Spring at Fort Lewis College
It is clearly springtime at FLC. Some students are digging out their “presentation clothing” in preparation for the end of the term, a few faculty are lecturing and leading discussions on the lawn, and everyone is seemingly happy to see snow still in the mountains while the grass turns green in town.
As excited as we all are for spring sports and the warmth of the afternoon sun, it is also a time when students may need some extra support and direction. Let’s put that in perspective. Finals week is April 23-27 and there is a lot of work to be done prior to that time. Many courses require final presentations in addition to a final exam. Of course, students may be conflicted with competing desires to enjoy the outdoors or “hunker down” with their studies in order to avoid the academic stressors of the end of the term.
Don’t hesitate to be the “encourager.” Your student may not be thinking about the potential stressors (both positive and negative) of the end of the academic year. Letting them know that you understand their workload and offering support in helping them organize their study time or simply reminding them that there’s still a lot of work to come, can be helpful and may even be welcomed.
Then there’s finals week. All courses are required to meet during finals week, even if the final is a take-home exam or other format. Also, the finals week schedule is completely different from the normal class schedule. Please note this as your student may be making plans to leave campus while not considering the difference in the finals week schedule.
This is also a time of anticipation for the transition to summer. Some students may be spending their first summer away from home. Other students are returning home after eight months “away” and although reconnecting with old friends and the comfort of home is inviting, this return also brings with it some potential complications. Old friends may be on very different paths. Romantic relationships may have suffered from the time apart. That job that they were counting on may not really be available after all. So this is a great time to check in with your student and help them be ready for the transition and make sure they are thinking about how to make this summer both enjoyable and profitable.
With all of that said, let’s remember that summer is a great time to enjoy rest and relaxation, reconnect with family and friends, rejuvenate the brain with some “elective reading,” and just simply slow the pace if possible.
I hope this found you well, enjoying the spring, and anticipating a great summer.