Dolly Duplantier

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9 Conversations to Have with Your Parents Before Heading to College!

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Tue, Jun 09, 2015 @ 03:55 PM

“Can we talk?” These are the three words every teenager dreads hearing from their parents. But, it’s Having a chat with your parents before you head to college can mean the world to them!inevitable. You’re leaving the nest and heading off to college. Besides, your folks have put in 18 years of hard work. They’ve housed you, fed you, and clothed you. They’ve taken you to every little league practice, volleyball game, and band concert. They even took you to see One Direction and stayed for the concert. (Okay, I’m referring to myself right now, but you get the idea!)

College will be a big change for you and your parents. When you get to school, you’ll hit the ground running – new schedules, dealing with money, taking care of your health, no curfews, etc. Believe it or not, your parents have experienced a few of these things and actually do have some amazing college advice.

So surprise them with your maturity and initiate a few discussions over the summer. You can handle it. After all, you’re a high school graduate!  Here are a few starter points to help you get the conversation going.

1. Communication

Your parents are used to seeing you and talking to you every day. If you currently text them throughout the day now, they may expect that to continue. However, with your new schedule, it might not be a priority for you. Talk about how you plan to communicate. Will you respond to texts or calls every day or once a week? Set a day and time to FaceTime or Skype. Sometimes parents just need to see your smiling face. Have a chat about social media use as well. If your parents are on Facebook and Instagram, is it okay for them to comment on your activities? Be honest with them now about communication expectations.

2. Assistance

Talk to your parents about what sort of support you will need from them - financially, emotionally, and physically. If you’ve always relied on Mom and Dad to take care of things, including paying for everything, doing your laundry and cleaning your bathroom, how will you navigate this new territory on your own?

“Families should have some discussions about expectations for their student’s spending, behavior, and goals for academic success,” said Jeff Rickey, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid for St. Lawrence University.

Michael R. Coombes, Director of New Student Programs for North Carolina State University, said parents often struggle with balancing how to support their child without complete reliance. Students should be encouraged to call their parents if they have issues, but they should not automatically expect answers to their problems.

“Finances can be a huge stressor,” added Coombes. “It’s important for students to realize the ultimate cost of education. It’s not just tuition. There’s the cost of eating, going out, books, club fees, clothing, groceries, transportation, etc. Costs add up very quickly.”

Coombes advises that parents be up front from the beginning about what they can contribute and what they expect their student to contribute. In addition, if parents provide an allowance, discuss expectations about how that money should be used. If it’s all spent on social activities and then there’s no money left for books, what are the consequences?

3. You’re Not in High School Anymore!3b_layingingrass_DSC05409-2-1

For four years, you went to class in the same building, had a lot of the same teachers, and your parents got your grades. You played a sport or joined a club and practices and meetings were held right after school.

Now, you have an entire campus to navigate. Larger classrooms with hundreds of students, different teaching styles, and classes located on opposite sides of a massive campus can make for some stressful adjustments. In addition, there are many more activities competing for your attention. From intramural teams and Greek life, to clubs and service organizations, you will have to make some decisions about what’s important to you regarding extra-curricular activities.

How are you going to handle it? Your parents know you well and can probably offer some great insight in how to deal with these new changes. And remember, in college your parents don’t automatically get to see your grades. Discuss now if you will grant them access.

4. Time Management

If you are coming from an environment where everything is very structured and someone is always telling you where to go, what to do, and when to do it, then one of the biggest changes you will face is time management. You will have to manage your time and learn to balance your life socially, emotionally, and academically. Talk to your parents about the best ways to responsibly enjoy your newfound freedom.

“Students have the freedom to go to class or not,” said Coombes. “They have complete control of what they do. It takes a while to really understand what that means.”

Remember your parents have been scheduling your life since you were old enough to join your first playgroup. They can offer great advice about setting up a schedule that works for you.

 5. Staying Healthy and Happy

Sure, it’s going to be great not having Mom nag you about eating your fruits and vegetables every day. However poor eating decisions combined with staying up late and not getting enough exercise, can wreak havoc with your health and energy levels. Talk to your parents about what you should do if you’re not feeling well and when to call a doctor. Do you know how and where to fill a prescription? Do you have a health insurance card in your wallet?

Now that you’re 18, school and health officials cannot share your information with your parents without your permission. Talk to them about what you should do if you are extremely sick or feeling depressed. They won’t be there to call the doctor. You will need to call and ask for help.

6. Newfound Freedom and Behavior

It may sound great to stay up all night and not worry about a curfew, but at some point you will have to set some limitations. Have an honest conversation with your parents about social life. Crazy as it may seem, your Mom and Dad were young once and probably have a few good stories to share. Ask for and listen to their advice about drinking, socializing, staying out late, checking in, campus safety, being out alone, etc. “It’s better to do it before rather than after something happens,” said Coombes.

Of course, some of these topics are not easy to discuss, but they are crucial conversations to have. Your parents need to know that you are aware of these issues and will know how to handle them if the situation arises.

7. Campus Safety & Emergencies

You’re at an age where you feel invincible, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. Discuss how you plan to contact each other in case of emergencies. Your parents have protected you from the instant you were born and it’s hard to let go. Having a serious conversation about how you plan to stay safe and deal with different emergency and safety issues will help alleviate their fears and make you a street-smart savvy student.

8. Home for the Holidays

It’s important to discuss now whether or not you’ll be coming home for holiday breaks. If you can’t come home for breaks, what are your options?

“If students live far away from the college they are attending, they should already have a plan about when and how they will go home for the first time,” said Rickey.  “Will it be at mid-semester break, Thanksgiving, or winter break?  Will parents be coming to campus for family weekend? Knowing when they will see family again soothes the students.”

 9. Saying GoodbyeFemale_Resident_Move-In_Day

You know it’s going to happen. Your parents may get a little emotional when it’s time to say goodbye. We can’t help ourselves. We are excited for you and this next phase in your life. We don’t want to embarrass you (really!), but we may need a little help in moving on. Figure out now the best way to send your parents on their way after move-in day. Let them know you love them, but don’t want an emotional goodbye in front of your roommate.

Your relationship with your parents can remain constant in certain aspects, but as you embark on this new phase in your life, don’t be surprised if you notice a few changes. “This is a very unique time in a parent/student relationship,” said Coombes.

