Hello Humboldt families! We hope this newsletter helps keep you involved with your student's experience at Humboldt State.
Sticking Together with Winter Traditions
Finals are around the corner, and the holiday season – and winter break! – is gearing up. For students, this means a well-deserved vacation. And for many families, having a student in college means making adjustments to winter traditions.
Don't be too concerned if your student comes home and seems to go into mini-hibernation. Parent Julie Nagel, for example, finds that her student needs to relax and reboot before holiday festivities begin.
"She sleeps for two days solid," says Nagel. Once her student has rested, Nagel and her family hit the road for their holiday tradition. "We head out to the local desert (Lucerne Valley) in our RV with dune buggy in tow, with family and friends, relax, eat lots of carbs, shoot off fireworks, and smoke our turkey on our Weber BBQ."
Personally, I'm a hibernator too. After the stress of finals I need a couple of days to just veg out when I get home for winter break. My mom has found out the hard way that trying to get me to go holiday shopping before my two days of laziness is a real uphill struggle. So be prepared to give your students a break if they need one.
In my family, we've come up with a new tradition to deal with my homecoming hibernation. During those first lazy days, my mom and I like to bake cookies and other treats (and my dad likes to eat what we make) and we might do something fun and easy like going to the movies together.
Not every student come homes for the break, but families can still build great traditions to keep connected while being apart.
My friend Phil couldn't fly home to Alaska for the holidays last year. So his mom shipped home to him. She sent a care package with some of his best-loved comfort foods, including fresh Alaskan salmon – his favorite food from home.
Last year, my roommate stayed in Arcata to work over the break, so her family found a way to help stave off the blues for her first holiday away. She received a box with reminders of home, including a picture of her pets, her favorite candy, a couple of her favorite books and some new books and thrift store finds her mother and sisters thought she'd like. She received her Christmas present – a good winter coat – in the mail about a week later.
Finally, there's no need to wait for the holidays to come up with creative ways to keep in touch with your student. Beth Brown and her family play "Happy New Month."
"It is very silly but it is a fun way to make sure you keep in touch," she says.
Certain rules apply to the Browns' game, but the goal is to be the first to say "Happy New Month" to family members every month. It's a fun, easy and slightly competitive way to make sure you and your student stay connected – and creativity is always encouraged.
"I may call my daughter to get her on the first of the month and ‘arrrgh' she gets me because she answered the phone with ‘Happy New Month,'" Brown says, "but I hand the phone to her Dad and he gets her."
While having a student away at college can sometimes disrupt old holiday traditions, it's also a great opportunity to create new ones. Whether your student is coming home for the winter break or is staying near HSU, this is the season to stick together and show you care.
Warm winter wishes and a happy new semester!
About the editor – Desiree Perez is from Corona, Calif., and is a Journalism major with a concentration in Broadcast and an area of study in Film. She is a student writer with HSU Marketing & Communications and volunteer for the Graduation Pledge Alliance. She wants to be a documentary filmmaker before she grows up.
New student-made videos
Students in HSU Professor David Sheerer's film class recently made several videos for Humboldt families. They cover hands-on learning, housing and dining, great professors and more.
Check them out »
Meet Humboldt: Rosalinda Gonzalez
"After I graduate I will either take time to do a program like Americorps or the Peace Corps or I will jump straight into graduate school. In graduate school I want to study something water-related and hopefully do part of my studies in Central or South America. In the end, I want to be helping people, and working with environmental water issues."
Read More »
Overheard this month on the family network
"Moving off campus is pretty much a natural progression for the students. One year in the dorm seems about average. There are plenty of places for rent – houses and apartments. The boys should start looking around and asking friends about recommendations for houses or apartments, and preferable neighborhoods. Also, HSU offers prepaid meal plans (with the J points) for students living off campus. That way, the kids can be sure to get some good meals while on campus!" Read more »