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When a child goes off to college, life at home can be a challenge–or an opportunity
Experts offer tips on when to step in and when to stay back
Your expectations are high, of course, but be ready for adjustments
Put down the iPhone, it’s time for your student to make their own doctor’s appointment
The phone calls typically start coming in mid-October—as midterms approach.
That’s when many students, facing mounting academic pressure and overwhelmed by pangs of homesickness, feel a meltdown coming and call home to unload on their parents. It’s a conversation that makes parents anxious, too, and spurs them to want to jump in with a life preserver.
Resist that urge, says Kristine Gilchrist-Minasidis, director of the University Service Center, the place students and parents can call with questions or problems. Gilchrist-Minasidis has been working with parents and students making the transition to college for more than a decade, and she’s familiar with this annual October anxiety uptick.
“Think critically before jumping in,” she warns parents. “Ask yourself the question: does my student need something from me or just a comforting and reliable person to talk to?”
That’s not to say, however, that all calls home (or lack thereof) should be treated the same. When should a parent intervene? And when sit on the sidelines? It depends on the situation, says Carrie Landa, director of Behavioral Medicine and associate director of clinical services at BU’s Student Health Services. Gilchrist-Minasidis agrees. Landa has worked with students and parents for years as well and both have some pointers for parents of freshmen. Because you’re making a transition too.Discern
Students may call their parents to vent feelings they’re not comfortable sharing with peers. And those conversations will usually help students feel better afterwards. That means that as a parent, once the call ends, your work is done (even if it leaves you feeling miserable).
Pay attention, however, to situations that signal deeper student distress, Landa says. For example, the daughter who had been thriving academically and is now struggling to get passing grades or the son who was a social butterfly in high school and now has no relationship with his roommate and eats alone.
“If a parent sees their student struggling in more subtle ways, have a conversation,” Landa says. “Remind them about resources on campus. Encourage them to reach out if they need to. Think about what helped them in high school and see if it’s possible to replicate it at BU. And most important, remind them to find balance in their academic and social life.”
Parents may also want to reach out to someone at the University with any concerns or learn about student services, among them the University Service Center, 617-617-358-1818; the Dean of Students, 617-353-4126; Residence Life, 617-353-4380; Disability Services, 617-353-3658; the Educational Resource Center, 617-353-7077; or Student Health Services Behavioral Medicine, 617-353-3569.
When concerns are brought to the University, officials will engage the appropriate people to meet with the student in real time, Landa says, to ensure that they’re safe.
Gilchrist-Minasidis says staff in her office are also available to talk about an issue or course of action. “Sometimes talking over a situation with a knowledgeable University staff member will help you feel better,” Gilchrist-Minasidis says.Have realistic expectations
Your son or daughter who is 18 and older is an adult. That’s more than a symbolic number. The University Service Center, for example, can tell parents what a student’s options are, but cannot disclose information about the student, including their grades or healthcare information. Colleges and universities must have legal permission from students in order to release any information about their grades, as outlined by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
And be forewarned: the center is not a concierge service. University staff will not go to your child’s dorm room to ensure that they get up on time for class. (Yes, that’s been requested.)Communicate
Parents and students should also talk about who will be responsible for handling financial details, like semester payments, aid renewal materials, and scholarship applications.
A parent paying all or part of the college tuition bill needs to have a conversation with their student about their expectations when it comes to sharing information like grades, Gilchrist-Minasidis says. Students can authorize the release of grades and other information on the University’s ShareLink site.
“Define a successful semester,” Gilchrist-Minasidis says. “Anticipating concerns and mapping out potential strategies will alleviate stress on the part of both students and parents.”
Talk with your daughter or son about your expectations regarding the frequency of your communication, whether by phone, email, or text. Do you need to keep in touch once a month, once a week, or every two days?