Take advantage of this time before school begins. Have a few heart to heart chats with your parents before you head to school. It will mean the world to them and believe it or not, it will mean the world to you too – one day!

Photo credits: Matt Siegel and Mississippi State University Public Affairs 

Also check out our post about the 15 Things You Should Do Before the First Day of College!











Topics: college

15 Things To Do Before Your First Day of College!

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Tue, May 19, 2015 @ 04:41 PM

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to college! All those long years of hard work have paid off. Now you can kick back, put your feet up and chill until the first day of your freshman year, right? WRONG!

There’s a lot to do between now and that first day of school and while your parents may have taken care of all the little details in the past, now it’s time for you to step up and take responsibility! We know this may be new for you and your parents, so here are a few tips to help you both make a smooth transition.

1. Confirm your enrollment and send in your deposit!

Yes, the letter said you got in, but there’s a lot more important information in that packet. Take some time and review it, as well as deadlines for requested information. In addition, check your e-mail often for any updates.

2. Check out your school’s website. 

Just about every school has a “New Student” section.  Read it now. There may be early deadlines for medical forms, registration for orientation, residence hall selection, and online awareness education programs, just to name a few. Don’t wait until the week before school begins to go through the list.

“In May, after all new students have made their deposits, they are given access to websites to help them learn about registration, complete their housing form, submit health forms, and learn about other helpful guides to promote their success,” said Jeff Rickey, Vice President and Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid for St. Lawrence University. 

Michael Coombes, director of North Carolina State University’s New Student Program, encourages parents and students to visit their school’s website often and double check the New Student Check List.  “The list is a roadmap of what to do between the time of when they get accepted and before they start classes. Take care of things early. The less you have to do in August, the better.”

3. Schedule your orientation session now. New_Student_Orientation_at_NC_State_University-1

The earlier you do it, the better. Don’t forget to book hotel rooms too. Depending on where you go to school, there may not be a lot of options for lodging. In addition, if your parents plan to bring you to school for move-in day and they need to stay overnight, make those reservations now too.

Parents are encouraged to attend orientation. It’s a great way to support students with their transition to school. “Orientation can give parents a basic knowledge of what their student is going to experience,” said Coombes. “It helps parents understand the environment, as well as the different resources available to the students.”

4. Get Connected!

It can all start with #. Take some time to get connected to your new school.  There are so many options and social media is a great place to begin. “After students are admitted they are encouraged to join their class social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” said Rickey.

In addition, different groups for your major, your residence hall, or clubs, etc., may have their own social media presence. At NC State, #NCState19 is used for new students to find each other, learn about different events, and follow relevant information. When students come to orientation or the start of the semester, they already have a certain comfort level because #NCState19 started the conversation.

“Often, it’s the students who create these connections on their own,” said Coombes. “It stems from what students want. They are forming smaller connections. It makes the students feel they are a part of the community, a part of their new home.”

5. Sign up for housing.

Residence halls fill up fast. Make sure you get your assignment as soon as possible. Social media is a great way to learn about different housing options, get insight from upperclassmen, and even research creative decorating ideas. Check out YouTube for virtual tours! It’s also a great way to find or get to know your future roommate! Once you have your roommate assignment, Rickey recommends making contact as soon as possible.

6. Look for First Year Send-Off parties.

Many universities have alumni chapters or parent association groups that host get-togethers in local cities for new students to meet each other, as well as meet returning students or alumni. It’s a great way for parents to connect as well. “This bridges the connection to their new school and makes them feel they are part of the community,” said Coombes. “It gets them excited about what they are doing.”

7. Keep your brain active.

“After high school graduation, students should read,” said Rickey. “Reading promotes better reading - a skill that is paramount in college – and promotes better writing, too, another vital skill.”

Many universities now have a common reading program. A book is chosen for everyone to read over the summer. “It connects the students to the intellectual environment,” said Coombes. “When they come to campus, they can hear the author of the book speak. They participate in programs and discussions. Students can have conversations and think critically about themes in the book. We have one common experience. It keeps their mind fresh.”

Coombes also suggests that students familiarize themselves with the university’s academic resources before they get to school. “If students know they are there, they are more apt to use them.”

8. Think about how you want to engage in your campus when you get there.St._Lawrence_Orientation

“Engagement is vital to their success,” said Coombes. “Take a look at your university and what you want out of it. Think about ways to engage in your new community, whether it’s in a sorority or fraternity, a club, studying abroad, or service learning. Ask yourself who you are going to be and how are you going to act. Think critically about your behavior.”

“College is an opportunity for a student to reinvent herself or himself,” said Rickey. “If a student has a bad habit, she or he wants to break, then now is the time. One way to ease the college transition is to be open-minded and to be interested in everyone and everything. Just about everyone is looking for new friends!”

9. Look for opportunities to be independent.

Get a part time job for the summer or look for opportunities to volunteer in your community. If you don’t have one already, set up a checking account and talk to your parents about financial responsibility and spending behavior, as well as how to use a debit card or credit card wisely. Do your own laundry!

“Students who have not experienced some independence before coming to college sometimes have challenges dealing with the freedom and responsibility that comes with attending college,” said Rickey. “Parents would do well to promote or create opportunities for their high schoolers to exercise some independence and have them learn the joys, challenges, and lessons that stem from doing things themselves.”

10. Attend Welcome Week.

Look for events that might help you adapt to your new environment and meet other new students. Welcome Week is geared for new students and usually takes place the week before classes begin. NC State also has a Summer Start program, a Symposium, and an Outward Bound trip. “It’s a great way to connect to the institution and build a small community within a huge campus,” said Coombes.

11. Don’t wait to pack!

You would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t!) at how many students wait until the night before to pack. Think about what you need for the semester. Keep a running list over the summer and start putting things aside. Give yourself time to go through everything again before you leave.

12. Go for a walk.

During Orientation, Welcome Week, and before your first day of classes, walk the campus. Go to each classroom and see how long it takes to get from class to class. Become familiar with your surroundings. Coombes said many students admit they wished they had looked at a map of the campus and walked it before classes began.

