April 2018 Newsletter

Featured Stories

Dear Purdue Families,

As I reflect on wisdom to share with other parents of college students, I do so coming from multiple perspectives. It is in my nature to draw from my background in mental health, my 25 years’ experience working in higher education and from that of being a parent of five kids, ages 22, 20 a high school senior, a high school junior & a third grader. 

In my past decade of working here at Purdue, I have seen over and over the struggle of our students as they adjust to college. Most often the struggle is reflective of a few similar themes:

  1. Most often kids were considered the best of the best in high school.  It’s not unusual for them to hold the title of valedictorian, salutatorian or most likely to succeed.  Then they arrive to Purdue and they realize that everyone is just as smart as they are – perhaps even (insert gasp) smarter.
  2. Many kids had natural talent in terms of academic ability and success. Patterns like studying the night before an exam or writing a paper while at a robotics competition worked for them in high school.  This doesn’t work for them here at Purdue.

Recently, I would add to this list a struggle with anxiety and a fear of failure. I see my own kids compare their experience in terms of how much coffee they consume to stay awake for the many extracurricular activities they participate in. I hear of their comparisons to their peer group of exam grades, SAT scores, how many (or few) hours of sleep they get. They wear their stress like a badge earned at girl scouts. I am often quick to push back on our own over-achieving kids about why this culture exists, but despite my efforts, I have come to resolve with the fact that I can’t change their behavior, but rather simply try to weave in wisdom & perspective every now and then.

A part of my role is I have the privilege of co-chairing the Mental Wellness Task Force her on campus. This is a relatively new initiative to teach our faculty, staff and students techniques to promote wellness, positive mental health and stress management. The theme of “grit” and “resilience” is one that I have had the pleasure of researching. One of my favorite authors on today’s college students is Dr. Tim Elmore. In his recent work Dr. Elmore highlights the role of parents missing an opportunity to ground our older kids in some hard truth. He talks of the following messages that need to be delivered to today’s children:

Every time I present these messages to parents of adolescents I get a chuckle. I believe that is due to the fact that likely we heard these messages in our young adult lives but for whatever reasons, we have hesitated to deliver these to our children. My sense is it is out of protection, love and a desire to make sure they feel loved and “special.” However, I would argue that it is the young adults that believe they are “special” that come to a very real truth that they aren’t “that special, that talented, that bright” when they arrive here.

So, as I reflect on fostering grit and resilience in our own kids and as I work with students, I would encourage you to not jump in to rescue them when life feels hard, but rather listen to them and help them develop solutions to their problems. When they complain of not knowing how to manage their time, refer them to the Academic Success Center, there are great people that will help them. When they share of stress of getting their first B, C or even a D on a test, ask questions on where they feel they went wrong & what they need to do differently the next time around. Remind them of a time that you struggled and worked through disappointment. Don’t call the faculty member to share your opinion on their teaching style or of the test.  

Our Purdue students are incredibly bright and talented young adults. I come to work every day knowing that by investing in these young people, who will be challenged with complex real-world problems, that they will in fact make this world a better place. I love that college is a time of learning, growth, failure, and persistence – despite it being challenging at times not to want to jump in, rescue your kids, and “make it all better” like you could when they were in primary school.

Julie Cox,

Associate Dean of Students

Commencement Corner

Spring Commencement -Upcoming Key Date!

Families of Spring 2018 Candidates- Will your student participate in spring commencement? If your student is participating in the Spring Commencement Exercises, they must indicate their participation in their myPurdue account by April 13. This is also the date by which they have to order guest tickets. Each candidate may request a maximum of four (4) free guest tickets for the Spring Commencement exercises.  Alternative viewing options will be available for guests who do not have tickets.  Guests without a ticket should report to the Box Office on the ground level of Elliott Hall of Music for any unused tickets that may be available.  Doors open an hour and a half before the ceremonies!  Fowler Hall in Stewart Center will be showing a live feed of each ceremony. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The ceremonies also will be streamed live over the internet via a link that will be posted at a later date on the Commencement website. More.

CCO Spotlight

Can you believe that graduation is only a few weeks away?! Please encourage your student(s) to tell us their plans! If they have accepted a position, decided on graduate school, enlisted or accepted a com­mission in the military, or decided on any other outcome, we invite them to complete the First Destination Survey. If they are still seek­ing opportunities, either in education or a professional setting, they should wait to complete the survey, and know that we can help with the job search at the CCO! Pass along this link for them to take the Survey: https://purdue.12twenty.com/Login


Save the date: Purdue Day of Giving—April 25!

Join the Boilermaker family for a 24-hour event dedicated to supporting higher education at the highest proven value. Making a gift on April 25th could help the Purdue Parents Fund win hourly challenges and bonus dollars. Stay tuned to your email and the Parent & Family Connections Facebook page for more about this record-breaking day!

Think Summer

Did you know that more than 500 undergraduate courses, including 275 online options, will be offered this summer? Many classes will fill quickly so encourage your student to Think Summer today.

Study Breaks

There are several events taking place on or around Purdue's campus to give students an opportunity to take a study break and decompress while they are studying for finals. Here are some suggestions-

  • Purdue Musical Organizations- PMO has several shows the month of April
  • Purdue Convocations- There are still a number of great convocations presented by Purdue Convocations throughout the month of April, they are a great way for students to take a break before finals.
  • Purdue Bands- There are a number of concerts and ensembles (most are free!) the month of April.
  • Purdue Sports- Is baseball, softball, tennis, soccer or golf more your students' thing? Purdue Sports has a number of events happening in West Lafayette the month of April.


April 10, Undergraduate Research Conference

April 25, Purdue Day of Giving

April 28, Classes end

April 30- May 5, Final Exams

May 11- 13, Spring Commencement

See the upcoming 2018-2019 academic calendar

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