If your student ignores an agreed-upon plan, have another conversation about it. Try to keep an open dialogue, and remember—be flexible if they are struggling with maintaining a communication routine. This is all new to them.Don’t panic
If you don’t hear from your son or daughter, text them directly and ask for a one-word answer to the question, “R U safe?” If you still don’t hear, consider the possibilities. Maybe your student has lost their phone charger and is waiting for a new one to arrive from Amazon.
The University can conduct a wellness check if there is significant concern about a student’s safety, Landa says. But that’s typically a last resort, after emails and texts have gone unanswered.
Wellness checks are sometimes conducted by campus police, who will go to a student’s dorm or residence. But bear this in mind: having a campus police officer show up at a dorm room can be scary, awkward, or embarrassing for a student if they are, in fact, completely fine and maybe just not in the mood to connect with mom or dad.
Gilchrist-Minasidis says parents can benefit from getting to know the cell phone numbers of their son’s or daughter’s roommates or even trading cell phone numbers with them. But again, dialing that number should be a last resort.Recognize a crisis
Parents should always intervene if a student talks about suicide, harming themselves, or hurting someone else. There are several services on campus available to help parents navigate such circumstances or to call in emergencies.
“The BUPD and Behavioral Medicine are always available to field these types of concerns and discuss possible next steps,” Landa says.
You can reach the BUPD 24 hours a day at 617-353-2121. Behavioral Medicine has a 24/7 on-call service for mental health emergencies at 617-353-3569.
Concerned parents can help their son or daughter by encouraging them to make an appointment with one of the behavioral health counselors on campus. However, it is the student who must take that initiative. Parents cannot make the appointment for their child. Gilchrist-Minasidis says her office is one of many at BU that will work with students to give them the information they need to get help.Keep confident
Reassure your son or daughter that any new endeavor can be challenging. They are not alone. And remember that parenting is hard, but that students are savvy. “You taught them well. Let them learn and grow,” Gilchrist-Minasidis says. “We think they’re going to learn and grow better if they succeed on their own.”
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When it’s time for school to start up again, it’s important for students to plan their day and schedule their week. And there’s no handier way to do it than with apps for Apple Watch. With the wearable and right apps on your wrist, you can see which class starts when, what assignments are due, and when free time begins.
Here are some of the best Apple Watch apps for students to plan their schedule.iStudiez Pro Legendary Planner
For an excellent student planner that keeps your classes, assignments, exams, schedule, instructors, and more, all in one spot, check out iStudiez Pro for Apple Watch and iPhone. This convenient tool will keep you up to date on everything on your plate.iStudiez Pro Apple Watch features:
Check your planner for free time you and what’s all on your schedule for the current and next day with details like times, room numbers, and instructors.
View assignments and exams with due dates and information.
Switch views between list and grid with Force Touch.
For students who need and all-encompassing tool for keeping up with school, iStudiez Pro is perfect. Along with the helpful Apple Watch features, you’ll love what the app has to offer on iPhone as well.
Availability: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Android, and Windows
Cost: Free with in-app purchase options for multiplatform cloud syncmyHomework Student Planner
The myHomework app mostly concentrates on your assignments but also lets you add your classes, schedule, and instructors with flexible features. The app on iPhone has an easy-to-use interface for adding and viewing everything you need for the school year and exactly what you need on Apple Watch to get you through it no matter where you go.myHomework Apple Watch features:
View assignments on the main screen with due dates, class names, and times.
Check out assignment details like notes and instructors.
Mark assignments complete using Force Touch.
For keeping up with all assignments from essays and papers to homework and research, myHomework is a helpful app for any grade or college student. Plus, the features offered on iPhone include a calendar and connection directly to chúng tôi to receive instructor announcements.
Availability: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Android, Windows, Chrome, Kindle Fire, and the web
Cost: Free with in-app purchases for themes, cross-platform syncing, web access, and moreClass Timetable
Maybe you’re not carrying a full load right now and are only taking a class or two. So, you might not need or want all of the bells and whistles of the above apps. If so, take a look at Class Timetable. With the app on your Apple Watch and iPhone, you can add exactly what you need to plan accordingly.Class Timetable Apple Watch features:
View classes and times for each day of the week.
