Here we are, another semester in full swing. Emotions are mixed as freshmen are returning to Biola for just their second semester and, while campus is more familiar than last semester, it may not feel like home yet. Sophomores may be trying to figure out what their summer will look like. Will they participate in an internship or obtain a job? Are they living on campus next year or going for that off campus apartment she and her friends have been talking about. Juniors are busy with ensuring they are going to graduate next year; planning out coursework, while still working and/or interning. Seniors, quite possibly have the most mixed emotions as they return to the place they have come to call home, yet they are well aware that in 17 short weeks they will be graduating and moving on to the next season of life… and that in and of itself can be terrifying and exciting all at once!
And that’s just the students! I have a distinct memory from my own college graduation. Upon meeting up with my family at the end of the ceremony, I noticed my dad solemnly taking it all in. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He sighed and responded with, “I’m really going to miss this place.” …We know that these transitions affect the entire family. I want to take a moment to encourage you and remind you that you play a vital role in your student’s success! The things you do matter, even if your student does not affirm you. The prayers, the calls, the encouragement, it all matters! The older I get the more thankful I am for my parents. I do not know how much I thanked them in college (I am sure it wasn’t enough), but despite being very independent, the support and engagement of my parents meant the world to me. Some things to consider:
Pray for your student. They feel it! Whether it’s a paper that will no doubt keep them up all night, or a campus activity they are involved in. As your student continues to mature in his/her faith it will become more and more significant to know that you truly pray for him/her.
Be interested and engaged. It always meant a lot to me when my parents were engaged enough to ask specific questions. “How was that group project?” “Did you get to meet with your professor?” “Are you enjoying your Creative Writing class?” Now this means you have to know what classes and projects they have going on and you won’t know all the time, but when your student shares, remember and follow up with them! It will speak volumes.
Listen to and encourage your student. Along the same lines as being engaged, your encouragement goes a long way. Sometimes your student may just need a listening ear and despite how much you want to jump it, it may be best to let them sound it out! Other times your students needs to hear: “This too shall pass,” or “I am so proud of how you are handling this.” Each person is different and you know your student best!
Trust your student. This can be particularly hard for parents of younger students but I am reminded of Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Stay engaged, ask your student how things are going, but in that, trust your student to use the skills they have been refining their whole lives to seek out solutions and solve problems. If they come to you with an issue, ask, “What are you going to do about that?” Encourage them to discover and utilize campus resources (including their peers), chances are someone around them has dealt with the same thing!
Manager of Parent Programs
Alumnus Rob Bredow (’94) serves as the Vice President for Advanced Development for ILMxLAB, where he gets the chance to work on the technology side of blockbuster films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Is your student seriously dating, engaged or newly married? Encourage your student to register for the two-part Biola Relationship Retreat, featuring speakers Dr. Chris & Alisa Grace, Dr. Tim Muehlhoff and Rev. Jeff & Mary Sanders from Bethel Seminary. Click here to learn more.
Did you know that couples who receive premarital education and counseling have a 31 percent lower chance of divorce? Your student can receive low-cost premarital counseling led by licensed therapists this semester in the Biola Center for Marriage and Relationship’s 8 week premarital counseling small group program. Click here to learn more.
Students LOVE receiving mail! The “Love Bug” care package (pictured) is one of 6 different Valentines Day Care Packages available through Care Package Express. Click here to view all of the packages with their descriptions and place your order! To Guarantee delivery by the 14th, orders must be placed by February 9th.
The Biola Visa Card is now available to Biola alumni, parents, staff and family. $100 will be donated to student scholarships for each new card account opened. Click here to learn more.
Looking for some fun, adventure and excitement this summer?
Join Biola University President Barry Corey, Paula Corey and Mount Hermon President and CEO Mike Romberger (M.Div. ’89) for Mount Hermon BIOLA Family Camp July 3–9, 2016.
Ken Wytsma (M.A.,’01), president of Kilns College and author of Pursuing Justice, will join as pastor in residence. Ken is passionate about philosophy and justice, and will provide amazing inspiration for living out your faith! Mount Hermon gives you and your family the opportunity to grow closer together while deepening your faith. Camp activities include fun community meals, hiking, campfires with s’mores, swimming, crafts, biking, boating, a train ride to Santa Cruz and so much more!
For questions, or to register, call 1-888-MHCAMPS. Be sure to mention that you’re with Biola!