By Emily Fehrman
Social Media Editor
As most people are aware, the beginning of anything is always hard.
The start of diets, workout routines, but maybe the hardest thing to start back up again? The spring semester of college.
Amanda Smith, a Hutchinson Community College psychology instructor, and Keely Schmidt, a Hutchinson freshman, have come to the conclusion that the start of the spring semester pretty much is difficult for everyone involved.
There are many things that contribute to why the last semester of the school year is so hard for some. A factor is the seasonal depression that starts to set it after all the holiday celebrations are over, maybe on top of the already prominent depression and anxiety some may have.
“I think it’s hard because of seasonal depression, and it’s also hard to leave family and friends after getting used to seeing them every day for weeks,” Schmidt said.
Another factor is how close the school year is to being over, and the excitement that being so close to summer or graduating may hold. Schmidt also said that students often start counting the days until the end of the semester because of how excited for summer they may be. Which, in return, often makes the days and weeks seem as if they are slower than usual. All of this almost makes it easier for students to skip class or any labs they don’t want to actually go to.
“The urge to skip is way higher for me, and I assume others, because the motivation of the new school year ended around finals time last semester, if I’m being honest.” Schmidt said.
Statistically, people tend to seek more mental health services over the course of the semester. And not just for depression, but also for anxiety. The second semester is usually when students might thinkg they’re going to “buckle down”. But often buckling down just puts an even bigger strain on their mental health.
For both instructor and student, the first two to three weeks are a bit awkward, simply because they don’t know one another yet. For instructors, they’re just trying to learn everyone’s names, while also getting a feel for the class, what pace everyone learns at, expectations students may have. They also balance schedules for work, family, multiple courses, and on top of that actually getting to know other students.
“As an instructor, I don’t think we are usually down about it,” Smith said. “The break is nice, but most of us are ready to get back because we love what we do. The classroom is our ‘happy place, for many of us. But it is tough to get a feel for dynamics – how do students interact with one another – and what resonates with students – what are their interests, do they like working in groups or alone, are they visual learners? – from the start. It takes time to get in the groove.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling or you think might need it, there are therapists on staff at HutchCC specifically for times like these. All you need to do is go to the Student Success Center, located in Parker Student Union,and ask see a professional counselor schedule a time. They are there for providing a confidential and empathetic environment. Personal counseling services are designed to assist students with emotional and behavioral problems.
Typical counseling needs among most college students include stress and anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, loneliness, eating and sleeping disorders, and relationship problems.
As much as everyone doesn’t like getting back into the groove it’s necessary but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.