Parents and Families

E. Royster Harper, VP for Student Life

As a family member of a Michigan undergraduate, you know one thing for sure: our students are always in motion, moving from classes, projects, jobs, clubs, activism, service, not to mention all time they spend working on their futures after graduation. And in all that rush and energy, it can be easy for students to forget to take the “break” in Spring Break. And yet the university’s Spring Break, which begins February 25, is an invaluable moment in the year to pause and decompress.

First-year students in particular, eager to take in all their college experience has to offer, can have a hard time slowing down. And there are so many options, from Alternative Spring Break, sponsored by Student Life’s Ginsberg Center, to backpacking trips led by Recreational Sports Outdoor Adventures, putting in extra hours at work, or heading off with friends to sunnier skies. But 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 they need to accomplish before the year is over. And of course, to catch up on sleep, one of the often ignored factors behind academic success.

And don’t underestimate the power of simply being at home. Being surrounded by people who support them, who are proud of them, can do a tremendous amount to recharge a student’s energies. Sometimes, in the quest to be Leaders and Best, a student can miss how much they’ve personally achieved, and one of the things family can do is remind them. Ask them to tell their story, be there to listen.

Classes resume March 6, and for some students there are exams that very week. Your student needs all the rest and support they can get. And with a little loving help and guidance from you, they can come back refreshed.


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