"It's always has been my feeling that God lends you your children until they're about eighteen years old. If you havent made your points with them by then, it's too late."
As a first-year parent, I have tried to walk that fine line of offering my advice when I felt it would be helpful and keeping my mouth shut more often that I would like. I listen as my daughter tells me about her course selection for the upcoming semester and refrain from making suggestions on the direction I think her major should go. I tell her it’s perfectly fine to be undecided at 18 years of age.
My philosophy with her at this point is much like Betty Ford’s quote above. We as parents have had 18 years to instill values and develop lines of communication. Now is the time for us to step back. A 1300+ mile distance probably makes that a bit easier for us than for others, and I have learned to be okay with not knowing what she’s doing all the time.
Care packages flow out of our home on a regular basis and we usually find a reason to send a text or two a week. I keep my expectations for return communications low and I am never disappointed.
For the two times a year she does return home, I think we are appreciated a bit more, which is a good feeling.
It’s fun to enjoy this time and share the excitement of discovering new interests, new activities and organizations, new friends, new challenges and eventually, a career path. I can feel good that she has chosen MSU to be her home away from home
Melissa Rothe, PFA Board Member and Bobcat Parent
Advice from an Advisor
For parents of students in their first year of college, it’s a season of change – for everyone. First, we help our child pack his or her belongings and make the trek to their new home at Montana State. After helping them set up their room and making sure we leave them with enough dorm snacks, and probably giving them a hug that lasts a little longer than usual, we make the journey back home. Whether that distance is near or far, for many parents, it’s a little unsettling to not be involved in the day-to-day life of their child. I have observed this to be true in my work as an academic advisor. But next year, I’ll be standing in your shoes; I’m the mom of a high school senior.
I’m a little surprised that I’m starting to get nervous.
Parents often wonder, and worry, about how to help their student from afar. One of the best things parents can do is encourage their student to be proactive, to ask questions, or to seek help if needed. Advisors in your child’s major department or the Academic Advising Center are a great place to start. Advisors are connectors and they are a student’s ally in the educational process. Also, the Administrative Associates in each department can also be extremely helpful. Utilize them!
Although I work with first-year college students every day, it’s a little different when you’re about to take a seat on the opposite side of the desk. Being in this new spot of mom of soon-to-be college freshman has made me consider the perspective of my students and their parents in a new light. So I’m going to tell you what I hope someone will tell my son when he begins his path in higher education next year.
These are things I recommend to my advisees and the words I hope my son will hear:
Your education is your experience. You have to “own it.” Your academic advisor is there to help you through the process, but they serve a different role than your high school counselor once did. Be an active participant in your educational choices and future
-You must visit with an advisor prior to receiving your registration PIN code. If you are currently declared in a major, you will be advised by your home department. The department will let students know how to proceed with the advising schedule and obtain their registration PIN code.
-If you are confused about choosing a major, please visit the Academic Advising Center. Many students discover after one or two semesters that their original major might not be a good fit. Advisors in the AAC will talk with you, learn about your interests, and offer suggestions to help you explore classes and other potential majors. Another useful online resource that students can access is DegreeWorks. Using the “What If” tool, students can explore the majors offered at MSU and the required courses to see if it might be a good fit.
-The Academic Advising Center is a great resource for all students. Our office has walk-in advisors on duty from 8 – 5 pm daily. Advisors are also available by appointment. We have information on CORE classes and options for minoring in various disciplines. Our advisors are a great resource for questions about course requirements for specific majors, general questions about campus resources such as Smarty Cats tutoring, or the Office of Student Success programs. We are here to help!
Denise Malloy, Academic Advisor
Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony
From all of us at the Parent & Family Association, a huge congratulations to the graduating Spring class of 2014!
More information on the dates and times can be found here.
Congratulations to the newly elected ASMSU President and Vice President
In our past issue, we wanted you to encourage your student to vote in the ASMSU election in March. The results of the election can be found here and the bio for Destini French and Jordan Garceau, incoming Student Body President and Vice President, can be found here.
Off Campus Living 101 Seminar
Is your student planning to live off campus next fall? Please encourage him/her to register for the Off Campus Living 101 seminar to learn everything they need to know to find, lease and be safe in their off-campus home
Two seminars will be offered, April 9 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. or April 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and will include presenters from the City of Bozeman, Peak Property Management, Bozeman Police Department, Bozeman Fire Department, Copper Whiskey Bar & Grill, ASMSU, University Police and MSU Residence Life.
Topics will include:
-What safety features to look for in a rental property
Understanding and signing a rental lease
Tenant rights and responsibilities
Parties and police
How to be a good neighbor
Refreshments will be provided and more than $500 worth of raffle prizes will be given away.
The seminar is free and students can register at: http://www.montana.edu/rsvp/offcampusliving/
For more information, contact Chelsea Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-994-7884.