Include weekend days in your schedule for those Saturday morning classes.
Check out your assignments due with Force Touch.
Class Timetable is a basic student planner that lets you add your classes, schedule, and assignments quickly and easily.
Availability: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Android
Cost: Free with an in-app purchase for the pro version which gives you class notifications, assignment reminders, and other useful featuresWrapping up these Apple Watch apps for student planning
Keeping up with everything when you’re in school can be just as tough as school itself. So, make sure you’re prepared with an app you can have with you at all times; on your wrist.
And head over to our Best Of app list section for other helpful apps for your devices or apps just for Apple Watch.
Imagine this. You’re all ready for the upcoming semester. You’ve got everything you need—your stationery, books, new clothes, a backpack, etc. Soon the semester starts, and you’ve already lost all semblance of time in a week.
You’re struggling to manage the different classes you’re taking, you’re unable to do your laundry, your sleep schedule is off, and now you’re wondering what went wrong.
Well, your lack of time management is what went wrong.
Being a university student is hard enough, so learning how to manage your time could give you much-needed peace of mind and flexibility.
The easiest way to do that is to have a daily planner that you can take everywhere with you. An excellent example of that would be a physical diary or, if you’re into digital goods, Notion’s school templates. Not sure if Notion is the one for you? Don’t worry. We’ve got you.
This article will discuss the benefits of using Notion as a student and a list of Notion templates made specifically for students.Is Notion good for students?
The short answer is yes.
Notion has a vast range of features, but most of the time, people are unsure whether it’s better than traditional planning systems. We’ve listed a few benefits for you below:
It’s a free planner
We all love free things, but nobody loves free stuff more than college students! Notion is a productivity app that is readily available online. You can download it on your phone and laptop/ desktop and be able to use all of its features.
While they have paid plans, if you’re a single user who needs the occasional sharing options, Notion’s free version is perfect. The free option has all of its features available, and you can customize it as much as you want.
Bonus: Their Personal Pro plan is free for students and teachers
It’s highly customizable
Notion has one of the most customizable database options available in the market right now. Some features include:
Add/ remove elements as needed
Create a detailed note-taking system
Create a customized calendar
Once you learn how the database works, you can either create an aesthetic dashboard or use online templates.
University students have a lot on their plate, and it only gets busier with time. But by using Notion, you can handle them easier. A few examples would be:
Creating to-do lists for school and personal chores
Organizing your class notes in a single place
Creating a calendar with all your deadlines
Setting reminders for different events/ exams/ assignments that are coming up.
Overall, it could be a super helpful tool for students looking to streamline their schedules.5 best Notion templates for students 1. The Ultimate Notion Template for Students by Gridfiti
There are several features of this Notion template, and it has 15 pre-built templates made for students, specifically. Some of them are made for:
Planning to grade
Class databases for various years
Class pages for tracking the status of each class
You can track all your classes, make notes, and track your time on different activities. It helps you get a better idea of what needs your time and how you can prioritize activities. It’s compatible with laptops, tablets, and phones—making it easy to access.
Get the Ultimate Notion Template for Students by Gridfiti2. Grad School/Ph.D. Notion Hub by Patrick from Oxpat
This Notion college template is explicitly made for grad school students. Created by a Ph.D. student himself, it has many features such as:
Customizable to-do list
Integrated timeline for classes
Linked project management tool (notes, journal, literature tracker)
Widgets for organization
The main benefit of this school planner template is that it comes with an in-built linked database that organizes all your notes, timelines, and journal in one place. The widgets also help in boosting your organization game.
Get the Grad School Notion Hub by Patrick from Oxpat3. Aesthetic Student Dashboard by The Notion Bar by Frances Odera Matthews
This aesthetic Notion template is an excellent choice for those who like their dashboard to have a pleasant look. Some of the features include:
A digital locker (classes, lecture notes, homework, coursework, exams, review topics & quizzes + grade),
Pre-made lecture note templates
Ability to set reminders
In-built progress calendar
This Notion school template is an excellent addition for any student in high school, college, or grad school. You can share your notes and collaborate with friends, making it a useful option for building a notes database. You can also track your progress and set reminders to stay on top of your deadlines.
