Your Guide to HOP
For parents & family of continuing HSU students, the school year feels like it barely ended. But for the parents & family of our incoming students, things are just heating up.
This month's column is a collective effort, pulled together from advice on our online Parents & Family community: A guide to HOP from parents & family who've already experienced it. Here's a quick list of things to do and see, whether it's your first HOP or you'd like new things to do on your next trip to Humboldt.
"One of the very first things I did was to ride the buses around town.... I was able to see EVERYTHING that I was curious about."
Most parents & families of HSU students don't live in the area, so exploring is a major to-do during your first HOP.
"One of the very first things I did was to ride the buses around town," says HSU parent Becky Everett. "They picked up at the HSU Library parking lot and ended in the same spot. I called it the Two-Two-Tour… two dollars, two hours tour. I was able to see EVERYTHING that I was curious about. And the best part is, the HSU students ride these buses for free."
Parent Glenda Hay also recommends taking a stroll in town and exploring a few of our natural highlights as well.
"Walk across the bridge from campus to town and visit three components of the HSU student food pyramid: Don's Donuts, Hey Juan's Burritos and the Philly Cheesesteak Shop," she says. "Take a walk in the redwood forest and visit Moonstone Beach."
Charlotte Xanders recommends exploring the campus—especially the residence halls.
"We wanted to see them, and we did. By HOP, you are starting to wonder if you can fit your computer, fridge and the microwave, etc. It helps to have a minute to look it over," she says.
Be sure to stock up on goodies for your student—but also for yourself.
"Prepare for your student's upcoming birthday-away-from-home: visit several of the stores in town and purchase gift cards/coupons, then mail them at birthday (or other event) time," Xander says.
A parent, who goes by K.D., suggests other ideas to keep you in touch with your student.
"One thing I did was to set up a mini mailing station at home: odd-sized packing boxes, priority boxes and labels, a pack of all shades tissue paper, bubble wrap and packing tape, funny cards and cute stickers so that we could mail a special occasion, or 'miss you' package at any time without taking extra time to find supplies," K.D. says.
Although HOP is for your student, have fun doing a little something for yourself as well.
"Buy a postcard or poster of the redwoods to hang in your office so every time you miss your kid you can look at it and know they are living in one of the most beautiful places in the world," Hay says.
"Buy a Humboldt State shirt or jacket for yourself," she adds.
Get Down to Details
While you'll have fun on your trip to HSU, it's also a great opportunity for you to take care of some more mundane—but important—details.
Well-versed parents & family suggest checking out the hospitals' insurance policies, checking in with property management groups to learn more about local real estate and picking up a phone book to look up local services like car mechanics.
"Google is great," Hay says, "but I am old school and it is easy to flip to the office supply page [in the phone book] to call them all to see if a business carries the right toner your son needs to finish printing his paper that is due tomorrow and other such emergencies you will be called upon to help solve long distance."
Plan Your Return
One more thing to keep in mind is that you'll get to come back soon. Humboldt State's Homecoming & Family Weekend is Sept. 30 – Oct. 1.
So, although two months may feel like a long absence, you can spend time during HOP to check out hotels and make plans to come back before he or she has even left home.