Second term of your first year at uni; time of your life. Yes you have to work, but you have no exams and the ones next term don’t normally count towards your final grade, you just need enough to get you through to the second year. You’ve started to make friends and gotten used to being away from home. Um….apparently not. Facinating article by Louise Tickle in todays Guardian about the way the return to uni for the Spring term can be hardest. Leicester Uni has been doing some interesting research which I think anybody who is either a parent with kids going to uni, or involved in working with or supporting HE students needs to get a handle on.
Interesting paragraph aswell was, “While universities may assume that anyone who has successfully negotiated their first year will manage fine in their second and third, Cashmore says that as the video diary study has gone on, it’s become apparent that students have to constantly adjust and readjust to changing social and academic demands throughout their university career. Recurring themes in the diaries included worries over settling into new accommodation, coping with new personal relationships and adapting to new styles of teaching and learning.”
My own comments in light of this type of research would be it just highlights why student chaplaincy’s and welfare are an important resource and should be supported and not cut back on. Similarly I feel the same about hospital and prison chaplaincy which help people through times of stressful change. Universities, as with other publically and privately funded institutions (including one suspects churches) are going to have to increasingly make cuts and decide where to best deploy resources. I think research like this shows that welfare is not an area to cut back on. The work that goes on in these areas supports the achievement of the statistics our public institutions are measured by; in this case retention and achievement.