From the Executive Director

Here we are, more than halfway into the semester. Your students have survived midterm assignments and tests and most likely, they are tired and ready to enjoy a long Thanksgiving break this month!

But until that point, I thought it would be helpful to address some of the things we see students struggle with at this point each year:

  1. Many students are battling colds and flu symptoms. How can parents help? When you talk with them, remind them that sleep is not overrated! Encourage them to get enough sleep, eat regular and healthy meals, and wash their hands often throughout the day. We know these practices help keep us healthy, and our students know it, too. But, when we get busy, frequent reminders for how we can help ourselves are helpful.
  2. Less social students may be battling loneliness. Especially for freshmen students, this can be a difficult time of year. If your student still hasn’t found friends, or a place of meaningful connection, you may hear talk of not returning for next semester. How can parents help? Encourage your student to take small steps. Steps might include remembering to smile (happy people are more approachable) and joining a student club (some students resist doing this until they are accustomed to the academic rigor). The best suggestion you can give them is to share their feelings with their RA, or with someone in the counseling center. George Fox is full of lovely people who desire that all students feel included and connected.
  3. Speaking of academic rigor, the stress of managing syllabi and multiple assignments and tests can be overwhelming for many students at this point in the semester. How can parents help? Encourage your student to talk with his or her professors and to meet with academic advisors to revisit plans for next semester if necessary. Also, it might be a good idea to ask your student about his or her time management practices. You may be able to help them identify additional study time.
  4. Money management struggles may be showing up as many students are learning how to manage credit cards and checking accounts. How can parents help? I came across a wonderful resource for students and parents at This site offers a helpful video for students to learn from the mistakes of others. It may prove to be useful for your family.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you know how thankful we are for the opportunity to partner with you during your student’s college journey. Have a blessed family time at the end of the month!

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations