Stress- Helping Your Student Cope
For most DWU students, this is the first time they’ve lived away from home. It’s an exciting, exhilarating, and liberating time in their lives. It can also be a stressful, lonely, and anxious time.

Parents, you can play an important role in helping your daughter or son cope with this transition by being aware of what he or she is probably going through by simply listening to them.

  • Excitement
  • Homesickness, loneliness
  • Especially for new students, frequent calls home or visits home
  • Doubts about choice of school
  • Tendency to test new limits
  • Anxiety about roommates and professors
  • Anxiety about results of early–semester exams and papers
  • Roommate problems begin to arise
  • Concerns about the campus social climate
  • Midterm exams/midterm papers time
  • Students realize college life may not be perfect
  • Romances from home still going strong-but increasingly difficult to maintain
  • Roommate tensions increase (or decrease)
  • Academic pressures mount (procrastination? course difficulty? lack of sleep?)
  • Economic anxiety (funds beginning to run short)
  • Campus-wide feeling of general homesickness
  • Anxiety about returning home for Thanksgiving break (wondering, “Will I still fit in at home?”)
  • Increased social-life demands (parties, concerts, volunteer projects, and religious activities)
  • Increased nervousness as final exams approach and important papers are due
  • Financial strain caused by holiday gifts and travel costs
  • Pre-holiday break depression (especially for those who have no home to visit or who prefer not to go home because of family difficulties)
  • Physical, mental exhaustion (wiped out after busy first semester)
  • Friction from being under “house rules” after months of relative freedom
  • Post-holiday blues
  • Loneliness due to romantic relationship at college
  • Seeing upcoming semester as a time to make a fresh start
  • Relief at prospect of going back to school
  • Breakup of romance from home
  • Valentine’s Day Blues (everyone has somebody…except me)
  • Excitement of Spring Break (a week in Cancun or a week home in Canton, SD)
  • Anxiety over midterm exams and papers
  • Nervousness begins about upcoming summer employment
  • Concern begins over choosing room and roommate(s) for next fall
  • Nervousness about signing up for fall courses
April / May
  • Increased nervousness as final exams approach and important papers are due
  • Apprehension about returning home for summer
  • Sadness over losing touch with new friends and losing contact with romantic relationship
  • Concern over finding summer employment
  • Friction from being under “house rules” after months of relative freedom
Remember, we said college is an exciting time - no one said it’s an easy time.

Contact us ( , ask questions (605-995-2160), and share anything you feel would be helpful to us as we embark on this exciting journey together.
Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Dakota Wesleyan University is proudly affiliated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Members of any and all faiths are welcome and encouraged to experience an education based on learning, leadership, faith and service.
Dakota Wesleyan University has been honored as a College of Distinction through demonstration of excellence in these areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
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