Humboldt State University
Letter from Humboldt
December 2009

Hello Humboldt families! We hope this newsletter helps keep you involved with your student's experience at Humboldt State.

'Tis the Season

Dorothyann Guido

DottieAbout the editor – Dorothyann Guido is from Dana Point, Calif., and is a Journalism major with a concentration in Public Relations. She is a student writer with HSU Marketing & Communications. Her hobbies are writing short stories and living life to the fullest

It's the end of the semester. No doubt you've gotten used to the empty house, and your student has gotten used to the freedom and change of college life. I remember my first Christmas back home: It was a month of joy (and struggles) reconnecting with my family, trying to keep my freedom while still respecting my grandparents' rules.

Whether your student is new to the university experience or has been away from home for years, returning home for the holidays will be a time of readjustment. Plus, holidays can be just plain stressful. Encourage everyone to be patient with each other. And hopefully the break will include some fun amid all the plans, with a dash of simply basking in each others' presence.

Here are some tips for getting used to spending time together again (from These are geared toward students who are newly away from home but will give more seasoned families a chance to reminisce about that time of transition:

  • Remember, not only has your student changed, but the family dynamic may have changed too. You may be used to differences at home – perhaps fewer disruptions, perhaps a quieter house or not having to share the car.
  • Your student has been independent at school. They have been free to sleep, eat, and come and go as they wanted. Reentering the family routines may feel restrictive. Negotiate compromises and set clear limits.
  • Your student will probably come home exhausted from classes and final exams. They may need to sleep – and eat comfort food. Home is their sanctuary right now and down time is important.
  • Students will want to catch up with their hometown friends. They're anxious to talk about their new lives and spend time reconnecting.
  • Recognize that this may be a hard time for your students. They long for the nostalgia of family life yet want to be adults with independence. They may be happy being with family, but they also want to be adults with independence. They are not necessarily pulling away from the family; they are trying to find a new place in the family structure.

If your student is staying in Humboldt for winter break, there is fun to be had—and practical details to consider:

  • If your student lives on campus, they will need extra money (not j-points) to buy food. A few on-campus food stores, including the South Campus Marketplace and The Giant's Cupboard, will be open on certain days.
  • There are CAs (community advocates) on campus if students need assistance during break. There are two pager numbers posted around campus that students can call for assistance: 845-6027 or 845-6028.
  • Restaurants near campus cater to students and local stores are glad to see students still in town.
  • Students can still ride the local buses for free so they can explore places like Eureka, Trinidad and beyond.

Most of all, relax for the holidays. Enjoy your student and the time you spend together—you may have less of that in the future. I wish all of your students safe travel, and happy holidays to everyone!

Overheard this month on the family network »

"My daughter's Amtrak experience was wonderful. We ordered her tickets on the Amtrak website about two weeks before her trip and they arrived in her mailbox two days before her departure. She arranged to have City Cab pick her up in front of The J around 6:00 a.m. The cab fare was just $6…Although a long trip, she was happy to be home. The return trip went equally well. She is a bit fearful to try new things so this was a big step to travel on her own for the first time and was a great freshman year experience."

Read more from HSU families. Or, if you're not part of the network yet, sign up now.

Latest News from HSU

HSU Alum Named Top Professor
Humboldt State alumnus Robert Thomas (geology, '85), professor of geology at the University of Montana Western has been named a 2009 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Thomas and three other winners were honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C.

Alumni and Friends Give $3.5 million to HSU
Humboldt State University received more than $3.5 million from almost 8,300 donors during the last year, and the value of gifts from parents shot up 76 percent from the previous year

After the Rain
After the Rain
» More Humboldt photos on flickr

Stay connected

Important Dates

  • Dec. 14-18
    Finals Week
  • Dec. 19-Jan. 11
    The "J" is closed
  • Jan. 10-19
    Financial aid dispersed

Parents & Family Fund

Thank you!

Parents and families are big supporters of Humboldt students and programs. In the last 6 months, you have committed more dollars to HSU than all of last year! Your support is essential to the student experience, so please let us know if there are ways we can help you be even more involved. Thanks for your generosity and for being part of the Humboldt community.

» Learn more about the Parents & Family Fund


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1 Harpst Street Arcata, CA 95521

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