While the college experience is different for every student,
there are several patterns that are consistent with hundreds of the students
who come to Lewis-Clark State College each year. Though each characteristic
won’t apply to each student, the following is a list of things to look for as
your student progresses through the school year:
Common characteristics of the first month at college
Excitement and willingness
to try new things is at its highest level.
Homesickness and a feeling
of being “lost” may set in.
Resentment towards policies
and regulations of the College; some students expect college to be a “free for
all,” but that is not the case.
Peer groups start to become
Students enjoy new freedoms
that come with creating their own class schedules.
Common characteristics of the middle of the first semester
Opportunities to meet new
people are easy to find; campus organizations start having regular meetings
which provide a great place to become involved.
Academic pressure mounts due
to procrastination, difficulty of work and lack of preparation or background for
Freshmen realize that
college life is not as perfect as their friends, the media or personal
expectations may have led them to believe.
Old personal problems may
continue as new ones are added.
become increasingly difficult.
Students sign up for spring
semester classes, which often allows more flexibility than the fall schedule
created during summer orientation.
Common characteristics of the end of the first semester
Students have adjusted from
high school classes to college classes.
Extracurricular time strain:
clubs, concerts, and class projects.
Anxiety, fear and guilt
increase as final examinations approach and papers are due.
Financial strain because of
holiday presents and travel costs.
Excitement level is up
because of the holidays and vacation.
Common characteristics of the beginning of the second semester
Students are excited about
seeing friends after the holiday break.
Depression increases for
those students who have failed to establish positive social relationships or
achieve a moderate amount of recognition.
Social calendar is not as
active; winter weather limits outdoor activities.
Students have to decide
where they plan to live next year.
Energy level is high and
many students experience optimism because the second semester is perceived as
going “down hill” as opposed to the struggle of adjusting during the first
Common characteristics of the
middle of the second semester
Spring break provides a much
needed vacation and a chance to energize for the rest of the year.
Spring fever sets in;
alcohol and drug use increases.
Mid-term panic as academic
pressure increases and papers and exams begin piling up.
Planning fall semester
classes may be stressful, but students start to develop direction in their
classes as their studies become more focused on their majors.
Common characteristics of the end of the school year
Close friendships solidify
as people face separation over the summer.
Summer pressures increase:
summer job hunting, deciding whether or not to take summer classes and figuring
out how to pay for it all.
Students moving back home
may have difficulty giving up some of the independence they’ve grown used
to over the past year.
Feeling of accomplishment
after completing a full year of college.