Post Date Oct 21

Tips for Taking Online Classes

Online learning can be easy for some and prove to be more difficult for others. However, during this time, online learning is 100% in effect at NC State. As students, it is our job to do our best to make it work for us. Here are some tips that can help lead to a successful online semester!

Students working at the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus find ample space to social distance, with undergraduate classes moved online for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. Photo by Becky Kirkland.



– Have a dedicated study space. While it may seem nice to do homework or watch a lecture while laying in bed, you are more prone to distractions or falling asleep. Having a dedicated study space allows you to zone in on the work that you need to get done.

– Utilize calendars. Get in the habit of writing down when assignments are due and scheduling when you plan on completing them.

– Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor or other classmates when you need help. Chances are that you are not the only one with a similar question. It also lets the professor know that you are invested in their class which could go a long way for you.

– Treat your online courses like a “real” class. Discipline yourself and sit down to focus on your work as if you were sitting in class. It’s important to hold yourself accountable.

– Make note of major assignments on your syllabus’. Write them down or highlight them so that they don’t sneak up on you.

– Figure out how you learn best. Do you work best in the morning? Or at night? With or without music? What are some study strategies that have worked for you in the past and how can you still implement them while learning from home?

– Academic and Student Affairs here at NC State has posted helpful strategies and resources to look into. You can see those here: https://dasa.ncsu.edu/academics/keep-learning/

As always,
Stay safe and go Pack!

– Julia

Post Date Oct 15

A Pandemic is Not the Pack Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly made this semester unlike any other semester here at NC State. The new online format presents many challenges for the entire Pack family when it comes to getting the real Pack experience. The ability for students to fully explore the resources available to Pack families has been hindered. Resources such as clubs, public events, and educational events are now completely gone or adapted to a virtual environment. These tough times have rightfully worried many families, and we thank you for continuing to support the students. 

Despite the present times, NC State still has many resources available for students and parents to look forward to! Once the campus fully reopens, lots of big events will be in the making. For starters, after months of social distancing, a great way to get involved is by attending a football game with your student. Football games are by far the most popular attraction for families and never fail to deliver a great time. For information about future football games and tickets, please follow this link: https://gopack.com/sports/2020/6/22/student-ticket-information.aspx

DISCLAIMER: this photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Please continue social distancing and wearing a mask when in public.

Additionally, students can look forward to all of the exciting clubs and activities that are typically available during this time. There is always something fun and unique happening at Talley Student Union, such as dance competitions, karaoke night, music concerts, and many more. Basketball games and band concerts are also great events to attend with your child. Although lots of club events have been reduced, there are still many clubs available that are actively working in the virtual format. To see the database for NCSU clubs, please follow this link: https://getinvolved.ncsu.edu/organizations

The pandemic is not the Pack experience. The Pack experience enriches students’ lives with the necessary tools and skills to build a bright future for themselves, and prepares its exceptional students for a life filled with promise and success. NC State is truly a great university, and has pushed myself and many other students to reach our full potential as the future leaders of our generation. NC State has given me the opportunity to expand my horizons like never before, while granting me the tools to build my own future, and I am confident NC State will do the same for your student. 

– Kenney

Post Date Oct 13

Living with A Partner During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This summer, in the pursuit of a good internet connection and a quiet work environment for my virtual internship, I lived with my partner in his apartment. As nice as it was to spend the summer with him, there were some lessons we had to learn: how to better communicate, split chores, and accommodate each other’s dietary needs. Here’s an overview of how it went and some lessons I learned over the summer!

The Good
One of the best parts about living together over the summer was that I had someone to spend time in quarantine with. We picked up hobbies together, such as laughing at bad reality TV shows and taking long (masked) walks in local parks, talking about anything and everything. Being able to work from home together was also enjoyable, especially because we had similar work schedules and would start and end at roughly the same time. Essentially, I knew that if I overslept, he would be able to wake me up for work.

Another great thing about living with my partner was that I didn’t have to worry about him and how he was doing! With so much uncertainty in the world, especially with COVID-19 and mental health concerns, it put me at ease knowing that he was doing well.

The Bad
Honestly, it didn’t go too badly for us at all – we respected each other’s space when we needed to, only got into one real argument, and managed to make things work. However, I know not everyone can say the same, and I know that being cooped up in the same apartment all the time can amplify the differences that you and your partner have.

