The University Life Cycle

Students can experience any number of issues throughout the year. A month-by-month list of possible stressors is shown below to help parents and guardians become aware of when issues may typically arise, and what resources are available to support students.

June - August

Potential Stressors

  • Anxiety about leaving home, friends and family.
  • Worried about the impact of changes in relationships.
  • Excited and unprepared for what is to come.
  • Wondering "Will I fit in? Will I like my roommates?"

Resources Available

September

Potential Stressors

  • Making friends and fitting in, becoming familiar with surroundings.
  • Adjusting to a different learning environment - new courses, increased work load and new methods of evaluation.
  • Adjusting to less structure than in high school, the self discipline needed to study.
  • Questioning choice of university and/or academic program.
  • Feeling homesick, getting along with roommate(s).
  • Experiencing new found freedom and testing self-imposed boundaries.
  • If living at home, an expectation that life at home will change too.

Resources Available

October

Potential Stressors

  • Preparation for university exams begins (mid-October to mid-November).
  • Time management - unaware of the self discipline needed.
  • Surprise and disappointment at lower marks, not seeing the same results as in high school.
  • Difficulty making choices about maintaining relationships with family and friends while starting a new life and new friends, juggling home and school commitments.
  • Financial stress and discovering the need to budget.
  • Maintaining part-time employment off campus.

Resources Available

  • Meet with an Academic Advisor.
  • Attend a Learning Skills Seminar for time management and study skills sessions.

November

Potential Stressors

  • Increased academic stress due to an accumulation of work.
  • May become sick or physically drained.
  • May see increased alcohol consumption, increased loneliness.
  • May question intellectual abilities, thoughts of not returning to the university next semester.

Resources Available

December

Potential Stressors

  • Preparations for final exams, workload can feel overwhelming.
  • Student may bury themselves in their studies.
  • Worries begin about the next semester, course selection, etc.
  • Financial stress due to holiday spending, tuition fees due shortly.

Resources Available

January

Potential Stressors

  • Excited to see people on campus and start new courses.
  • Students in residence may be home sick after returning home in December.
  • Thoughts about where to live next year, applying for positions on and off campus, searching for summer employment.
  • Inability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, indicated by weight loss/gain and stress level.

Resources Available

February

Potential Stressors

  • Anxiety about studying/preparing for mid-terms.
  • The Winter Blues, mood is affected by bad weather, lack of energy and enthusiasm.
  • Worries about admission into desired academic program for 2 nd year.

Resources Available

March

Potential Stressors

  • Concern about completing work for courses, pressure to do well on final exams.
  • Concern about housing and employment for next year if this has not been secured.
  • Questioning program, and ability/desire to return to university next year.

Resources Available

  • Working with a Peer Counselor to create a study schedule for final exams.
  • Refer to the final exam schedule to coordinate your exam schedule.
  • On campus events and activities can help students take a break and relax.
  • Meet with a Co-op Program Coordinator to discuss placement and courses.

April

Potential Stressors

  • Concern about marks and academic results for the year.
  • Anxiety about the year ending, going home, finding summer employment.
  • Concern about gaining entrance into a different program.
  • Regrets about missed opportunities such as friendships, leadership or job opportunities.
  • Relief that exams are over and excitement about taking a break from academic life.

Resources Available

*content provided by the Office of Student Affairs & Services

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