Back To School in Lincoln, NE – 2017

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Back To School

It’s back to school time! What’s happening in the lives of students and their families this month as they prepare varies greatly depending on the scenario. What this looks like for parents sending their kids off to their first day of elementary school is different than parents sending them off to middle school or high school. Then there are the parents sending off their new college freshman who will be living on campus, in-state or out-of-state, young adults preparing for another year of college, and on to adult students who are returning to the classroom to pursue a degree, some of whom are making preparations at the same time for their children who are also going back to school. For all of these, there’s a lot to do and think about ahead of time. Not to worry – no matter what you need to be well-prepared, there’s a local resource that can help you with it! While shopping for clothes and supplies and orientation are a given, there are other things to consider too.

Nutrition plays a big part in our performance in all aspects of daily life, academics included.

Natasha Plooster Eat Fit Go - Headshot

Natasha Plooster
Eat Fit Go

“Proper nutrition is crucial for all of us, but especially for children as their bodies and brains are growing and developing,” says Natasha Plooster with Eat Fit Go. “Our body runs on the food that is given to it; therefore, the highest quality ingredients are needed for our children to reach their full potential. Wholesome, balanced and fresh food is integral for good sleep, happy moods, sustained energy and, what teachers love most, focus!

At Eat Fit Go, all we do is prepare fresh and balanced meals. They are packed with protein for satiety and energy, without any of the preservatives or added sugar that cause our bodies to crash after a few hours. Eating our food helps teach our younger generation what to eat and more importantly, how much to eat as they develop their habits for the healthiest life possible.

For many of my clients, Eat Fit Go offers a peace of mind that a healthy meal is waiting for them in their refrigerator, no matter how crazy the day may get.

As a mother of school aged children, my biggest challenge has always been finding the time and energy to prepare healthy meals for my family. With the demands of a busy schedule juggling work, school and activities, we love having the convenience of Eat Fit Go’s fresh and healthy meals that are ready to be enjoyed at the dinner table or in the car. I know that I’m doing something right when even my 2-year-old is asking for Eat Fit Go! His favorite is the Smart Chicken Fried Rice.”

She concludes, “We all strive to be the most super selves we can be. Don’t be so hard on yourselves and know when to delegate. While you focus on work, school and activities, let Eat Fit Go do all the chopping, cooking and cleaning to stock your refrigerator with fresh and nutritious meals that will be ready to enjoy the minute you can slow down and refuel. And the best part is that your kitchen will remain spotless!”

As previously mentioned, but applying to all parents across the board, it’s hard to juggle the stuff of daily life and still have time left to pursue one’s own goals and dreams. That being said, it’s important to take the time for self-care and to better yourself, as you are the main role model for your child(ren).

Even for those who aren’t parents, balancing all aspects of one’s life – work, family, social life, community involvement, hobbies, etc. – is a formidable challenge. There’s just not enough time in the day. Add in trying to go back to school and further your education to open new doors, advance in your career, or obtain the job you’ve always wanted and it can seem like quite the tall order. But with so many different degree programs that have been designed based on these challenges and adapted to the needs of the “non-traditional” college student, it’s entirely possible. There are great options these days for degree programs completed in part or fully through online courses, making higher education more accessible for all.

For example, at Concordia University, Nebraska, there are options of 100% online, hassle-free business graduate degrees. This program was specifically designed for working adults. You can earn an MBA online in as little as 18 months, and still learn from faculty who are experts on the subject matter and who develop a personal relationship with their students. With rigorous IACBE-accredited curriculum, you can take what you learn in class and apply it to your job the next day. You’ll have the support of a connected community dedicated to your success from day one, and even after graduation.

Online MBA Programs offered at Concordia University, Nebraska include the following options: Accounting, Business Intelligence, Finance, Human Resources Management, Leadership and Managing Team through Change, Marketing, Nonprofit Management, and Risk Management.

Headshot - Kat Kreikemeier - Southeast Community College

Kat Kreikemeier
Southeast Community College

For anyone who is returning back to school at the college level, whether it’s your first or final year, Kat Kreikemeier with Southeast Community College offers the following advice:

“The best thing that students can do to prepare for the upcoming school year is to ask questions! If students, their parents or others in a supporting role have questions, now is the time to ask them. The more information you have prior to starting classes, the more prepared you’ll be to do your best. For students starting in future terms, visit the campus or campuses where you’re considering taking classes. Take a look around, talk to instructors and advisors, and get a sense of how you see yourself there.

As for advice on avoiding common mistakes, don’t make decisions about your major, college choice, classes, etc. based on someone else’s experiences. Do firsthand research to ensure that the decisions you make work for you, your life, and your needs. Advice from friends and family can be helpful, but be sure that you’re doing what’s right for you!

Above all, seek the resources you need to be successful. Every college has a multitude of student support staff who are ready to assist you and resources that are available. Take advantage of that support, especially since you’ve already paid for those services in your tuition and fees.

Also, take each day one step at a time. When classes, assignments, tests, or finding the balance between college and life happens, remember that you can do it! Making the decision to go to college and walking in the building is the hardest part. Once you’ve made the commitment, there are lots of people cheering for you and are ready to support you—just ask!”

As for those who are planning to go back to school, but not in the immediate future, she also shares some words of wisdom. “Make sure that the college(s) you’re considering offers an academic program that will help you achieve your career goals. Southeast Community College has more than 50 programs of study where students can earn certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in both career and technical areas and a robust academic transfer program that prepares students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Some career industries have specific educational requirements, and it’s important that you have the appropriate credentials (or the ability to earn those credentials).

Additionally, it’s important to do your homework about class schedules, terms, and costs. The most convenient or popular choice might not always be the best fit for your particular life needs. Find out when classes start. Do they offer day and/or evening classes? What online class options exist? What will the total cost of your education be, and what special fees are included? All of these factors will help you make the best decision for your life. SCC starts classes four times a year (July, October, January, and April) and offers courses at a variety of times throughout the day. Some programs have evening options for students. Additionally, SCC’s tuition is affordable, which helps students complete a quality education without accumulating significant debt. This is especially true for students taking academic transfer courses.

In closing, Kreikeimeier encourages, “Come visit us at SCC! The College will be hosting a series of Discovery Days on each campus over the next few months. Discovery Days provides guests the opportunity to learn about Programs of Study, meet faculty and staff and learn about support services and how to pay for college. It’s a great opportunity to visualize life as a student at SCC. For students considering coming to college, there is still time to enroll for the Fall Quarter, which begins in October. Visit www.southeast.edu/discoverscc for more information.”

The 2017-18 school year is upon us, but there’s still a little bit of time yet this month to get your ducks in a row. Young and young at heart alike, we wish you well in your future academic endeavors and hope the year ahead is a successful and fulfilling one!