Get the Aesthetic Student Dashboard by Frances Odera Matthews4. Student Workspace by Phd Notion
The Student Workspace is another Notion template targeted toward university students. It has many capabilities like:
Dashboard with courses
Study plan dashboard
Courses and notes templates
Confidence level assessment template
Drag to calendar feature
The standout feature of this dashboard is that you can assess your confidence level for each class and plan accordingly. In addition to that, you also have all your courses, lecture notes, calendar, and study plan consolidated on one single dashboard.
Get the Student Workspace by PhD Notion5. Student Workspace by Dave
This Notion template would be the most suited for college students given the comprehensiveness, but it can also be used by high school students. It has 15+ templates with an exhaustive list of features like:
Workspace (Courses, Exams, To-do’s, Smart Calendar & More)
Books (Digital Library sorted for Authors & Genres)
Bookmarks (Digital Reading list sorted for Sources & Collection)
Habits ( Habit Tracker ), Documents (General docs Database)
Get the Student Workspace by Dave6. Zettelkasten for Notion
This note-taking template can help anybody who is a knowledge worker or, in simpler words, loves recording the things they learn. The Zettelkasten tool is known as the second brain because you can record whatever you know in one place.
The method was created by German sociologist Niklas Luhmann and relies on building a web of notes. This makes it the perfect template for students, as it helps them to better organize their notes and thoughts and come up with more creative ideas.
Get the Zettelkasten – Personal Knowledge Management Template by Philipp StelzelConclusion
These templates are a great way to ensure that you’re always on top of both your school and personal life. It ensures that nothing slips under the cracks, and whenever you need to check something, it’s right where you need it.
PS: If you have enjoyed this post, you will love my article about the best Notion Budget Templates.
Books, videos, and other resources teachers can use with students in grades 3 to 12 to examine one of the largest mass migrations in history.
One out of every five people on the planet lives in South Asia, which comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and about 5.4 million people of South Asian descent live in the United States. Very few educators, however, know or teach about Partition, which after 300 years of British economic intervention and, later, political domination formed the new nations of India and Pakistan in August 1947. Pakistan was divided into East and West Pakistan; East Pakistan later fought for its independence and became the nation of Bangladesh in 1971. From 1946 to 1948, an estimated 14 million people migrated, and 1 million to 2 million were killed.
The following texts and resources present, in age-appropriate ways, nuanced perspectives on this significant world historical event with legacies that linger today in the divisions and intergenerational trauma it cemented both on the South Asian subcontinent and within the diaspora.
Upper Elementary (Grades 3–5)
The following three picture books are best geared to the upper elementary level, given that they hint at the conflict and violence that engulfed this period.
Chachaji’s Cup, by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Soumya Sitaraman (educator guide here), is the story of an Indian-American boy and his grand-uncle, whose special teacup is the only item that the elder still has from his childhood home. There’s also a brief history of Partition to share with students as well.
Mukand and Riaz, by Nina Sabnani (animated video of the book here), is set in 1947 and tells the story of two boys (Mukand and Riaz) who enjoy playing together. When the news of Partition comes, they must say farewell to each other, and Riaz helps Mukand and his family depart for India safely.
The Moon from Dehradun, by Shirin Shamsi, illustrated by Tarun Lak, is a forthcoming (2023) picture book about a young girl who has to leave her favorite doll behind when her family migrates to Pakistan during Partition.
Middle School (Grades 6–8)
The following two books, which teachers can use at the middle or high school level, offer deeply engaging narratives of individuals and communities during the Partition period.
The Night Diary, by Veera Hiranandani (educator guide here), won the Newbery Honor in 2023; it tells the story of a 12-year-old girl, Nisha, who has a Hindu father and a deceased Muslim mother. Nisha recounts her family’s refugee journey during Partition through a series of letters to her mother.
