There have been many articles written lately about the struggle for students and families alike to suddenly have their college-aged students home again. This requires all sorts of adjustments: students – who had previously been making all their own decisions and living independently – may not be ready to conform to the expectations of their families. Families may be expecting different levels of personal grooming, help around the house, presence at meals, etc. than their students are ready to give. As the old saying goes, things are tough all over.

My counterparts at George Fox University came up with a series of questions and reminders for parents and families during this time of COVID-19, and I wanted to share them (they are slightly adapted). Here goes:

ASK your students “What would be helpful for me to do as you study/take your classes?”

REMIND your students that even though this experience is hard, they CAN do it.

ADJUST your own expectations. We are living and working in shared spaces like never before.

AFFIRM your student’s feelings. This semester is not the one any of us were hoping for.

REMEMBER that your student may have been suddenly thrust back into their home – and may feel like they are stuck in their former ‘child’ role.

UNDERSTAND that you are not being judged on your student’s performance or success. That is all theirs to own on their own.

CELEBRATE the big and little things. Whether that is “I put on pants today” or “I successfully connected to an online class” to “I made a sourdough starter” or whatever, we have to find joys where we can.

Kudos to George Fox University for this great list.

An important update came out today from the University Counseling Center: several states have made temporary adjustments to the regulations that govern the provision of therapy during COVID-19. These changes allow fully-licensed clinicians from other states to provide teletherapy to ongoing clients in those states. Please see the full message here for more information about the specific states in which the UCC is currently able to practice. Important to note that while most state laws still prohibit UCC staff from seeing new clients from out-of-state, the Counseling Center is still available for consultation and bridging care (i.e. helping students get connected to a therapist in their area) for any WFU student.

As we close today, here are a few webgems for you.

Our series with Chaplain Tim Auman continues today with Where Are You? This is about how we reimagine our lives in this unprecedented and uncertain time.

One of our students, Declan Sander (’23), is building a virtual Reynolda Campus in Minecraft. Totally cool.

Today is Earth Day, and if your students had been on campus, there would have been a lot of activities to enjoy. Our Office of Sustainability has gone virtual and they have a lot of great stuff on their website, including the Voices of Earth Day podcast, which is an audio storytelling project done in collaboration with students in the spring 2020 Journalism class “The Art of Audio.”

Dr. Chris Zarzar of Biology brought his dog into his video lesson on Instagram. Sweet Leila helped teach wind movements in tornadoes.

Speaking of Instagram, our friends in Campus Life are featuring their pets.

Wake Forest Law Professor Marie-Amélie George went viral on Twitter asking her students to send pictures of their pets doing classwork. “An underappreciated genre,” she says, and I concur! You can search for hashtags #WoofForest #MeowSoDear, and/or #WakeFromHome.

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

Categories: the daily deac

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