13. Don’t do anything you’ll regret. 

Every university has a code of conduct and your admission is not guaranteed. “We expect students to continue performing at the level at which they were admitted,” said Rickey.  “We have rescinded our offer of admission when the student has underperformed. We have also rescinded admission for criminal offenses that occurred after our offer of admission.”

14. Have some conversations. 

Don’t wait till the week before drop-off to talk with your parents. Have conversations throughout the summer about expectations about grades, finances, privacy, communication, behavior, etc. Also talk about whether parents will have access to grades and financial information.

15. Have fun! 

Make time to get together with family and friends this summer. Celebrate your accomplishments and share the excitement of your future at college!

Photo credits:  Tara Freeman, St. Lawrence University,  and Blaise Bolemon, New Student Programs, NC State University.  

Topics: back to school, college, College advice

9 Tips to Help Plan a Successful Campus Fundraiser

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Fri, Mar 06, 2015 @ 12:14 PM

While we all know college can cost a lot of money, let’s face it – students themselves don’t necessarily have a lot of disposable income, especially for campus fundraisers. Many students may need to work multiple jobs to pay for tuition, or they might be living on a tight budget.  In addition, there are a lot of  “extra-curriculars” competing for their dollars!

Funding is competitive on campus. While volunteering within your school community is truly important, there are still expenses like transportation, supplies, etc., in addition to raising funds for a cause or service event. If you want your club or service organization to succeed, you need to raise money. Planning a fundraiser on campus takes discipline, creativity, and solid communication skills. If you need to increase your funding, check out these tips from experienced student fundraisers to organize your next event.

1. Form a committee and get organized. 

Find out who’s interested in planning your club’s fundraiser. Know your members’ talents and make use of their expertise. Discuss your budget, time frame, and goals. “We have a Vice President of Philanthropy and her committee plans and organizes each event we put on,” said Isa Brooks, a member of the Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) sorority at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Brooks, a junior, serves as Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for the sorority. She said AXO also has an Executive Board that is dedicated to the planning stages, as well as the overall execution of events.

2. Get Permission!

Before you commit a lot of time and resources to your event, make sure you have permission from your organization’s governing board, as well as the appropriate university department. Get it in writing! In addition, check your school’s calendar to make sure you aren’t competing with other clubs for funds and attendance.

3. Be specific in your communications. 

Clearly explain why you are raising money and how the funds will be used. Alpha Chi Omega raises money annually for Domestic Violence Solutions, a local women's center in Santa Barbara. “We have two main events during the year,” said Brooks. “Both involve getting the Greek and the larger UCSB community together to fundraise for the women's center, as well as bring about awareness.”

4. Be Professional.10984714_10153169825364388_789415289_n

“You are fundraising for a worthy cause,” said Jane Berry, a junior at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Berry is one of three fundraising and development coordinators for the Waltham Group, the umbrella community service organization for the university.

“You should believe in and care about your project,” said Berry. However, just because you care, doesn’t always mean that everyone else will. Berry cautions that as a college student, you may not automatically receive the respect or attention of companies, partners, and volunteers. “They make take one look at you or your email address and decide it’s not worth it.”

To make a good impression when fundraising in public, Berry suggests team members wear similar outfits to show you are part of a specific group. By looking professional and a part of a team, faculty and students are more likely to stop and talk for a few seconds. This could be a club t-shirt or maybe a solid color shirt and dark pants. Berry advises not to wear anything too crazy. You don’t want to scare away shy freshmen!

While it’s easy to remember to be professional in person, Berry acknowledged students might forget to do so when making phone calls and sending e-mails. “My team’s solution for this was to make scripts for all the different types of phone calls we make and emails we send and sort them into Google Docs folders based on each fundraiser.”

5. Always get a name, title and phone number.

“No matter who you are talking to or what you are asking for, make sure to get their name and position,” said Berry. “When we run our annual holiday auction at school, it’s essential to know exactly who within a company has guaranteed us what. It also applies to smaller fundraisers when you just want to know your contact.”

6. Make sure everyone is on the same page – literally!

As mentioned previously, Berry’s team puts everything on Gmail and Google Docs. Using the same account allows them to see each email sent. “It looks professional with the uniform signature and the docs don't get lost through email,” said Berry.

7. Be proactive with your marketing and create a buzz about your event.10967814_10153169825339388_1018867664_n

Social media is one of the easiest ways to reach out to potential donors, but it shouldn’t be the only avenue used. AXO works with local businesses and donors by sending out newsletters about their philanthropy. “We try to start fundraising as early as possible,” said Brooks. “We also try to create innovative ways to create a buzz about our events in our own Greek community by tabling, making announcements to other sororities and fraternities on campus, and holding fundraising events at restaurants in our student neighborhood.”

Brooks stressed that creativity is key and emphasized the importance of engaging the community during fundraising campaigns. “We usually create competitions within the Greek community at our sponsoring restaurants.”

Berry advised to do anything and everything to get students interested. “If people don’t know about your fundraiser, no one is coming,” she said. “Write in chalk on the sidewalks in heavy traffic areas, put up flyers with catchy slogans, send out campus-wide e-mails, and post incessantly on social media.”

While students lead busy lives and may not go out of their way to part with their money, if they know about your cause, they may at least be curious to learn more about what you’re doing. Plus, if your information table is positioned along their daily route, they may just stop to see what all the excitement is about.

8. Address a student need.brandeis

If you address a specific need, students may be more willing to give freely with the added bonus of helping others! “If we throw an event involving food, then students love to participate,” said Brooks. “Our Pizza Pie with Alpha Chi event is a favorite. The community comes to our house and they design their own mini pizza. All proceeds go to our local women’s shelter.”

Berry said her most successful fundraisers have been holiday silent auctions, which also appeal to teachers and staff; a Valentine’s Day roses sale; and late-night food delivery service. 

“I was actually truly surprised at how many fellas stepped up and got their girls red roses,” said Berry. “The convenience of having them on campus really drew people in. Students love grilled cheese delivered right to their door, especially if you’re open late!”

9. Communicate progress and success!

It’s important to maintain a good relationship with all of your donors. Share your progress throughout the campaign via social media and on campus through tables, signage, etc. When your event is over, let everyone know the results and how their support will benefit others. Make sure to let your donors and sponsors know how much you appreciate their assistance. Send out thank you messages via social media, e-mail, and newsletters. If possible get a quote or picture from the organization that received the funds.

