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Spring Break is supposed to be time for college students to relax and recharge. Not all college students choose rowdy escapes. More and more campuses are promoting alternative spring break activities such as drug-and alcohol-free parties and sporting events and “service” vacations.

That being said, parents and family members should be aware of the risks and temptations college students face when vacationing with their peers.

Drinking

According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75 percent of college males and 43.6 percent of females reported being intoxicated on a daily basis during spring break. Nearly half of the males and more than 40 percent of the females also reported being drunk to the point of vomiting or passing out at least once during break. This kind of binge drinking is the major culprit in alcohol poisoning. It also increases the risk of car accidents and arrests for such violations as drunk driving, public intoxication and property destruction.

Tips to pass along to students: Don’t drink, but if you are of legal drinking age and you do decide to drink:

  • Decide in advance what and how much you will drink.
  • Plan how you will refuse once you reach your limit.
  • Know what will happen if you violate state or local laws
  • Use a designated driver or choose public transportation.

Sex and Violence

According to the same University of Wisconsin study, few students who had sex during spring break used condoms, even if a condom was available. Among women, those with higher alcohol consumption were more likely to have been the victim of a sexual assault. Tips for parents to pass along to students:

  • Drinking makes it easier for a person to become either the victim or the perpetrator of a sexual assault. Be aware of your consumption!
  • Don’t allow yourself to be taken to an isolated location.
  • Use the buddy system. Don’t walk alone. Attend large parties with friends and plan to leave with the same friends.
  • Don’t leave a drink unattended. Don’t accept open drinks from strangers. If you start feeling odd, put the buddy system into action.

Hotel/Motel and General Safety

In general, students should rely on traveler’s checks and credit cards. They should write down the numbers and keep them in a safe place. In addition to the obvious—lock your door and don’t leave valuables in your hotel or motel room—pass on these tips to your child:

  • Don’t flash cash; limit visits to ATM machines.
  • Look through the peephole before answering the door. Don’t open it for a stranger. If someone claims to be hotel staff, call the front desk for verification.
  • Never agree to meet someone who has “found” your lost/stolen purse or wallet: Notify police.

Traveling Abroad

Mexico and some Caribbean islands are popular spring break destinations. When traveling abroad, students should remember that foreign nations have different laws and customs and that drug trafficking can mean long prison sentences. Contact the country’s consular office or visit the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site.

Tips for parents to pass along to students:

  • Check the country’s entry and exit requirements. Take extra copies of travel documents (driver’s license, passport, birth certificate).
  • Review State Department travel warnings, which detail crime and health risks.

Travel Scams

According to the American Society of Travel Agents and the College Parents of America, charter flight delays, hotel over-bookings and non-delivery of services are common problems.

Tips for students:

  • Be skeptical about solicitations that sound too good to be true.
  • Research the travel company and don’t give out credit card numbers until you’re sure the business is reputable.
  • Receive complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment.

 

 

Adapted from:

Fries, A. (2018, October 08). A Parent's Guide to Spring Break. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/a-parents-guide-to-spring-break/

career planning general staff

Is your student getting ready to apply for and internship, graduate school, or entering the workforce? Or maybe your student is just wanting to get a jumpstart on their career development. UAB has tailored resources to help your student do just that! It is an exciting and nerve wracking time for both students and their parents. UAB has resources to help prepare your student every step of the way.

Career Center:

  • Resume Building and reviews (available by appointment, during drop-in hours and online)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) building and review
  • 1 on 1 Mock Interviews
  • InterviewStream
    • Allows you to practice your interviewing skills anywhere. It is available through Hire-A-Blazer
  • Career Closet
    • The Career Closet houses a variety clothing that students can borrow for interviews, career fairs, and other business and job-related purposes.
  • Diversity Career Resources
  • Career Course
    • UNIV 200- Job Search Essentials
    • UNIV 300- Career Mapping: Navigating for Success
  • A Compressive Career Guide (available online and in print)
  • HireABlazer for job and internship listings

Writing Center:

  • Help writing personal statements, letters of intent, or personal essays
  • Help with writing samples

Individual Departments

  • Each department has its own unique set of resources available to students. It is important that every student learns what those things are and how they can be tailored to fit their needs.

This October, SYE is addressing the mid-term madness by hosting a Control the Controllables event in the SYE Office in the Upper RLC off Blazer Hall at 2 different times: Wednesday, October 24th from 4-5pm OR Monday, October 29th from 2:30-3:30pm. At the event, students will hear from the Counseling Center on ways to manage stress and perform mindfulness. Next, free materials will be provided for all to make their own SEN GARDENS as a keep-sake and way to stay positive this season.

