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Campus Life Spotlight: Transitions & Holidays

Posted on Nov 16, 2010
Students look towards Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks.

 This past weekend saw the first true dusting of snow in Superior, which serves as a preview of what is right around the corner.  For many students, the winter season and celebration of holidays brings excitement and joy because it means visiting family and friends.  But for some, the start of winter can mean anxiety, changes and transitions, and stress.

As faculty and staff, you see your students go through a variety of transitions through their time at UWS.   These transitions include adjusting to the collegiate environment, making friends and finding a social circle, meeting academic expectations, and developing relationships across campus.  Not only due the college transitions include such academic changes, but personal transitions related to seasonal/weather changes and holidays occur as well.

For a majority of our students who celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, these approaching times can be particularly stressful due to the extended visits with family and friends.  In Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years, author and expert Karen Levin Coburn, offers key advice for families that can also be utilized by university faculty and staff.  Although most students are very excited at the idea of some time off/away from college, the visits home can include shocking transitions such as unrealistic familial expectations, curfews, and changed family roles.   For some students, returning home for the holidays includes seeing a significant other from high school or another college for the first time again.  Often times breakups with partners or fights with family ensue due to the challenges and growth in the student.  

For our students who don't celebrate these holidays and traditions, or live far away from home, staying in Superior can be saddening and difficult when friends and roommates leave UWS.  These students don't get to enjoy the luxury of living just a few hours from campus, or come from a tradition that doesn't include the major western Christian holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is important for us to reach out to those students and make sure they feel welcomed and included during these times.  Encourage your students to reach out to other students to go home with them, or celebrate a new holiday with them. 

Many students benefit from the care and attention we give to them at UW-Superior.  Be sure that you are reaching out to all of your students, and asking them how they are doing as we approach the winter season, end of the semester, and what their plans are for the holidays. 

If you notice a change in a student's behavior…whether it be from poor academic performance towards the end of the semester, to Seasonal Affective Disorder, to anxiety about returning to the home environment, please encourage them to contact Health and Counseling Services.  Students can request an appointment by phone at 715-394-8236, email , or stopping by 216 Hawkes Hall.  You can also check out their online resources.

Watch for the Campus Life Spotlight every Tuesday online and in the staff digest!

News Contact: Campus Life | campuslife{atuws}
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