Raising money isn’t easy, but with preparation, organization, and a little creativity, you can make your fundraiser a success. Do you have a few more tips that worked for your club? Share them with our readers!


Photos courtesy of UCSB chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and the Waltham Group at Brandeis University.





Topics: college, fundraising, campus fundraiser

10 Tips to Plan a Campus-wide Service Event

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Mon, Jan 19, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

Every January, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day marks one of the major volunteer service events for colleges, universities, high schools, and even elementary schools across the country. This event brings hundreds of thousands of people together to serve on MLK Day. It has become a great way for students to work together in large numbers to better their surrounding communities. However, having an entire university population serve simultaneously is certainly not an easy accomplishment!

If you’re planning a campus-wide service event for the first time, have one coming up this semester, or would like to initiate one in the future, here are a 10 tips from seasoned veterans to ensure a successful and meaningful event.

1. Plan early and check the calendar. “These events require extensive planning, research, and communication,” said Misti McKeehen, director of PittServes, a university-wide initiative to help build the culture of service within the University of Pittsburgh and their surrounding community.20141018_113223_resized

In addition to their MLK Day of Service and orientation service projects, PittServes organizes the university’s annual Pitt Make A Difference Day (PMADD) every October. Last year, more than 3,200 students volunteered with approximately 115 organizations logging over 13,000 service hours in one day.

“The key is to plan early and identify a date that doesn’t conflict with other university events,” said McKeehen. “You don’t want to compete with other school activities like home football games.”

2. Choose community organizations that allow you to build a long-term partnership. When choosing organizations for your large-scale service event, consider ways the partnership can become a long-term opportunity for your students, not just a volunteer option for the day. McKeehen said it’s important to work with your community partners and encourage them to discuss ideas about why your volunteer service is vitally important.

Adam Lewandowski, associate director for the Center for Civic Engagement at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, said they also look at each partner’s ability to give an overview of their organization and what they want to do. “It’s critical to work with the community to help them have a voice,” said Lewandowski. “We view them as co-educators that help create the frame of reference. We understand each other and have shared goals to achieve through the day of service.”

Lewandowski said that 93% of the students who participated in their Orientation Day of Service are expected to volunteer again with one of their partner organizations, many of which offer work-study or service-learning programs.

3. Ensure service projects are meaningful and safe. It’s imperative that all community partners are fully aware of and agree to specific arrangements and commitments regarding providing meaningful activities in a safe environment. Partners should be able to share with the students why their service work is vital to their organization.

“There needs to be a connection of the proposed project with the mission of the organization,” said Lewandowski. “We ask our partners to craft a project and then we work closely with them to make sure to provide service activities that are helpful.”

For example, one of their partners provides horseback rides to developmentally disabled children. Their project involved clearing trails so that companions could walk along side the children riding the horses. “Students had a better understanding of the service opportunity and its impact once it was explained. They weren’t just there to clear weeds and bushes, but to help the children feel more secure while riding the horses.”

4. Get your students involved as early as possible. “It’s important to know how to recruit volunteers, Shaprsburgidentify good projects, and how to retain volunteers,” said McKeehen. “Event organizers need to know how to talk about community service to students and partners.”

“Our upperclassmen students serve as orientation leaders,” said Lewandowski. “They receive specific training to facilitate projects, as well as the guided reflection at the end of events. The student leaders coordinate the work at each site. It’s fantastic to have peer leadership. New students can relate to them and they can reflect on their impact and how to move forward from their experience.”

5. Communication is key. “Team leaders should call on partners throughout the planning process and the days leading up to the event to make sure everything is in order and that the organizations are ready for the volunteers,” said McKeehen.

You don’t want to show up with a bus filled with volunteers and no one at the organization is ready for them – or worse, not even there!

In addition, don’t forget to send out updates and reminders to your volunteers. Take advantage of social media sites to reach and recruit students. Send text alerts regarding start times or any last minute details.

6. Have a face-to-face and visit the site prior to the event to determine any special needs or 15042682762_4e91db0944_orequirements. “It’s of great value to travel into the community and meet with the organizers,” said Lewandowski. “Look at their space and the tools available.”

For example, if students are going to work outside around plants, trees, gardens, etc., make sure they have the proper tools and know to wear appropriate attire to avoid any potential mishaps like coming in contact with poison ivy!

7. Don’t forget transportation. If your budget allows, consider renting school buses or use partner sites within walking distance of your school. Lewandowski recommends doing the research to find a reliable transportation company. “Moving 550 people to 25 sites can get crazy,” he said.

8. Have clear guidelines, but remember to be flexible. Large-scale events make it somewhat difficult for individual students to actually choose their volunteer sites, but you could consider letting them request particular types of service. “When we have groups of students from sororities, clubs, etc., sign up, they are usually allowed to volunteer together at specific locations,” said McKeehen.

9. Always have a back-up plan. “Something always comes up,” said McKeehen. What happens if the buses don’t show up? What do you do if your students arrive at a site and no one is there? What’s the plan if it’s raining and your site is outside? Have a contingency plan and make sure your team knows what to do.

10. Remember to say, “Thank You,” to your partners and your volunteers! In addition, ask them for their feedback so you can make improvements for the next event!

Have you organized a school-wide service event? Tell us about your day of service activities and share your top planning tips with us! Need help managing your service program? Learn how NobleHour helps build, manage, & measure community engagement


Photos courtesy of University of Pittsburgh and Nazareth College




10 Simple New Year's Resolutions to Make A Difference in Your Community

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 01:13 PM

New Year’s Resolutions shouldn’t be so hard that we give up on them before the end of the month. As I likenh_fb_newyears to tell my kids, bigger isn’t always better and sometimes less is more. In addition, in this day and age, I don’t think resolutions should just be about self-improvement, but about how we can help others while improving ourselves. Here are 10 simple resolutions that everyone can do throughout 2015 to feel better and make a difference in their community.

  1. Make an effort to perform a random act of kindness every week. Say hello to your neighbor. Offer a seat to someone standing on the subway. Wait 10 seconds before you lean on the car horn to let the car in front of you know that the light has changed! Let the person with two items go ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Yes, I know, these don’t seem like major things, but just think how you would feel if you were on the receiving end. 

