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Falcon Families E-Newsletter

Home for the Holidays: Coping skills and survival tactics

Visions of home-cooked meals, free washing machines, his or her own bed, and sleeping through the night without the threat of a 2am fire drill may have been taunting your student since the first week of college. Students have been waiting the whole semester to finally relax without 200-page reading assignments, research papers, or final exams looming. And now, after surviving the semester at BGSU, they’re going home…

Parents and family members can play a key role in helping prepare for an enjoyable Winter Break and return to school in January. First, while students have been changing and growing, finding their independence, making decisions by and for themselves, they most likely haven’t considered that things at home could change also. Students may often assume their homes and especially their rooms have been frozen in time since they were last home. They also have grown more independent and that level of independence may be different than they previously had at home. In all, going home can be wonderful, but it can sometimes be challenging for students.

Here are some tips for coping and easing the transition back home for the holiday season:

  1. Students have grown accustomed to living as an independent person while in college. They might not realize that a parent’s interest in knowing details about plans during break comes from a place of love and caring. It can be helpful in that way to be patient with your student as they readjust to having you ask about their daily plans while at home.
  2. Be prepared for your student to be playing a new instrument, to have new hobbies, or to have gone from loving hamburgers to being a vegetarian. Although the changes may not be this significant, many students will be different in some way from the last time you saw them. Being open and asking questions about these changes will show you care and can also be a great way to get them to open up.
  3. If you have younger children, be prepared for a few territorial disputes. Your returning student may not realize that his or her bedroom is now a TV room, study, or storage area for the family. Clothing, CDs, posters, and other personal items may be now in use by the younger children. If any of this is the case, the student returning home may feel a little out of place or upset. It can be helpful to discuss those things now so they aren’t shocked by this when they get home.
  4. Many of your student’s friends are going to be returning home during this time also. Especially if they don’t go to college together, this Winter Break may be a valuable time for them to reconnect and share about their most recent experiences. It can be helpful to discuss ahead of time when designated family times are and when they might be able to spend time with friends. There is usually enough time in the break for both, but it can definitely be helpful to do a little planning ahead of time.

Housing Sign-Up for 2012-2013

On-campus housing sign up begins soon for returning students!  The BGSU Office of Residence Life is pleased to announce that housing sign-up for the 2012-13 academic year will open late February 2012.  Specific details will be shared with students at the beginning of the spring 2012 semester.  In the meantime, please be sure to review the following items with your student so that together you can make the best decision for your student:

  1. BGSU has a two-year residency requirement.  All first and second year students should plan to live on campus unless they are commuting from their parent’s home within a 50-mile radius.  A few exceptions may apply and can be found on the Residence Life website at  If students fulfill any of these exceptions, they must complete the appropriate forms to be excluded from the policy, or may appeal the policy.  Failure to comply will result in housing fees being charged to the student’s bill.
  2. Students living on campus are also required to have a University meal plan.  Visit BGSU Dining’s website for information on meal plans and coming changes for the 2012-13 academic year at
  3. Students interested in living in a Learning or Theme Community will need to re-register for the community online at, or may contact the community’s director.
  4. Housing and meal plan rates for the 2012-13 academic year will be available next spring/summer.

Also, be sure to consider who will be covering housing and dining expenses, how these expenses will be covered, what buildings is your student most interested in living in and who do they want to live with if they are considering requesting specific roommates.
If you have any questions or concerns about living on campus, please contact the Office of Residence Life at 419-372-2011 or  Additional information, including FAQs can be found at

Contact Information

Important Upcoming Dates

December 12 – 16, 2011
Fall 2011 Final Examinations - Students are asked to vacate their University residence the day following their last final examination

December 16 – 17, 2011
Commencement Ceremonies

December 19, 2011 – January 6, 2012
Winter Break
No classes

December 26 – 27, 2011
Offices closed

January 2, 2012
Offices closed

January 8, 2012
University residences reopen at noon

January 9, 2012
Spring semester courses begin

January 16, 2012
Martin Luther King Jr. Day 
No classes
Offices closed

February 20, 2012
Presidents' Day 
Office of Admissions Preview Day

March 5-9, 2012
Spring Break
No classes

For more important dates at the University, please visit