Happy Fall from UAS to Families - September 28, 2023
First of all, thank you again for entrusting your loved one to us! We are honored by the trust that you have placed in UAS and we will do our very best to help your student succeed! We know how important your student is to you and we want to be your and your student's partner in helping them achieve their dreams!
I hope you are doing well and enjoying the entry into autumn. Here in Juneau, the days have begun to be filled with gentle rains, mists that hang closely to the trees, and the scent of fallen leaves. It's exquisitely beautiful! I'm particularly enjoying the mushrooms that have sprouted out, especially the ones that are giving us a splash of bright orange and red along our trails.
It has been a busy month or so since we started the fall semester! In addition to participating in Welcome Week Activities, the students have been busy going to classes. This month, students have had the opportunity to go an Indigenous Music Festival, play pickleball, participate in a resume and cover letter workshop, and enjoy Paint Night (among many other things)! Tonight, students who have registered to do so will attend the performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Perseverance Theatre. Tomorrow, they can join their friends at Movie Night (we will be showing Guardians of the Galaxy 3) and, this weekend, they can participate in Indigenous Art Night.
Please ask your student if they have had a chance to attend or participate in any campus events! We know from the research that has been done on college students that being involved on campus outside of classes is important to their long-term success. When they participate at a healthy level, they actually are more likely to complete their credentials or degrees! If they need a small nudge, please let us know. Our staff can reach out and personally invite your student to events! They can also help find solutions to barriers that may be preventing them from participating in events. Students can find out about activities using the UAS Connect app or by going to our Campus Events Calendar.
I remember how it felt when my own son went off to college. He chose to go to college in a different state from where we lived. My husband and I really missed him and wondered how he was doing and feeling. He missed us as well although he was quite caught up in his classes and getting to know people. My best advice to you is to keep open lines of communication with them. Listen to what they say and celebrate their victories. Try not to judge. Each day, your student is doing amazing things! They are stretching their skills in making new friends, learning how to study, and understanding how to talk to their professors! They are finding new paths to their classes and exploring what Juneau has to offer along with their peers.
It took a while for our son, Andrew, to open up to us. (We were told that this was normal! What a relief!) He loved his new school and enjoyed getting to see the ocean everyday, learning more about the field he had chosen, and relished building things in his classes. But, he also worried about making friends (he grew up in a rural area and didn't really know how to make new friends because everyone knew everyone else) and he was struggling in one of his classes.
Because he felt like he could share his life with us openly, we were able to help him when he needed it. Sometimes, we just listened to him. Sometimes, we encouraged him to ask for help. Remember that you just listening to their struggles will help your student. Of course, while you are worrying about them after the conversation, they are on to other amazing and wonderful adventures! So, just check in with them in a day or two if you are especially worried about something that they said.
If you feel like your student may need assistance and they are not seeking that help on their own, please reach out to us using this address. We want to make sure that your loved one learns how to be independent and ask for help when needed but we also want to support them so that they are off to a good start! We have amazing tutors who can help our students learn better, we have counselors who can listen, we have staff members who can help with accommodations for disabilities, we have professors who care deeply about their students, and staff who can help them navigate their financial aid and scholarships. The sooner we know that we can help, the more we can help your student succeed!
I'm going to sign off for now but please feel free to reach out with questions. We are here to help your loved one thrive! Below, I've attached a few photos of our August and September activities. If you would like to see more photos (and videos as well), please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, or YouTube!
Until next time, thank you again and have a great day!
Dr. Aparna Palmer