One thing that we did struggle with at the beginning of the summer was navigating alone time. How do you find space and time for yourself when you share a one-bedroom apartment? For us, we alternated schedules. I am more of a morning person, so getting up half an hour early to get ready for work, watch the sun rise, and make a big pot of coffee was a great opportunity to get some personal time in. He is more of a night owl and would stay up late to catch up on his YouTube subscriptions or go for quiet walks around his apartment complex.

Even though we did pretty well when living together, there were a few adjustments we needed to make, mostly related to communication, chores, and personal space.

Communicating with each other was definitely the hardest part of adjusting. Being able to express frustration about smaller issues, like the coffee cups accumulating on his desk or the way I turn the TV volume up too early in the morning, provided a way for us to start talking about deeper topics, like the foods we don’t like, the chores we hate, and the things that irk us about the other person. Being able to communicate in a stress-free environment, when the other person was ready to talk, helped us talk through a lot of petty disagreements this summer.

Overall, this summer was a great experience, and I feel like we’ve grown stronger together!


– Isabella

Post Date Oct 8

Living with Roommates

As a senior at NC State, I’ve had various living situations throughout my time as a student. While each year brought different experiences and challenges, I wouldn’t change a thing.

My freshman year I lived in Carroll Residence Hall, part of the Tri-Towers on the main campus. Carroll is a suite-style building, therefore I shared a dorm with my roommate along with our suitemates. Lucky for us, she and I got along extremely well and were the best of friends. Our personalities meshed perfectly, and we had similar sleep and class schedules. One of the most important things we shared was respect for one another’s space. We kept our belongings on our own sides and agreed to keep our shared space clean. However, we did struggle to connect and get along with our suitemates. We quickly realized that the few issues and awkward interactions we had all came down to one thing: lack of communication. Openly communicating with one’s roommates or suitemates is the number one thing I learned through this experience. To solve this issue, we created a group message between all of us. If we ever had a problem with something, we found time to discuss it in person and come to a resolution. We never had disagreements large enough to need our resident advisor’s help; however, RA’s are a wonderful resource to use regardless.

My junior and senior year, I moved into off-campus housing and lived in a house with three other roommates. While I now have my own bedroom and bathroom, the skills I gained from my dorm experience still reflect in my interactions today. When living off-campus, open communication is almost even more important. You have to deal with larger scale issues, such as bills, leases, groceries, chore schedules and more. It gives you a real taste of “adulting” and puts your organization levels to the test.


Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, candid communication between roommates is essential, whether you’re sharing a room or not. At the beginning of the semester, my roommates and I sat down with each other and discussed our expectations of one another. This was done to ensure everyone was on the same page, felt comfortable and had common understanding. Gratefully, with this shared mentality, each of us have remained safe and healthy over the past few months.

Living with roommates is a part of the college experience. I learned more than I ever could imagine and am immensely grateful for the wonderful roommates I have had thus far. For more information on housing options at NC State, check out the University Housing website.

– Gabby

Post Date Oct 6

Balancing Virtual Course Work

Adjusting to virtual classes can be a difficult transition. Online classes are not as interactive, and it is very easy to become distracted. This makes staying on task and paying attention even more important. It can often feel as if virtual courses give out more work, so time management has become an even more important tool as students do not have the enforced structure of a classroom environment. This makes it easy for students to want to lay in bed and listen to lectures or a zoom call but not be paying attention. It is important for your student to create a routine and to make sure they are attentive during class. Having a separate, dedicated space to study in is a helpful tool that can lessen distractions and help prepare your student’s mind to be ready to learn. Keeping to a schedule, managing time, and utilizing campus resources are very important, especially during this time when it is so easy to not pay attention during lectures.

Take Advantage of Resources
This transition to online learning is not an easy one, but there are plenty of resources available to help. The NC State Academic Success Center is a great tool that offers online tutoring services, peer mentoring, and writing consulting. They offer weekly tutoring groups, or one on one sessions. I have personally used their tutoring services before, and I have really benefited from having a peer help explain material in a different way.

