And for those of you who don’t like pollen, there’s pollen

Pollen lines the streetsA witty SOS note written in pollen on a carIf you aren’t familiar with NC spring, we have reached the part of the season where there is a faint, greenish tinge all over cars in parking lots, and there are these big bundles of pollen that are all over the streets.  I was actually driving through a neighborhood the other night and in front of someone’s house, some kids had made a tiny pollen man – like a snowman, only made of pollen.  Stick arms and I think might have had a hat and everything.  Wanted to stop and grab a pic but because I was driving, I did not.  Here are a few pictures – none of this from Wake, mostly Google, but it gives you an idea of what things look like.

Something to look forward to a week from now is Wake the Library, when our friends at the ZSR will be open 24/7 for students during exam week; this begins April 27th and runs till May 4th.  Wake the Library regularly features lots of food – such as pizza, chicken biscuits, sandwiches, burritos, plus the much-needed coffee and tea.  For those who need a break in a long study session, there will be the Relaxation Station in the atrium and the ZieSta Room, a 24-hour napping room with recliners.

Also wanted to pull out a question that one of you had asked a few weeks ago on our “Ask Me Anything” form:  “how can students best utilize their time on campus?”  I get that question fairly regularly, along with this related one: “how can I get my student to take advantage of all the resources on campus?”  Neither of those are easy questions.

In terms of utilizing time, there are many competing priorities: academics (both literally being in class, but also prepping with homework, reading, studying), a social life with friends, some activity towards their physical wellbeing (running, yoga, sports, walking, etc.), time for personal reflection, fun, etc.  The strategy I have often heard students use is the “treat school like work” method – where between the hours of 8 (or 9) am and 5 pm they are either actively in class, studying/homework, with a break for lunch.  Having the daylight hours for work gives them the evening hours for play.   That may or may not work for your student, but I have heard enough Wake kids offer that advice that it bears repeating.

In terms of taking advantage of everything Wake has to offer…my observation is a lot of it has to do with a student’s personality.  I have known some students who have very well-developed senses of ‘these are things I want to accomplish at Wake’ and they tackle each of those items one by one, often in a very efficient, straight-line progression.  I have also known other students who don’t yet have a firm idea of what they want to do/study (or even who they are or what they feel passionate about) and their journey is much more about discovering themselves and their likes/dislikes; their path meanders and wanders like an old river. Ditto for using resources – some students visit many offices and access lots of support – and others do far less of that.

Both of these types of students are OK (as well as all the others in the middle).  Student’s don’t have to know everything – or do everything – at this point.  They are at a developmental place where they are sorting out the ’emerging adult’ version of themselves.  There is not a right way and a wrong way – only what is right for your particular student.

We as adults tend to look at students with our adult eyes and our adult perspectives.  It’s natural for us to want students to do things like ‘be efficient’ and ‘take advantage’ because we know from our own experience that this is useful in adult jobs and worlds.  But they aren’t adults yet.  To be 100% honest with you, I didn’t take advantage of but a *sliver* of what Wake had to offer in terms of lectures and support and resources and mentoring.  I did what made sense to me at the time – what was fun, what I enjoyed, and I was nurturing lifelong friendships – and I daresay I turned out OK 😉

My money is on the fact that your Deacs will turn out great too, no matter where they fall on the spectrum.


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