  2. Bring good manners back in 2015! Start simple. Remember a time when we would say, “Excuse me?” when trying to politely get someone’s attention or when we bumped into someone? Manners go a long way, but unfortunately it seems we aren’t using them or passing them onto our youth anymore. Teach your kids manners through example. Forget all the new words added to the dictionary this year. Let’s make some old ones popular again. Make a resolution to add these words to your vocabulary: please, thank you and you’re welcome. Don’t hoard them for your closest friends and family. Share them liberally with everyone you interact with, especially those in retail, customer service, and public service. They need them the most! You’ll be surprised how a few kind words can make a difference in someone’s day.


  3. Whenever you notice your pantry is overflowing with too many cans and boxes of food or you can’t fit one more jacket in your coat closet, this is your cue to get a bag and donate extra non-perishable food and gently used clothing. Find your local food pantry or check with a local church for donation locations.

  4. Think about something that’s important to you and find a way to volunteer or donate to the cause. Sometimes, the commitment to volunteer a specific number of days or hours concerns people and may prevent them from helping. Decide what you can commit to do. Whether it’s once a week, once a month, or even a one-time event, you decide. Volunteering should make you feel good, not bad because you can’t do it all the time. There are opportunities everywhere in many forms. Take time to do the research and think about how you can use your talents to help others.

  5. Practice Patience – This is probably one of the most difficult resolutions since our world has become one where we want results immediately. However, if we all practiced just a little patience, we might not lose our tempers so quickly. And, if we couple patience with our small acts of kindness, just imagine how the world would truly be a nicer place.

  6. Write a letter or send a card to an old friend, someone going through a tough time or maybe an aunt, uncle, or grandparent living alone. Yes, I said, "write!" I didn't say text, Facebook message, or e-mail. Sit down with pen and paper and write about what’s going on in your life, share happy memories, and wish them the best. I don’t do this as often as I should, but I actually feel really good after writing a long letter to a friend or relative. I also absolutely love getting those letters in the mail too! Plus, you could also help extend the life of cursive writing!


  7. Explore new technology. For some, that’s really easy. For others, technology can be a little scary. Watch kids with iPads, smartphones, etc., and they have no fear when trying new apps or features. But for someone who has lost entire documents in the past, I’m always a little anxious of where each double tap will take me. I've found that, when given the chance, technology can make your life a lot easier. 

  8. Listen more than you talk – especially with your kids. This may be difficult if your kids are like mine and don’t necessarily like to talk, but this is where listening is crucial. When they finally do decide to open up, just let them take the lead and enjoy the fact that they do want to talk to you!

  9. Save some energy. We can all do a better job on this one. Turn off the lights as you leave the room. Don’t let the faucet run when you brush your teeth, put on a sweater and lower the heat, and leave the car at home and walk to your destination for quick trips. Getting out and walking through your neighborhood will also give you the opportunity to greet and get to know your neighbors!

  10. Help your community as a family. It can be something as simple as making sandwiches and small care packages for the homeless, checking in on or visiting with elderly neighbors, or shoveling sidewalks for those that can’t do it. You could even host your own neighborhood food drive, volunteer at a food pantry or help clean up a local park. Ask your children how they want to make a difference in the world and figure out a way to do it together.

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading our articles and being a part of the NobleHour community. May 2015 bring you much happiness, good health, and many opportunities to make a difference in your community!

Topics: Food Banks, volunteering, community service, community, random acts of kindness, Family, food drive, New Year's Resolutions, Good Manners

Universities Engage Students & Community at Day of Service Events

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 @ 08:03 AM

When I look back on my college days, I have very fond memories. I remember going to classes, and hanging on the quad with friends, as well as attending football and basketball games, concerts, and events.  While I was very active in service organizations in high school, for some reason I didn’t really pursue it in college. I volunteered with my sorority, helped at a few campus-related events, and also took part in a number of unpaid internships, but service wasn’t a major component back in my day, at least for me. I do remember my university had a service club, but I never really explored it. However, over the last decade or so, I’ve noticed a transformation occurring in students and the universities they attend. Students are more focused on volunteering and universities are working hard to engage them, as well as provide them with opportunities to serve the surrounding community.

Many schools now incorporate days of service with freshmen orientation or at the start of the school year. PIttservesWhat a great way to get students involved with their school and the neighboring community.  Let’s face it, a lot of young people who attend out of state schools never really get a chance to learn about the city they reside in for the next four years. Offering a day of service broadens their horizon and makes them realize there is a much bigger community just outside campus. Not only does the day of service  provide young adults with an opportunity to learn more about the needs of their college town, but it can also help them develop a greater sense of pride and accomplishment from using their skills to help their community. In addition to introducing new students to the value of service, it’s a perfect way to get to know other people with similar interests.

While I thought these campus-wide service events were a fairly new concept, I’ve learned otherwise. In the mid 1980’s, college students were sometimes portrayed as materialistic, self-absorbed, and more interested in making money than helping others. (Hmm, I did graduate in the mid-80’s!) However, a group of university presidents disagreed with this description and created Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the public purpose of education.  They believed that many students on campus were involved in community service and more would participate if proper encouragement and supportive structures were provided.

Boy, were they right. Colleges throughout the U.S. now have departments dedicated to engaging their students to perform public service with neighboring community partners. Take a look at any university’s club listing and you’ll also see a large number of student organizations dedicated just to service. Check out their calendar and you’ll find multiple volunteer events organized over the course of the school year, including campus-wide days of service where hundreds of students come together and share their time and talent throughout their city.

For the past 20 years, Nazareth College has held their Orientation Day of Service program to educate newNazareth_College students about the school’s mission and tradition of community engagement and to encourage students to be active members of the community. The event brought together 550 volunteers who traveled to one of 25 service sites in the Rochester area and performed 1,650 service hours. The students also learned about the community’s challenges and resources and how they could give back by providing needed services.

“We have an ongoing relationship with many of our partners,” said Adam Lewandowski, associate director for the college’s Center for Civic Engagement. “The Orientation Day of Service is an introduction for our students. It’s just one piece of our relationship.”

Of the 550 student volunteers, Lewandowski said 93% are expected to participate again in some form of service with their partner organizations, many of which also offer work-study or service-learning programs.