The NC State Libraries are also here to help your student! They are open and can provide spaces to students that are near campus, or they can offer virtual resources. The library has technology lending programs where students can rent out technology for a long-term period of up to a month. Students can also request PDFs of textbook chapters they need for class. The library has a full and exciting schedule of virtual events and workshops to keep students involved and engaged.

The switch to online classes is stressful, and the NC State Counseling Center is a fantastic resource. The Counseling Center has resources for students dealing with any mental health issues, and there are counseling groups for a variety of topics including one addressed as “Coping with COVID.” Making sure your student’s mental health and stress levels are healthy is important and will help them be successful in their studies. The Counseling Center also has helpful tips on Time Management.

– Rachel

Post Date Oct 1

How Are You Feeling About COVID-19?

Since March, we have been caught up in the whirlwind that is COVID-19. It has kept everyone on their toes as everything around us has completely changed. Even though we were only on campus for two weeks, the spread of COVID-19 did in fact get worse, despite the universities best attempts to prevent the spread.

It is easy to feel anxious, upset, stressed, and overwhelmed during this time. Existing health problems could have worsened during this time, and it is possible that new health problems may appear. Your student may be struggling to balance everything, such as finding time to sleep or worrying about financial issues. All of these feelings are valid, and if they are experiencing these struggles, it is important to explain to them that it is normal. Hundreds of thousands of people have felt the very real effects of this global pandemic. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations; however, it is essential that you and your student take the time to figure out healthy ways to cope with everything going on in our new world. You and your student’s mental and physical health is of the utmost importance. At NC State, the university health center is still open. All counseling center appointments can still be made, they just have been moved online. You can see more info and schedule an appointment here: https://counseling.dasa.ncsu.edu

Personally, COVID 19 has taken quite the toll on my sophomore year. I have recently lost one of my on-campus jobs, and one of my off-campus jobs has dramatically reduced my hours. Financially, things can go downhill quickly. However, I looked into university resources back in March and took advantage of the help they were able to provide for me. These resources are still accessible and can be found here: https://www.ncsu.edu/coronavirus/students-families/support-services/

It is important that as the Wolfpack, we try our best to stay optimistic in situations like this.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.


Stay Healthy and Go Pack!
– Julia

Post Date Sep 25

Working On/Off campus

College is expensive! We all know the struggle of skipping out on a nice dinner for a late night cup noodles instead. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to gain money on and around campus! NCSU employs over a thousand students every semester, and there are also many employment options that students can take advantage of off campus.

Where Can You Find Jobs?

NCSU offers a large variety of positions for students to find employment in areas they enjoy. We have positions for everything from library staff to event coordination. Signing up is easy! You can find all the resources regarding student employment at the links below:

In terms of off-campus employment, there are actually a lot of places that hire pretty often! Since many of the employees at restaurants and businesses around campus are students as well, there is typically a higher turnover rate since students come and go as they graduate or find other priorities in their lives. Although the applications for these jobs are similar to any job, if your student applies to one or more of these businesses, they are likely to receive an offer from at least one of them.

What Should You Expect?

Employers often expects applicants to have a resume that highlights all of the applicant’s work experience. If your student does not have any work experience, do not stress! I was able to work for multiple restaurants and businesses off campus during my sophomore year, since many of them do no require any previous work experience. They are well aware that many of the students may not have had prior experience and are open employing them regardless. Applicants should come to any in-person interview dressed well and ready to talk about why they are interested in applying for the specific job!

Why Does It Matter?

Student involvement on or off campus can be an essential part of student success and comes with many benefits. For starters, it is much easier for our students to explore areas and topics that they are interested in through their respective positions. In addition, many of our student employment options teach students to become excellent at working in teams to achieve goals. Teamwork makes assimilating into the real workplace much smoother and will give students a more applicable skillset.

In addition to finding opportunities through student employment, you can also find great opportunities through to jobs off campus. During my junior year, I was extremely interested in gaining work experience and getting a better understanding of how I could translate that experience into a valuable skillset. The best thing I did during that time was reach out to a couple of the local restaurants and businesses for employment. I found that many of the local businesses were more than happy to work with me, and it was super enlightening! Whether it is on or off campus, at the end of the day, work experience will be another way to continue building up a good resume and finding good opportunities.

