February’s adjustments for first year students

In the darker month of February in the Inland Northwest, students can experience many of the following:

  • “Fresh start” mentality sets in with new semester
  • Wanderlust after Jan Term trips
  • Challenges with romantic relationship back home may begin to develop
  • Loneliness for relationships back home
  • Feelings of cabin fever and depression with winter
  • Potential increase in alcohol or other substance abuse
  • Valentine’s Day may increase feelings of loneliness and isolation

Tip: ask your student about their experience of the darker winter at Whitworth and what they’re doing for self-care.

Adapted from Helping your First-Year College Student Succeed, Richard Mullendore and Cathie Hatch, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. 

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