As a family member of a Michigan undergraduate, you know one thing for sure: life is always in motion and transition. It's the exciting part of life that opens us up to new opportunities and experiences. I am so pleased to be able to be part of the transition of Student Life leadership as I take on the role of interim vice president.
As you know, Royster Harper, vice president for student life, retired in January. As the search for a new vice president is underway, I value providing leadership to this intentionally designed, student-centered organization.
But I am more excited to know that my work in this role, and our work in Student Life, helps your student successfully navigate the ever-moving activities and opportunities in life.
Please be assured we will remain committed to assisting and encouraging your student to continue their forward momentum; the motion that allows them to immerse themselves in classes, projects, jobs, clubs, activism, service and much needed reflection -- not to mention the time they spend working on their futures after graduation.
It is equally important to help our students learn to take a break from time to time. The university’s Spring Break, which begins February 29, is an invaluable moment in the year to pause, and decompress, and reflect so they are aware of what they have learned and how they want to engage that learning as they move forward.
First-year students in particular, eager to take in all their college experience has to offer, can have a hard time slowing down. So many options await them during this time: from Alternative Spring Break, sponsored by Student Life’s Ginsberg Center, to backpacking trips led by Recreational Sports Outdoor Adventures, to heading off with friends for time away, to spending time with family. Whatever your student chooses, be sure to encourage them to build in time for rest. For parents and students both, college can go by in a whirl, which is all the more reason to take advantage of these moments in the year.
A break gives your student time to reflect on how far they’ve come, and to think carefully about what they need and wish to accomplish before the year is over. And of course, to catch up on sleep.
If your student chooses to spend the break at home or travel to new experiences, remember the importance of letting them know you support them, you are proud of them, and you are available to hear their story. Sometimes, in the quest to be Leaders and Best, a student can miss how much they’ve personally achieved, and one of the best things a family can do is remind them.
Classes resume March 9. When students return to campus in March, my hope is that they’ll return rested and ready to thrive. We’ll be here to smooth the transition. And I am so pleased and thrilled to be a part of it.
I hope you won’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions for how we can best support your student. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.