The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. held its 6th annual Freshman Day of Service in September. Students, faculty, and staff logged over 8,000 community service hours in one day! More than 2,400 freshmen worked alongside 44 local partners throughout the metropolitan D.C. area. Volunteers participated in community projects focusing on environmental sustainability, veterans’ affairs, community beautification, and healthy living. The goal was to introduce students to a variety of service opportunities.

In 2012, the University of Pittsburgh implemented their Orientation Day of Service to start the school year off with service and have a positive impact on their community.

“Each year we welcome hundreds of incoming students to participate in an afternoon of service to their community,” said Misti McKeehen, director of PittServes, a university-wide initiative to help build the culture of service within their campus and community.

According to McKeehen, approximately 667 new students performed over 2,000 service hours for over 20 organizations before even stepping foot in the classroom! While students typically learn about the university and their new campus during orientation activities, the day of service provided an opportunity to also hear about their community.

McKeehen said the orientation event acts as a catalyst and sets the act of service in motion for students to be committed to helping their community and gaining personal, academic, and career experience through volunteerism. Students have the opportunity to learn about new organizations and may be motivated to continue volunteering with that group during the year. “It allows them to see a different part of the Pittsburgh community in a different way. To see this before school even starts is huge.”

The University of Pittsburgh continues its’ mission of service throughout the school year. On October 18, IMG_3988they held their 7th annual Pitt Make A Difference Day, a University-wide service day held with 3,274 students serving over 115 organizations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Volunteers logged more than 13,000 hours in one day!

This event also kicked-off the school’s first annual Make A Difference Month to highlight the school’s ongoing commitment to service. “We want to engage the students so they can see their impact,” said McKeehen, who hopes volunteers using NobleHour to track their service will log over 1,000 hours by the end of the month-long event.

As an added incentive to participating, McKeehen said the student with the highest number of tracked hours will be able to make a service grant to the student organization of their choice. In addition, the student group with the highest average number of hours per member will also receive a grant to continue service.

Like many other universities, McKeehen said PittServes will also participate in the MLK Day of Service next semester, as well as a number of school-wide volunteer events in the spring. She believes the rise in public service is a result of a more connected world. “We see more and do more.”

When students get together with friends to help with disaster relief, or volunteer at a shelter or food bank, they share that experience on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. All of a sudden, 500 people know about their positive experience and wish they had been a part of it or maybe they will want to participate next time.

It’s like that old shampoo commercial – You tell two friends and then they’ll tell two friends and so on and so on. But now, it’s telling hundreds of friends and so on. According to Campus Connect, during the 2011-2012 academic year, 44% of students participated in some form of community engagement. These community engagement activities contributed to an estimated $9.7 billion in service to their communities. Let’s hope universities keep engaging their students and volunteers keep sharing their impact!

Does your school have a campus-wide day of service? Tell us about the Noble Impact you’re making in your community.

photos courtesy of University of PIttsburgh and Nazareth College










Topics: volunteering, community engagement, community service, service, Orientation, Day of Service, campus-wide service, Orientation Day of Service, MakeADifferenceDay

Six Ways to Honor Veterans All Year Long

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 @ 07:56 AM

2185-12748859921mTqVeterans Day is celebrated on November 11. Established in 1954, the federal holiday honors the service of all U.S. military veterans. Seems to me though, these brave men and women should be honored every day of the year. Both my parents were Marines. My father retired as a Colonel and my mother a Captain. I believe she was in one of the first classes of women Marines, one of her proudest accomplishments. I never fully realized the importance of their commitment until I was an adult. Maybe it’s because they didn’t talk about it that often. I’m not really sure. I do feel that it is extremely important for all of us to recognize our troops and our Veterans and to teach our children about the sacrifices made.

In the military, “Got Your 6” means “I’ve Got Your Back.” In WWI, fighter pilots referenced the rear of an airplane as the six o’clock position. This term emphasizes the way military members look out for each other. Now it’s our turn - on Veterans Day and year round, here are six ways you, your family and your community can honor all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

  1. Send a letter of thanks to courageous Veterans. This simple act is so meaningful and can have a lasting impact. In fact, it is one of Operation Gratitude’s most urgent needs. Send a card to someone you know who has served in the Military or you can send multiple letters that fit in a standard size business envelope to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that seeks to meet the needs of and express appreciation to Active Duty and Veteran communities. They will forward the letters to Veterans. If you know a Veteran that would appreciate Letters of Gratitude, you can send his or her name, the war in which they served and their USPS address to
  2.  Organize a collection drive or a “Care Kit Assembly” event. Engage friends and family, as well as church and school groups to collect needed items for Veterans. Operation Gratitude’s program delivers thousands of care packages to Military Veterans across the country. VA hospitals, nursing homes, and support organizations make requests for specific items. Their wish lists include everything from hats and scarves, to personal electronics, non-perishable snacks, and gift cards. You can also send donations directly through or donate to Operation Gratitude. Every $15 can cover the assembly and shipping costs to send packages.
  3. Recycle for Veterans! Collect old cell phones, iPads, and iPods, as well as inkjet cartridges, and laptop computers. Operation Gratitude receives money for items donated in their name and students can earn service hours while helping the environment!
  4. Take a Veteran to School Day.™  Show the Veterans in your community how much you value their commitment and sacrifice. Students can learn about character and strength, when Veterans bring history to life by sharing their stories.
  5. Volunteer at your local Veterans facility. The US Department of Veterans Affairs website can help you find the nearest facility in your state. 
  6. Use social media to #ThankAVet and help raise money! The HISTORY channel’s Thank A Vet social campaign will donate $1 for each Tweet using #ThankAVet. Donations will support three non-profits dedicated to helping Veterans: Team Rubicon, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and America's VetDogs.

Continue to honor our Veterans everyday. Let them know, "You've Got their 6!" Tell us about the special men and women in your life that have served our country! Thank you to our Veterans for your bravery and your sacrifice.












Topics: Veterans Day, Honoring Veterans

10 Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Sun, Sep 07, 2014 @ 03:37 PM

National Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 7. Despite popular belief in my household, Hallmark™ mother-blk-drs-300did not create this holiday. In fact the idea originated in 1970 when Marian McQuade, a housewife in West Virginia, initiated a grassroots campaign to set aside a special day just for Grandparents. McQuade felt deeply about the lonely elderly in nursing homes and was also a tireless advocate for senior citizens rights. After three years of working with civic, business, church, and political leaders, West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore proclaimed the first National Grandparents Day. McQuade didn’t stop there. She petitioned governors in 49 states to follow West Virginia’s lead and set aside a Grandparents Day. Forty-three of those states declared it a holiday. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as the official National Grandparents Day.

