Humboldt State University
Forever Humboldt Families
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September 2020

From One Parent to Another

Students studying under a tree with lots of leaves on the ground

For this newsletter, Forever Humboldt Families spoke with Wade, the father of a Humboldt State Wildlife Biology sophomore, who shared some reflections, stories, and advice for the families of other students.

Wade’s daughter decided to stay at her family’s home in San Diego this semester, as none of her courses offered face-to-face instruction. But, he says, she misses Humboldt State and is planning to return in the Spring.

Now that you have a year under your belt, what advice would you give to parents of a first-year student?

You’ve got to trust your kid. I was comfortable that Humboldt State takes care of its students. Your kids will reach out to you if they need help, and if they’re not reaching out, it’s probably because they're doing just fine. Give them the room to grow.

My daughter switched majors her first year. A good discussion to have early on with your student is: remembering the goal. The first year is for exploring the different classes, talking to people, and finding out what interests you. Advice given to me by a professor was: study and major in the thing you like to do, because if you like it you’ll do well in it.

What were any highlights of last year?

One highlight was seeing how well she did in school. Like most kids, she was nervous about college classes, so it was awesome to see her reaction to doing well. It was also cool to see her join a sorority. College is a great opportunity to explore. Join clubs, meet people—it’s not completely about classes. It was exciting to see her grow like that and see how much fun she had and friends she made.

What kind of concerns did you have coming into this semester, and how were you and your family able to address those?

The biggest concern was the uncertainty about everything. My daughter finished the Spring semester at Humboldt, but we had a lot of questions over the summer. Should we go up there? Is there room available? Should you, can you? Now that we’re in the semester, the biggest concern is the courses she’s taking, how effective can they be online? That’s the hardest challenge this year. I’m dealing with it by being supportive, helping when I can, and trying not to get too involved in the details.

What did you feel more comfortable about going into the second year?

The maturation I’ve seen and the friends she’s made. That wasn’t a tremendous worry for me the first year, but I’m certainly not concerned about that any more. I was super glad for her cohort group Among Giants [a learning community for biology students], it helped her to get a jumpstart on academic habits.

What’s been the best way for you to stay in touch with your daughter while she’s in school?

College is so much different than when I was her age. I told her “hey, it doesn't matter the time of day or night, you can call me, you can text.” And you have to be ready for that kind of thing. One time she called me around midnight and I thought “Oh my goodness.” It turns out she’d forgotten to cancel a free trial for a streaming service and was worried I’d be mad, which I wasn’t. So it was funny in the end. They’re adults, but not quite. To you, something may not be a big deal, but to them it's the end of the world.

And we tried to make talking pretty routine—for us, midday Sunday we’d try to give a call and chat. Some kind of routine is helpful—so your student knows to try and be available at certain times, and you don’t get concerned about them.

What To Expect This Fall

A short video about what students can expect at Humboldt State this year.

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Campus Ready

Humboldt State University continues to refine plans for instruction, the safe return to campus, and the student experience for Fall 2020

The most comprehensive information about the ongoing operations is available at

There, you can find information specific to students, as well as information on a variety of topics affecting the entire campus community. The website will continue to be updated as the University prepares and responds to the pandemic.


College is an opportunity for learning—new concepts, with new people, in new ways. And that’s not limited to the students. We encourage you to learn alongside your student with our free online class, Humboldt Families 101.

The nine-week course is designed for new family members to learn how to support their student while at HSU. You'll get a free Humboldt State sweatshirt for your student when you finish.

Topics include transitioning into the first semester, getting involved in clubs and other activities, seeking academic support, and enjoying Humboldt’s beautiful outdoors. You will also learn more about financial aid, find important housing resources, and learn about HSU’s commitment to keeping your student safe and healthy.

Visit to sign up for Forever Humboldt Families 101.

Also on the website, you will find Parent & Family guides on a variety of important topics that will help you help your student navigate the complexities of college.

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Latest News from Campus

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» HSU Instructors Recognized for Excellence by Retired Faculty, Staff

» Cycling Keeps You Young!

» HSU Professors Recognized for Innovative Equity in STEM Leadership

Giving Opportunity

This past year, donors gave over $150,000 in emergency support to HSU students. Funds raised ensure that students can continue on their path to graduation, even during the pandemic. The need, however, is far from over as students gear up for another year of school in the uncertain environment of COVID-19. To support HSU students during this crucial time, please consider making an online gift to one of the emergency student support funds. Your support helps students stay in school, even through the unprecedented challenges they are facing.

Ditching the Desk

featured Flickr photo

Grad students recently helped monitor fish in a Marine Protected Area near Patrick’s Point.

More information about research and face-to-face instruction can be found on

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Events & Deadlines

Oct. 5-9

Friday, Nov. 6
Face-to-face instruction ends, classes return to virtual format

Nov. 23-27
Fall Break

Dec. 14-18
Final exams

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