Advice From Your Mines Student

The Oredigger would like to welcome parents and other family members of Colorado School of Mines students to campus for family weekend. Over the past three months, every student on campus has been working hard to learn a wide variety of things from chemistry to economics. In the spirit of learning this article is dedicated to teaching parents and other family members a few important things that might be beneficial to know at some point during a student’s time at mines. Don’t worry, unlike what Mines students are learning there will not be a test over any of this material.

1.)   First off, every semester, it’s a good idea to ask students about their schedules. No matter how important the information that is trying to be shared with a student is, they usually can’t answer calls or text during class. In most classes, the material goes by too fast to stop taking notes and respond to a text. In some smaller lectures and most labs phones are not allowed, making it outright impossible for students to respond instantly.

2.)   Mines Market loses its appeal for most students at some point, usually about the time they start putting fruit in grilled cheese sandwiches (We at The Oredigger don’t understand it either). Besides the main dining hall, there is a Starbucks, Sub Connections, Wow Café, and Einstein Bros. Bagels/Caribou Coffee on campus where students can grab a quick bite to eat. If you are looking to send your students a care package, most students living on campus would find gift cards to any of these restaurants a welcome surprise late in the semester.

3.)   It’s normal for a student to want to change their major at some point. There are so many interesting classes offered at Mines it is bound to happen. Chemistry, electrical engineering, mathematics, and possibly even physics could introduce a topic that a student finds more interesting than what they are currently studying. If a student expresses interest in changing their major, it’s a good idea to discuss it with them, but come to the discussion with an open mind.

4.)   The campus department responsible for sorting mail adds at least a day to the amount of time it takes for a student to receive any mail sent to them. Family members who wish to surprise a student by sending them a care package or any other mail overnight should keep in mind it could take 2-3 days for it to be available for pick up. Be sure to take this added delay into consideration when deciding if it is worth it to send mail via overnight shipping to an address on campus. 

5.)   Even for longer three-day breaks like Thanksgiving many classes still assign regular homework. Unfortunately, according to the law assigning homework over a campus holiday isn’t a form of cruel and unusual punishment, so it isn’t likely to go away any time soon. If your student isn’t able to do everything the family had been hoping to during a visit, it may be that the low point of their coursework doesn’t line up with scheduled breaks. 

6.)   Colorado School of Mines is a public institution and as a result, all students must submit a FAFSA every year. Filing the FAFSA requires not just the student’s tax return but also the parents’. The deadline for submitting the FAFSA this year is April 1, 2020, and Mines recommends that students submit their family’s documents to the FAFSA by the middle of March. Consider this a friendly reminder for parents reading this to file their taxes early enough that they can be processed in time for their students to complete the FAFSA before the deadline.

7.)   Students have no control over when finals are scheduled or even when they find out what times they have those final exams. As hard as it may be to pass up a great sale for a flight home during finals week it is best to wait until students know their schedule. The testing center has to plan multiple exams for close to 5,000 students so they, unfortunately, can’t accommodate any plans that students have to leave golden before their final scheduled exam. Even an amazing discount on a flight home isn’t worth the extra tuition to retake a class that a student missed the final for.

8.)   Last and most importantly, every family member should know that even if their student is busy and doesn’t have the chance to talk every day, they are still grateful for everything you have done for them. Every family member has done a lot of work to get their student to Colorado School of Mines, and sometimes students get too caught up in trying to make the most of the opportunities that have been created for them to vocalize how much they appreciate it.



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