McQuade passed away in 2008, but many of her descendants carry on her legacy through the National Grandparents Day Council, a non-profit established to protect and promote the original intent of National Grandparents Day as championing the elderly.

So in honor of Marian McQuade and all the wonderful grandparents out there, we’ve come up with a list of 10 ways to celebrate the day and honor your grandparents! Whether they are near or far, you can honor them year round.

  1. Pick up some take-out, bring your laptop and your cell phone, and get grandma and grandpa connected! Show them how to use e-mail and Facebook to connect with friends and family that live out of town. Set them up with Skype or FaceTime so they can see their grandkids! Turn them in to cyber seniors and then, make sure you can keep up with them!
  2. Help them create a YouTube video! Get Grandma to share her secret recipe for those chocolate chipcyber_Grandma cookies! 
  3. Get that video camera out or charge up your cell phone and start asking questions! Grandma and Grandpa have a lot of great stories! Ask them about what life was like when they were your age! Record their history so you have a keepsake and can share with others!
  4. I bet there’s a box of old photos at your grandparents’ house! Go old school and pick up an album or scrapbook. Spend the afternoon going through and labeling the photos. Let Grandpa share some great stories about the one that got away! Or, gather the photos, scan them, and add them to their new Facebook page! You can also put the photos on a disk and create a video with music for a great birthday or Christmas present!
  5. Pick up some poster board or get on and create your family tree
  6. Take your grandparents to one of their favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Turn off the phone, ask some questions, and listen!
  7. Get a group together to visit the elderly in nursing homes. Check in on elderly neighbors.  
  8. Take your grandparents to the movies or catch a baseball game together!
  9. Shop and cook one of your grandma’s favorite recipes together!
  10. Find opportunities to volunteer together! Helping others can make you both feel great! 

Enjoy this day and every day with your grandparents. Make sure Grandma and Grandpa post a comment about their special day on our NobleHour Facebook page! 


Photo of Marian McQuade courtesy of National Grandparents Day

Photo: Dolly Duplantier








Topics: volunteering, random acts of kindness, technology, connecting communities, social media, Grandparents Day, Family

College Move-In Day - A Major Milestone for Students and Parents

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 02:52 PM

In a matter of days, you’ll hear the collective sighs of mothers around the country saying goodbye to their college bound students. You may also hear a few whoops and hollers from the students as their parents drive away!Mom_+_Daughter_Move-In_Day

This is a major milestone for parents and students. As parents, we are excited for our children and the road ahead, but it also signals the end of an era for us. For students, it means newfound freedom and the beginning of an amazing journey. While most won’t admit it, they probably are a bit anxious about leaving the security of home, as well as free laundry services and clean bathrooms.

So imagine combining all of your emotional baggage with plastic bins, luggage, and small appliances. Now Female_Resident_Move-In_Dayadd in traffic, minimal parking, August weather, and if you’re lucky two elevators – that is college move-in day! Don’t worry. In the right frame of mind and a little preparation, you’ll get through it just fine. Here are few tips from Residence Hall experts and parents that have survived the freshmen day move in!

Before You Go

If your child is like mine and hasn’t looked at any of the literature about move-in day, then enjoy taking charge one last time! Go to the university’s residence life website where you can find all the details about move-in day.

“We encourage students first to take a look at the “Move-In Checklist” and our “Policies and Procedures” on our website,” said Dr. Ann Bailey, Director of Housing for Mississippi State University. “This list not only includes a list of items students may need, but also includes items that are not allowed in our residence halls.”

University of Pittsburgh’sArrival Survival” details everything from before you leave home to after you’ve moved in. They even have a twitter handle just for the big event.

Residence Housing websites provide information about each residence hall, including what basic items come with the room. Some schools provide or rent the mini-fridge and microwave. Note that many rooms use extra long mattresses – meaning your sheets from home may not fit! You can also get measurements to determine if there’s space for additional items like beanbag chairs, extra storage units, etc. You don’t want to waste time and money buying and packing items that may never be used.

Leave things like heaters, toasters, hotplates, Panini presses, rope lights, wireless routers, and halogen lights at home. “Anything with open heat sources aren’t allowed due to fire hazards,” said Samantha Noblit, residence director for the University of Pittsburgh. “Halogen light bulbs are typically not allowed as they can get very hot and start fires.”

Once you’ve figured what your student needs, make a list of items they use at home – toiletries, kitchen supplies, laundry, etc. This will give them an idea of what they will need to bring and determine how to store it.

It’s the Little Things

Don’t forget miscellaneous things like a garbage can, hangers, and a first aid kit. Shower curtains and tension rods come in handy for additional privacy in suite-style bathrooms. Anne Garraway, a mom with two students at Mississippi State, said to consider purchasing a good mattress pad/foam pad to make the bed more comfortable, as well as a little fan in case roommates don't agree on temperature.

According to Noblit, shower caddies and flip-flops are some of the most used items. “Communal showers are an adjustment for students, but shower caddies allow them to be able to put all of their toiletry items in one easy transportable basket.”

Noblit also suggests students bring pictures, decorations, or anything else that can make their room feel more like home. She advises bringing an alarm clock even though many students use cellular devices for this purpose. “Sometimes batteries die in the middle of the night and parents aren’t knocking on their door!”

Consider waiting a few weeks on items like an iron. “Many times, one student on the floor will have them and they can share with others,” said Noblit. She also said televisions and printers are on the decline, especially with the rise of streaming television sites and more professors accepting assignments via email or other online systems. Most residence halls have student lounges with TVs for public use.

Talk Before You BuyDr._Keenum_Move-In_Day

Michele White, a mother of two college graduates and a senior at the University of Louisville, advises students to talk to their roommate(s) before they purchase anything. Decide beforehand what common items they will each contribute. “You don't want two refrigerators and two TVs,” said White.

 Should you buy here or there?

