Ask Ima Bull
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This semester is flying past and my student is already worried about exams. What is the best way for me to support him/her?
Remain encouraging with motivational messages. Get creative by sending a text, a picture, a card, an email, or a Facebook post. Positive reinforcement will get you farther than pressured reminders. A simple "You got this!" and "I'm proud of you!" makes a big difference. Understand that finals week may not be the time for long conversations, don't get offended if they don't reach out as often as usual. If advice is asked for, you can:
- Provide reminders of healthy habits that ward off extra stress, such as eating well, moderating caffeine intake, and getting some rest.
- Focus on effort rather than grades. "On a scale of 1-100, where is your effort? How might you improve that?"
Many extra resources to improve studying and decrease stress are offered close to finals week. Suggest your student check out the special support provided in the Marshall Student Center or through the Counseling Center.
How can I stay informed during a hurricane or campus emergency?
The University of South Florida maintains a comprehensive Emergency Notification System (ENS) for the purpose of issuing immediate notification to keep the USF students and staff informed and safe during an emergency situation. We encourage families to discuss emergency management and notification with your student. To learn more about Family Alerts and Emergency Communication, please click here.
I've always been the one taking care of my students medical care. Now that they are at USF, where can they go if they aren't feeling well?
Student Health Services is your student's on campus medical clinic. Our physicians are here to answer the call, so you do not need to worry. All of the SHS medical staff are licensed and appropriately trained to work with college age adults.
There are some pretty cool reasons your student should get to know Student Health Services:
- No out-of-pocket costs for general medical office visits. This means if they have a cold, get the flu, or sprain their ankle there is no need to worry about paying to see the doctor. Plus, SHS is right on campus, so your student does not have to go very far to get help.
- SHS accepts many insurance plans and can bill the company directly. Your student will only be responsible for paying the insurance co-pay, if prescription drugs or lab tests are needed.
- Their medical records are confidential. Your student does not need to worry about professors, RAs, or even you finding out about their visits. Your student can begin to understand the importance of being in control of their own health
If your student does call you when they are feeling sick, you can feel a sense of ease when suggesting they call for an appointment at Student Health Services. For more information, contact Student Health services at (813) 974-2331 or visit www.shs.usf.edu.
I'm worried that my student is not involved in campus life. When I ask him/her about their involvement they say there is nothing to do. What are some good options for them to become more involved?
With over 600 student organizations on campus, there is always something to do. USF is dedicated to offering a robust campus life for our students. Encourage your student to attend events to have fun, make memories, and explore their interests. Even better, recommend they choose upcoming lecturers, plan community service projects, or coordinate social activities by joining one of the programming committees. Suggest they visit New Student Connections to find out ways to become involved. From Campus Recreation activities such as backpacking trips to community involvement through the Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement to Bulls Nite Out hosted by the Center for Student Involvement, the opportunities are limitless. Remind them to check-out the online list of student organizations. Learn more.
I am worried that my student doesn't take care of themselves at college. Does USF educate the students on wellness and being proactive with their health?
Here at USF, the health and well-being of our students is a priority. Encourage your student to visit the Wellness Center in the Marshall Student Center (Room 1504). The Wellness Center is their "One-Stop Shop to Well-Being." At the Wellness Center, they can meet with a registered dietitian, get a blood pressure screening, check their height, weight and BMI, and gather information on a variety of health and wellness topics. The goal is to help the student adopt a balanced lifestyle. The Wellness Center can help connect the student with professionals who support different aspects of their well-being by putting them in touch with members of the Counseling Center, Student Health Services, and Campus Recreation. Learn more.
The holidays are approaching and I am excited about my student coming home. I want to maximize my time with him but I also want to respect his independence. What is the best way to balance the two?
Coming home for their first big holiday after being away at school is very exciting and a bit daunting for the student and the family. You want to spend all your time with them but they will also want to see high school friends, sleep and relax. As you are getting ready for the holidays, talk to your student about plans you have in mind, family activities you would like for them to be at, and ask them about any plans they may want to make on their own. The key is to keep the lines of communication open!
I've heard a lot about Family & Friends Weekend. What is Family & Friends Weekend?
Family & Friends Weekend is a great opportunity for you to make a return visit to the campus, probably your first visit since your student started college. Your student will have had time to get settled and they will be ready to show their campus off to you. The weekend is full of great events for your family to do with your student. You'll even have the freedom to choose the activities that most interest your family. For more information about Family & Friends Weekend, click here.