A Beautiful Lie, by Irfan Master (educator guide here), is a young adult novel set in 1947 during the weeks before Partition. Thirteen-year-old Bilal, a Muslim boy in India, devises an elaborate plot with his friends to keep the news of Partition and its related violence from his dying father, who would find it heartbreaking.
High School (Grades 9–12)
There are several ways to engage high school students in discussing Partition. The following activities align with the emphasis in Common Core on the use of primary sources (Reading Standards 5 and 7 for Literacy in History/Social Studies) as well as most state standards for world history that include 20th-century decolonization movements and Unit 8 in the AP World History (Modern) curriculum, which covers how “colonies in Asia and Africa achieved independence.”
Each of the activities below can build on one another in the suggested sequence, or students can utilize them individually.
1. Watch and discuss a video: This six-minute video from TED-Ed, “Why Was India Split Into Two Countries?” presents an accessible discussion of the basic foundations of Partition. In the three-minute video “Partition of India: One Woman’s Incredible Story,” a woman narrates her story of fleeing with her children during the violence and chaos of Partition.
2. Engage with an archive: The 1947 Partition Archive is a treasure trove of information, with nearly 10,000 oral histories of individuals who survived Partition. An interactive map on its webpage helps students locate stories, explore migration routes, and read summaries of survivors who migrated in different directions. This New York Times article (and video) about the archive, as well as the archive’s YouTube channel, can also be useful for students.
3. Take a virtual museum visit: Have students take a virtual tour of the Partition Museum in Amritsar, India, or the Kolkata Partition Museum and explore online images of collection items, videos, and articles, such as this one from the BBC. Separately, students can explore this series of images of Partition from American photographer Margaret Bourke-White.
4. Read and write poetry: Poetry offers a way to understand the deeply felt traumas of Partition and their legacies. Students can read a few poems such as “Partition” and “They Asked for a Map” in Fatimah Asghar’s book If They Come for Us and the verses on pages 64–65 about Partition in Gayatri Sethi’s book Unbelonging. Students can then write poems individually or in small groups from the perspective of a Partition refugee, or about any related theme in their own family histories pertaining to exclusion, migration, conflict, or displacement.
The additional selected curricula, books, and articles below offer further analyses of Partition and its legacies:
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, and Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed were recently interviewed at an event where the conversation turned to the algorithm. Adam Mosseri discussed elements of how the news feed algorithm works. He offered interesting clues as to how the algorithm chooses what feeds to promote to the top and what to keep out. They also disclosed why some sites won’t be able to game their new local news focused news feed.1. Facebook Feed Not Biased Toward Most Popular Sites
Facebook’s new algorithm is purposely tuned to not have a bias toward the most popular news sites, like the New York Times or Fox News. A bias toward big brands can sometimes manifest when an algorithm is tuned to show content from the most popular sites.
Popularity based algorithms make sense because they tend to satisfy the most users. Google’s search algorithm can be said to be a popularity based algorithm. The downside of showing what the most people want to see is that it doesn’t please everyone all the time. It satisfies the most users.
Satisfying the most users makes sense within the context of a search engine and the ten blue lines that make up a search page. But it makes less sense in the context of a social network like Facebook because Facebook can add extra dimensions to the popularity score and that’s what they have done. Here is the first clue about Facebook’s algorithm that was disclosed:
This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s not the publisher with the most people who trust it does the best based on this ranking score.2. News Sites Popular with Wide Variety of Readers
It’s clear that the most popular publisher is not going to win Facebook’s feed wars. So what bias is Facebook introducing? Here is the second clue:
What we’re looking for is specifically, is publishers that are trusted by a wide variety of types of people. Specifically a wide variety of types of readers.
