The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University National Nutrition Month
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Vol. 10 No. 29 | March 11, 2014

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

When my son has grand ideas for his personal travel and entertainment, I keep reminding him, "You are a college student--you have no income. Find something free or cheap to do!" If your student is staying in the area for spring break (March 17-21), there are plenty of free or inexpensive activities, especially now that the weather is warming up.

Here are some of my best picks.

Housing Reapplication

Is your student considering living in the residence halls again in the 2014-15 academic year? If so, it's that time again! Reapplication is the annual process for current on-campus residents to reapply for housing for the following academic year. Reapplication will run from March 24 through April 11. A detailed reminder was sent to all on-campus residents through their university e-mail accounts. Please encourage your student to check his/her e-mail for reapplication priority group details and dates. Visit for more information and FAQs.

Students can also still apply to live in university-partnered housing through American Campus Communities (ACC). Applications and process details for Hilltop Townhomes, The Suites, or The Suites Phase 2 opening fall 2014 are available at

3 Tips To Improve Your Fitness

by Gabriella Yates, Campus Recreation Services

Many of us don't know where to start when it comes to dieting and exercising. The main thing to focus on is what works best for you and your body. It's easy to look up information online and follow it, but sometimes that might not be the best option. So where does your student start when trying to pursue a healthier lifestyle? Campus Recreation Services has devised some steps for students to start their journey.

  1. Make a goal. Without a goal there is no purpose. It's been proven that people who envision themselves achieving something are more likely to make it happen. Writing the goal on a bathroom mirror is a great way to reinforce and remind oneself what they're striving for.
  2. Create a battle plan. Writing down the steps one needs to take during this transitional process is a good way to keep students accountable for their actions. If a scheduled workout time is written down in their daily planner it's easier for them to stay motivated and follow through because they have scheduled time in their day for it. It also eliminates the excuse, "I forgot about it."
  3. Commit, Commit, Commit. After a week of staying focused and keeping up the good habits the enthusiasm might start to dwindle down, but don't give up! Committing to a healthier life isn't easy but the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term struggle. Don't let your student forget that sticking to a workout plan or a healthier lifestyle is like a commitment to a job. They can't slack off just because there is no boss telling them to do it. Make sure they hold themselves accountable--no matter what.

Campus Recreation Services offers free programs to help your student on his/her journey to a healthier lifestyle. We offer free aqua, sculpting, yoga, and Zumba group fitness classes lead by certified fitness instructors. There are also certified personal trainers to help students achieve all their fitness goals.

Spring Break Safety Tips

Many of our students will be travelling to various locations for spring break, both in and out of the country. No matter where they go, we want to offer some reminders that will help keep students safe while they enjoy their adventures. Encourage your student to use his/her best judgment while travelling away from campus during the break.

  • Be aware of surroundings.
  • Don't take any valuables on the trip; leave them at home.
  • Always lock hotel doors.
  • Use the "buddy system" to keep track of group members.

Regardless of your student's plans for the break, please consider reminding him or her to be safe. Driving all night, drinking excessively, and going off with new people all pose their own risks and all too often happen during spring break activities.

For more spring break safety tips visit the Fight Back on spring break website.

Securing A Summer Internship Experience

by Alicia Loewenthal, Career Services

Though the word "internship" means many things to many people, internship experiences are essential as students strive to make themselves competitive. They can also be fun, bring a stipend or salary, and help shape your student's understanding of the career path they are exploring!

Wondering how to encourage your student to get a summer internship now that the spring career fairs have passed? Here are some tips for them:

  1. Sign up for and use Jobs for Jacks. Many jobs and internships are posted on Jobs for Jacks every week. What's more - those opportunities are from employers/organizations who specifically want to recruit Lumberjacks!
  2. Follow and Like NAU's Career-related Twitter and Instagram accounts and Facebook pages. Any opportunity we learn about that is not posted in Jobs for Jacks gets posted on Twitter and the Facebook page!
  3. Join and use LinkedIn. Best described as the professional version of Facebook, LinkedIn is an essential tool for putting positive, professional information about yourself online that will not only help in finding an internship - it will help you throughout your entire career! 80% of positions are never advertised yet are filled through the referral of someone who is known to be reliable and a good fit for the job. Be that person - and don't be afraid to ask family, professors, and friends if they know anyone with a position open.

NOTE: The job and internship search requires professional skills! Be on the lookout for announcements from your academic department and Gateway Career Services (also searchable on Jobs for Jacks) for resume and cover letter critiques, interview practice, and advice seminars from industry professionals and more!


Parents, sign in to My Student Body to learn more about this complete alcohol, drug, and wellness program at Northern Arizona University.

Passcode: nauparent

Event Highlights

See a complete listing of university events on the official university calendar website. More Flagstaff event highlights can be seen at Flagstaff 365.