Ah, back to school season. Facebook is flooded with photos of cute littles holding signs bigger than they are, proudly displaying what grade they’re going into. You’ve spent weeks prepping your classroom and planning for the year. Seniors are itching to start one of the best years of their lives. Xerox machines in faculty lounges across America are jamming in protest from being overused…
This is also a season of big change for recent high school grads who moving out of their childhood home, away from friends, and are being shipped off to college. A few months ago they were safe and sound in your class and had to ask to go to the bathroom – and now they’re venturing out into the big world on their own. Let’s just hope they know how to do their own laundry!!
We’re big on building a family of journalism nerds. We spend hours together writing and rewriting and editing and designing and crying over blurry photos and comma placement. We celebrate when the publications come out and collect inside jokes like no other. That doesn’t have to stop when they walk across the stage.
Love from a far
The first few weeks of college can be lonely, and getting mail is fun! Reach out to your former kiddos and ask for their new address. Postable is a great (free!) website to use to collect addresses and birthdays.
Then, have your staff make cards (or sign pre-made cards) and mail them off to your recent grads! Bust out the stickers and glitter and markers and confetti. The cheesier and more obnoxious the better! If budget allows, throw in a little treat or comfort item. Some ideas: a Starbucks gift card, tea bag, air freshener, etc.
Promise, they will display that card proudly in their new dorm or apartment, and it will give them the warm and fuzzies in a moment they may have really needed it. Once they’re part of the fam, they’re always part of the fam.
In addition, it lets newbie staff members see into the family dynamic they’re now a part of, and gives seniors something to look forward to.