and dance troupes at FSU also encourage students to join.

Outside of this exists an underground section of the performance world known as Student Theatre and Performance. Students can work with student based production companies like the Student Theatre Association, Rogue Productions, or White Mouse Productions. Here you can act, direct, or produce your own work! Totally new and unique forms of art can be created here and can be performed virtually anywhere, whether it be on stage or in a house. You haven’t lived until you go see an original house show created by students.

Outside of this exists many non-performance based methods of artistic expression as well. The FSU Audio Production Club is great for students interested in working with music or audio production in general. The FSU Thrift Club is a great club to join for students who are really into repurposing old clothes, thrifting and creating new clothes. There are also student-run magazines and newspapers if anyone is interested in modeling, graphic design or writing.

There are also many comedy based organizations on campus such as 30in60, No Bears Allowed, and Friday Night Live (FNL). I personally, am a part of the sketch comedy troupe 30in60 and it has honestly changed my life.

The ability to do something you love with other passionate students is invaluable, so if your student is interested in anything artistic, I’d definitely encourage them to get involved here at FSU. Even if they’re interested in something other than what I’ve listed here, I’m sure there’s an organization for them.

I’m Free! Now What?

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By George Guzman

Oftentimes, high school students find themselves yearning for the day they are free from their family’s watchful eyes and can do whatever they please, whenever they want to. College students make sure to take advantage of this freedom, while also having their family around for as long as they can before they officially have to become full-fledged adults.

This phase in the lives of college students is called “adulting,” in which us college kids have to do basically everything on our own, but we still have some support from our parents. This support can be financial, emotional, both, or neither.

Every family is different, and dynamics change whenever your student goes off to college. Make sure to let your students know that you are still there for them once they’re off on their own because all students make mistakes in college, and knowing that someone will support them and understand those mistakes. Communication will be more sparse throughout your student’s time in college, but just remember, these four years in college will teach them more about themselves than at any other point in their lives.

College is a weird time for everyone, but being able to understand this and let your student grow through the experience is all a family can do during this time.