– Kenney

Post Date Sep 22

My Experience as a Student Intern over the Summer of 2020

This summer, I was given the opportunity to serve as the Student Intern for the Office of Parents and Families Services at NC State. Through this experience, I gained personal skills as a leader, student and student worker. Skills such as customer service, technological aspects, and the ability to adapt to any given situation, all of which I will be able to utilize when building my career after graduation. Although the experience was different than I expected due to COVID-19, I am thankful to have taken part in the campus-wide changes being made to protect the students of NC State. I am thankful to have gained these skills of adaptation. Most importantly, I am thankful for the NC State Parents and Families for giving me the ability to serve in this position.

Parent Ally Leadership Team :: Parents & Families Services

This semester, I hope to help my peers gain similar experiences. I hope I am able to build a foundation for the team and the future of the program. During my time as a Parent Ally this summer, I was able to gain technical skills in Zoom, Branding, Transition Talks for New Student Programs, Facebook Live Operation, and other behind-the-scenes experiences. One of my main goals this semester is to teach the other Parent Allies how to utilize these skills and give them the opportunity to grow, as I did this summer. In addition, I hope to continue to grow in my adaptability skills. Through the many changes each day, it is important to adapt to the situation of the university. As a student worker and leader, the skill of adaptability is SO important.

“The Strength of the Pack is the Wolf. The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” This common quote at NC State is important to remember during this time of chaos. Who would have thought that we would be in this situation? For me, I am thankful to be a part of the NC State community during these times of unjust and new experiences. The feelings of frustration, fear, and unhappiness within the situation are valid.

Thank you NC State. Thank you Kerri Fowler and Valerie Oti. Thank you Parent Ally Team. Without you, I would not be the leader I am today. Go Pack!

– Sophie

Post Date Sep 10

Meet Our New PA, Rachel!

Hi! My name is Rachel Snider and I am super excited about becoming a new Parent Ally this year in the Office of Parent and Families Services at NC State. I am a senior majoring in Communication with a minor in Animal Science and Science Communication. On campus, I am involved in College Mentors for Kids and the Women’s Club Lacrosse team at NC State. I also serve as a Global Ambassador for the Office of Global Engagement and work as a student employee at Student Involvement

I am looking forward to connecting our Pack Parents and Families with their students and resources on campus this semester. I can’t wait to share my experiences and knowledge about NC State and give my perspective on being an out-of-state student. I am very excited about being able to work with such a small, close-knit team. 

I have experience working with students and children on campus in other involvements, but I am excited to gain experience working with Pack Parents as a Parent Ally this year! This semester is going to present unique obstacles, but I am eager to tackle these challenges with the Parent Ally team. I am looking forward to improving my communication skills and learning from my team members. I can’t wait to get started!

Go Pack!

Rachel

Post Date Sep 8

Meet Our New PA, Isabella!

Hi everyone! My name is Isabella Forst, and I am a new Parent Ally in the Office of Parents and Families Services at NC State University! I am a rising senior studying Graphics Communications (basically, engineering drawings) with a dual minor in Technical and Scientific Communications and Supply Chain Engineering. Outside of the classroom, I’m heavily involved in University Housing. Currently, I serve as the president of the Inter-Residence Council, the organization that advocates and puts on events for on-campus residents, and I’m also a member of the Barn Owl class of NC State’s chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary. I also spend my free time as a part of the Civically Engaged Scholars program hosted by Leadership and Civic Engagement, and I am involved in the honor societies for my college and for my major, Kappa Delta Pi and Epsilon Pi Tau. Respectively, you could say I stay busy!

I am beyond excited to start as a Parent Ally here on campus. I absolutely love the university and all of the programs and services that it offers its students. I can’t wait to help parents learn about all of the different events, experiences and educational opportunities that NC State has to offer. Despite all the challenges COVID-19 has presented, everyone in the office has been really supportive and helpful with getting me acquainted with the role, and I’m excited to get started!

With the work that I’ve done in a lot of public-facing roles, I’ve found that I have developed skills in talking to large groups of people. I’m excited to talk to, meet and collaborate with the NC State Parent Allies in an effort to help support Pack Families and ensure that the experiences parents and families have while their students are at NC State are great. I’m thrilled to connect with other members of the PFS family in the role of a Parent Ally, and I can’t wait to get started!

With Pack Pride,
Isabella