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What to Expect

Months at a Glance

September

  • Homesickness, especially for first year students.
  • Values Crisis - students are confused with questions of conscience over value conflict areas of race, drugs and alcohol experimentation, morality, religion, and social expectations.
  • Feeling of inadequacy and inferiority develop because of the discrepancy between high school status and grades and initial college performance.
  • “In Loco Parentis Blues” - students tend to feel depressed due to real or perceived restrictive policies and regulations of the University.
  • Foreign students may feel confusion, vulnerability, and lack of any advocate in power positions.

October

  • Freshmen begin to realize that life at college is not as perfect as they were led to believe by parents, teachers, and counselors. Old problems tend to continue and new ones are added.
  • Grief develops because of inadequate skills for finding a group or not being selected by one.
  • Midterm workload pressures are followed by feelings of failure and loss of self-esteem.
  • Sexual conflicts and confusion result when confronting, for the first time, different heterosexual standards and homosexuality.

November

  • Academic pressure is beginning to mount because of procrastination, difficulty of work, and lack of ability.
  • Depression and anxiety increase because of the feeling that one should have adjusted to the college environment by now.
  • Economic anxiety develops as funds from parents and summer earnings begin to run out.
  • Some students have ceased to make attempts at establishing new friendships beyond two or three close friends.

December

  • Extracurricular time strain due to seasonal parties, concerts, social service projects, and/or religious activities which drain student’s energy.
  • Anxiety, fear, and guilt increases as final examinations approach and papers are due.
  • Pre-Christmas depression . . . especially for those who have concerns for family, those who have no home to visit, and for those who prefer not to go home because of family conflicts.
  • Financial strain due to holiday gifts and travel costs.
  • Student becomes fearful of loosing newfound independence/identity during vacation.
  • Freshmen are anxious to see high school friends again.


January

  • Post-Christmas depression from being away from home security.
  • Cold weather tends to confine activity to the indoors for those who do not share the excitement of outdoor winter activities.

February

  • Many students experience optimism because second semester is seen as going “down hill”.
  • Vocational choice causes anxiety and depression.
  • Depression increases for those students who have failed to establish social relationships or achieve a moderate amount of recognition.
  • Social calendar is non-active.
  • Midterm anxiety.
  • Extreme boredom.

March

  • Alcohol and other drug use increases.
  • Depression begins due to anticipation of separation from friends and loved ones at the University.
  • Academic pressure increases.
  • Wonders of “Why am I not making it?”
  • Anticipation and anxiety of Spring Break. For some, this is their first vacation without their parents and for others stress and anxiety builds because they lack the funds.

April & May

  • Frustration and confusion develop over decisions about pre-registration.
  • Summer job-hunting pressures.
  • Selection of a major.
  • Papers and exams are piling up.
  • The mounting academic pressure forces some students to temporarily to give up.
  • Social pressures as everybody is requesting for your participation in trips, banquets, and so on.
  • Anxiety develops due to a realization that the year is ending and that a deficiency exists in a number of academic areas.
  • Depression over leaving friends and facing conflicts at home with parents.