This is an interesting clue. If you organize people by a “wide variety of types” you’re talking about organizing them by clusters. Clusters can be based on social affinities, activities, hobbies, jobs, schools, events, age and more. Facebook has filed a patent related to bias, it’s called, Identifying User Biases for Search Results on Online Social Networks. Here is a relevant section:
User information may include characteristics of users such as age, income, geographic location, gender, sex, school attended, home town, nationality, language(s) spoken, etc.
I didn’t find anything about organizing users according to political bias. So I would not assume Facebook is doing that.3. Wide Variety of Readership Makes it Difficult to Game Facebook
The news feed algorithm change is designed to prevent publishers from manipulating Facebook members in order to rank higher in the news feed. Here is what Facebook said:
And so that by definition is much more difficult to game because you’d have to get all sorts of people from different places, points of view, etc. to weight in, in the same way. Which is I think just structurally difficult.4. News Sources Must be Broadly Trusted
The last clue offered is about ranking. Facebook is identifying news sources that are broadly trusted but also those are that are broadly distrusted.
So it’s intentionally designed… to try and get a good sense of what is broadly trusted and what is broadly distrusted but also to be difficult to game.
There’s more to the interview about what Facebook does to prevent gaming of the news feed as well as promoting sites. Watch the interview here.
Image by Shutterstock, modified by Author
Screenshot by Author
For young Black men, the journey to attaining a college degree is anything but easy. Nationally, only about one third of Black males attain a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrolling in college. While surveying the landscape and statistics as our inaugural graduating class headed toward commencement, we realized immediately that in order to hold true to our efforts to create social change and increase the opportunities for young Black men, it was imperative to create something that would extend and expand upon the comprehensive supports that our schools offered students.
Access and Persistence
Our reflective planning led to the creation of the Urban Prep Alumni Program, a college access and persistence program aimed at increasing the number of our alumni who enroll in and complete college. Designed to provide the support necessary for Urban Prep graduates to successfully enroll in college and bolster their efforts to make steady progress toward attaining a degree, the program offers aggressive interventions by three full-time, dedicated staff members to help our alumni persist in school.
We begin to work with our students during their senior year while they are in the midst of the college application process. We bring in alumni for panels and discussions about their current experiences in college. These sessions are extremely important as they give our seniors the perspective of someone who was very recently in their shoes. The alumni stories are relatable and prove to the seniors that they, too, can achieve success in college.
The time immediately after our commencement ceremony is critical for us, as the Alumni Program’s success depends on ensuring our students do not succumb to “summer melt,” the phenomenon in which students leave high school with college plans, but never actually make it to college. For urban areas across the country, summer melt can be as high as 40%. One way that we combat this is by hosting summer gatherings for the graduating class to make sure that students are on track with their college registration, have transportation to college, and have a plan for paying for college. These events, as well as our other interventions, result in Urban Prep’s college enrollment rate of 94%, exceeding district, state, and national averages.
The Alumni and Fellows Programs
Once graduates arrive on their college campuses, they can rely on their department for various supports including connecting students with on-campus resources for academic and emotional support, guidance in course selection, and consistent communication. Throughout the school year, they receive frequent outreach from the Alumni Program, including check-in contacts once a month and important news via email and the alumni Facebook page. We also host an annual Winter Gathering, attended by Urban Prep faculty members as well as alumni, to promote connectedness with each other and with Urban Prep.
Additionally, the Alumni Program works to build and sustain invaluable partnerships with college administrators, enabling us to closely track our alumni’s academic progress and proactively identify and overcome potential barriers to post-secondary support. These supports, coupled with our young men’s ability, intelligence, and grit, account for why 72% of Urban Prep graduates persist in college — a rate that’s 25 percentage points higher than the Black male district average.
In keeping with our efforts to create opportunities for young Black men, seeing members of our inaugural class beginning to attain bachelor’s degrees inspired us to create the Urban Prep Fellows Program. Eleven Urban Prep alumni who have earned college degrees work in this program as tutors, mentors, student recruiters, and staff within our organization. The Fellows Program’s goal is preparing our graduates for long-term employment and meaningful careers while also affording them the opportunity to positively impact and strengthen the communities from which they come.
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