Some parents suggest buying supplies in your hometown before you go. “It can be difficult to shop in college towns,” said Garraway. “They run out of everything on move-in weekend.”

However, if you want the full experience, a trip to the university’s local Wal-Mart or Target with everyone else on move-in day can be a fun and memorable event!

Another option to is to purchase items at big box stores online or in your home state and then have them delivered to the local store near the university.

Get Packing

It’s important to have everything in manageable bins, suitcases, etc. Misc. grocery bags of items are sure to rip, or fall over emptying your nice clean linens on the ground. 

“Label all of your personal belongings with your first and last name, room number (include wing/floor, if applicable), and only bring essentials on that first day,” said Bailey. “Then, be aware for the next few days of items you want/have room for and either take a trip home or go to a local store to purchase them.”

“There is no use to pack a bunch of oversized winter coats if you are coming home in a month,” said Noblit. “There isn’t a lot of storage in your residence hall room, so being mindful of the seasons will be important in fitting everything.”

Checking In

Move-in day is usually staggered by dorms, floors, etc., to ease traffic and parking. When you get there,your student will check in to receive his dorm keys. Once we pulled up to my son’s residence hall, there were at least four volunteers ready to take his belongings straight to his room. The van was unloaded within minutes. His residence hall did not have elevators, so we were extremely appreciative of the help to the third floor! Even if your student’s residence hall does have elevators, expect a wait or use the time to get your cardio by taking the stairs!

Saying Goodbye

Once you’re all moved in, schools may have complimentary refreshments. LSU offered banana splits – encouraging parents to “split!” MS State had a “Blues Breakfast” the morning after move-in.

Gwen House Hymel, a mother of one college graduate, a junior at Baton Rouge Community College and a sophomore at University of Louisiana at Lafayette advises to make the goodbyes short and quick. seeyoulater“I did it and had a good cry on the way home.  My kids said I took it well and they weren’t worried about me! It made them feel better about moving on.”

For Hymel each goodbye was different. With one, they agreed to just say “see ya soon!” With another, the best farewell was a long hug and a few words of encouragement. Her youngest just gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her he would be fine.

“We encourage families to say ‘see you later,’” said Bailey.

Noblit said the best way to say goodbye is to hug your child, tell them you love them, make a plan for communication, and a plan for their next visit home. “Making a plan for their next visit home puts a slight moratorium on “empty nest syndrome” and gives each of you something to look forward to.”

We want to hear about your move-in day experience. Make sure to send pictures!


photo credits: MSU Public Affairs & Dolly Duplantier



Topics: back to school, parents, higher education, college, College advice, residence halls, College move-in day

Students Should Take Advantage of All College Has to Offer

Posted by Dolly Duplantier on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 @ 02:59 PM

There are many words I would prefer my children not use (even though they’ve heard a few of them at home!). However, there are three words I hope I never hear them say - "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda!" (Okay, technically those aren’t words, but I’m sure you get my meaning.)

As my children begin their college years, I want them to take advantage of everything this time in their life has to offer. It’s not just about getting your money’s worth – although that’s an important lesson – whether you are paying tuition or your kids are taking out loans. This is the time to take risks. Try new things. Meet new people. Step out of your comfort zone.

There are many things I wish I had done during my college years (and maybe a few I wish I had not done!). I wish I had developed more of a relationship with teachers and sought their advice. I also wish I had taken more advantage of clubs, school organizations, and service work, but I let self-doubt and fear prevent me from taking those risks. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my life. I had a wonderful college experience. Hindsight is 20/20. Things happen for a reason, but I don’t want my kids to have regrets about not taking chances. Four years (or maybe five or six!) go by very quickly. It’s a great time of life to discover who you are, find friends with different opinions and passions, and transition from child to adult. So, as my second son begins this new phase, I’ve consulted the highest authorities – nostalgic parents, friends, and recent college graduates to offer their words of wisdom. Will he listen? I honestly don’t know. Maybe, though, these pearls of wisdom will remain in the back of his mind when an opportunity presents itself. And, instead of looking the other way because it might require effort and risk, he might just hear that little voice of mine and decide to go for it.

So, here’s a quick list for college students to consider as they get ready for school. If those of us that have graduated could go back, these are the things we would do differently! 

Wish Lists from the "Woulda Coulda Shoulda’s"lsutiger_stadium

1. I wish I had gone to more events...ballgames, rallies, etc.

2. I wish I had served on a student government board.

3. I wish I had spent more time meeting individually with professors to pick their brains. I view it as a missed opportunity.

4. I wish I had done more volunteering.

5. I wish I had joined an Engineering club.

6. Sometimes, I wish I had gone to school out of town.

7. I wish I had taken my undergraduate studies more seriously.

8. I wish I had understood that it wasn't about the points to get a certain grade, but that it should have been about really learning. Graduate school was a rude awakening.

9. I wish I had gone to college with a more open mind and not a specific major.

10. I wish I had switched majors.

11. I wish I had traveled abroad.

12. I wish I had gone to the Bruce Springsteen concert rather than study for an anatomy test. (Okay, I’m not advocating choosing a concert over studying. However, every student needs to take a break once in a while. It’s good to recharge! And, no, this wasn’t me.)

10 Suggestions from current students, teachers and alums:

1. Go to Class!

2. Get out there and enjoy it all. Take it seriously and always do your best.

3. Sign up for a club.

4. Utilize resources available on campus, including services like writing centers and tutoring.10264317_10152504222274744_8343547831175655741_n

5. Volunteer on campus or at local organizations. Take time to help others.

6. Develop a good relationship with your professors. They can be great mentors. Take advantage of their office hours. You want the people who determine your grades to know your name and that you're working hard. They can also clarify course material, provide guidance on papers, and offer tips on how to prepare for tests.

7. Study abroad for a full year. (If a year is too long for you, consider studying abroad for one semester, the summer, or holiday breaks.)

8. Take computer classes even if they are not required for your major.

9. Get to know the history and traditions of your school.

10. Reach out and meet new people.

What are your suggestions and tips for incoming freshmen and current college students? Did we miss anything? Share your words of wisdom here!


 Photo credit: Dolly Duplantier & Delta Upsilon, Global Service Initiative Trip 

Topics: back to school, education, volunteering, higher ed, service, graduates, opportunities, college major, higher education, college, involvement, College advice

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