Hello Bobcat Parents and Families!
As finals week concludes, we hope that your student had a great semester! To those who are graduating, congratulations! To those returning to MSU for summer sessions or in the fall, we cannot wait to welcome you back onto campus!
We hope that this summer is a wonderful time to reconnect with your student and wish you the best!
And don't forget, our office is open all summer, so feel free to contact us if you need anything.
Miki Lowe and Lauren Marsh
PFA Program Assistants
What I've Learned from Summers Past
by Lauren Marsh
As a senior graduating in December of this year, this will be my last summer as an undergraduate, so potentially my last “free” summer. Reflecting back on the past four years, I can say that each summer has had something entirely different to offer and I am thankful for each of them.
Freshman year: The summer after my freshman year I spent studying abroad in Costa Rica. I lived with a host family, perfected my Spanish, traveled every weekend around Costa Rica and even to Panama, and even passed my classes! It was fun and I learned so much from the people and so much about myself; I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
Sophomore year: As the incoming Recruitment Chair of the Chi Omega women’s fraternity, I spent this summer planning, organizing, and preparing for our recruitment workshops and for fall recruitment. This involved contacting alumnae, scheduling workshops, and preparing to teach my chapter the ins and outs of sorority recruitment. While not nearly as sunny as my summer in Costa Rica, this summer taught me so much about leadership, friendship, and the extreme value of preparation. Because of all my hard work this summer, my chapter’s recruitment and retention metrics increased significantly – I couldn’t have been more proud.
Junior year: Significantly less fun than my previous two summers, but equally fulfilling, I spent the summer after my junior year working in my hometown for a worker’s compensation claims adjusting office. This job allowed me to pay for my own schooling out of pocket, a college student’s dream, and gave me experience working in a professional environment, which carried over extremely well through the interview process and into the job I have now, working as a program assistant for the Parent and Family Association. My job at the claims office allowed me so many opportunities I would never have been able to realize in another setting – I am thankful to this day for the experience I got doing the grunt work in a professional environment.
Senior year: This summer will be my first spent in Bozeman and I am so excited. I have the opportunity to continue working for the Parent and Family Association and have an internship working with the Office of Admissions, the Parent and Family Association, and the American Indian Council working to bring more Native American families to summer orientation sessions with their students. I hope that my Bozeman summer offers not only professional and leadership experience, but also time to relax and enjoy the last few months with my friends. I want to float the rivers and go to Music on Main and enjoy Hyalite – hopefully I can find the time to do this while taking nine credits of summer school!
As my undergraduate career comes to a close at Montana State, I have been so fortunate for the exciting, enriching experiences I have had during my summers. As much as classes have helped me grown intellectually during the school year, my summers, with all of their diverse activities, have helped me grow personally and professionally.
My advice to your student is this: find a way to make your career goals, your interpersonal goals, and your life goals coalesce in your summer plans. Find a time to work, a time to play, and a time to relax and feel the gratitude afforded to us by being able to live in this beautiful state and having a break from school, if only for a couple weeks.
Deciding Where to Live: How to Help Your Student Find Housing in Bozeman
By Matt Crosby, Residence Life Program Coordinator
Deciding where to live while attending MSU is an important element of your student’s education. Whether considering on-campus housing in the Residence Halls or off-campus living in an apartment or house, MSU Residence Life can help! They can provide resources, information, and advising to help your student make the best decision. Residence Life offers an advisor to all students in need of assistance deciding where to live, whether on-campus or off-campus.
In addition to advising, MSU Residence Life has partnered with Living Off-Campus 101 to provide students the ability to search off-campus housing specifically in Bozeman and suitable for students. You can look for available units, sublet opportunities, and roommates. This is a completely free service to all university students to aid in finding a place to live off-campus! Here landlords list properties that are reasonable in cost and proximity for students.
Residence Life can be reached by phone at 406-994-2661, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in-person at the Residence Life office, located on the ground level of Miller Dining Hall.
Living Off Campus 101 can be found at:
How to Support Your Student During Summer
By Miki Lowe
It’s summer! Finally! Warmer weather, perhaps a random snow storm if you’re in Bozeman, and a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Summer classes, jobs, friends, outdoor activities and more mean your student is either coming home to you or staying in Bozeman. But the important part of their decision is how you can support them, whether at a distance or from right in your own home. Summer is a different atmosphere than the normal school year, so I have some tips and fun ideas for you and your student so pay attention closely!
Coming home – I bet you are very excited that you get to have your student back at home! As always when your student comes home, they love home cooked meals, so don’t be afraid to whip up your famous lasagna or home-made cookies, often! Take them to do the things you enjoy doing together so you can get your quality time in. Maybe go on that vacation your family has wanted to go on for a while or take them to try an activity you’ve never done before. The summer will also get tricky though. Like we said for winter break, your student is used to not having a curfew or assigned chores at college so it will take some adjusting to get back in the home routine. Be understanding and compromise with your student; it’s still your house, but they are older now.
Staying in Bozeman – This is a good idea for students who are working or have some classes to take, or just want to experience a Bozeman summer. However, as students, we will still miss our families. There are many way you can be there for us! First, visiting is the best idea. Bozeman has SO much to offer during the summer so come enjoy it with us, especially since we tend to have less on our plate during the summer. There’s floating, hiking, golfing, biking, fishing, you name it; come enjoy it with us! Second, keep up your communication! Like I said, we tend to have more time on our hands, so we can call, text, or Skype with you more than we could during the semester. Keep us informed on what’s going on at home and we’ll let you know about the cool things we’re up to! Lastly, bring us home to visit! We miss you and we could always use a nice relaxing week at home to unwind and enjoy some summer at home.
Whatever your student decides to do, please keep your encouragement flowing! You are still our main support and, once again, we thank you for your help! Bring on the summer!