Next, SYE is wrapping up Internship Readiness Month with the Business Internship Workshop on Thursday, October 25th from 4:30-6pm. Students will meet in the lobby of the new Collat School of Business! The event will kick-off with an upper-class student panel on internships. Next, students will network with UAB Collat Business Alumni and enjoy free pizza and appetizers. The evening will wrap up with a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Collat School and resource room. You won’t want to miss!

Gear up for November for the SYE Medical School Panel on Tuesday, November 13th from 5-6pm in the HSC Ballroom A. Current advisors and medical school students will share their experiences and advice as you are thinking of applying to medical school. You will have time to ask your own questions and meet and greet with current students!

Lastly, conclude the Fall semester with the SYE End of the Semester Social on Thursday, November 29th from 5-6pm at World of Wings (WOW). Students will have ½ off all appetizers and will enjoy a fun semester celebration with music and games!

Graduation! What an exciting time for your student and family! Every student has calculated an estimated time for their college graduation since the beginning of freshman year. Having to obtain so many credit hours including prerequisites, core classes, internships, electives, etc., can be difficult to keep track of at times. Contemplating when a student should or can apply for graduation can be overwhelming when trying to add up all of those hours. UAB’S Graduation Planning System (GPS) is available to provide your student with guidance to navigate their road to walking across that stage. GPS is a web-based tool to help students and advisors monitor progress toward degree completion and plan for future coursework. 

GPS compares the degree requirements of the UAB Undergraduate Catalog and the coursework completed on the student’s record to produce an easy-to-read audit. If your student is close to graduating but may be considering adding a minor or possibly changing their major, GPS provides a “What If” feature allowing them to view the remaining course work that would need to be completed. GPS also features a “Plans” ability that indicates when and what ordered classes should be taken. This feature allows the student and their advisor to create a semester by semester road-map.

GPS can be accessed by your student through logging on to their BlazerNet account and selecting the GPS icon on the right side of the page. A student's GPS consists of a series of sections, which are called "blocks." These blocks are programmed to check the degree requirements for each school. The blocks contain an easy-to-use color code:

  • A green box indicates that a requirement has been completed.
  • A blue box indicates that a requirement is in the process of being completed. Most often this means that a student is currently enrolled in a course that will satisfy the requirement.
  • A red box indicates that a requirement still needs to be completed.
  • A yellow box indicates that a student should talk with an advisor about that requirement. Students will rarely see a yellow box, as it is reserved for particularly complex situations that require a conversation with an advisor

GPS

SYE Welcome Back PicSYE began the year with our annual Welcome Back Bash in the HSC Ballroom on August 30th from 11am-1pm. We had 15+ tables representing School Programs such as the College of Nursing and the College of Engineering. We also had departments showcasing their offerings for second-year students such as Education Abroad and Student Involvement and Leadership. All enjoyed a catered lunch and many opportunities to learn more about the UAB community.

SYE also had our Mentoring Dinner Kick-off this past week, and we have 80 Junior Mentors and 80 Second-year Mentees. The primary goal of the SYE Mentoring Program is to provide mentoring support and a sustaining relationship to achieve the following:

  1. Assist second-year students in successfully navigating their second year at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  2. Assist in increasing the retention of second-year students by providing a consistent and stable contact to serve as a resource.
  3. Stay connected with students to encourage them to improve their academic performance by seeking out and utilizing available academic support services and resources.
  4. Maintain a stable support system for students to avoid the “sophomore slump.” Offer encouragement for student’s personal growth and development in college.

The program will have our Mentor/Mentee social this month and will work on continuously improving to better the second-year student experience at UAB.

 Upcoming September and October events include:

  • Education Abroad
  • Tuesday, September 18, 2018
  • 5:00 – 6:00PM
  • Hill Student Center, Ballroom A
  • How to Get Involved Your Second Year
    • Monday, September 24, 2018
    • 5:00 - 6:00 PM
    • Upper RLC SYE Office
  • LEAD - What makes a great leader?
    • Thursday, September 27, 2018
    • 5:30 - 6:30 PM
    • Upper RLC SYE Office
  • Engineering Internship Workshop
    • Thursday, October 4, 2018
    • 5:00PM - 6:00PM
    • Hill Student Center, Room 316
  • Control the Controllables Your Second Year Option 1
    • Wednesday, October 24th 2018
    • 4:00PM - 5:00PM
    • SYE Office in the Blazer Upper level RLC
  • Business Internship Workshop
    • Thursday, October 25, 2018
    • 5:00PM - 6:00PM
    • New Collat School of Business
  • Control the Controllables Your Second Year Option 2
    • Monday, October 29th 2018
    • 2:30PM - 3:30PM
    • SYE Office in the Blazer Upper level RLC