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Western Kentucky University

Potter College Parents

student and professor

Your Student's First Academic Year Cycle

WKU Academic Calendar


  • Sense of excitement, independence, confidence; student may experiment with hair, clothing, food choices or test limits and boundaries
  • Homesickness/loneliness
  • Anxiety about first tests and papers
  • Doubts about choice of school, choice of classes
  • Anxiety about inadequacy or not fitting in

  • Student develops a routine; campus begins to feel more like home
  • Doubts about social life; concern that "I don't fit in"
  • 5th Week Assessment provides first sense of academic standing followed by mid-terms


  • Mid-term grades have been returned
  • Pressure builds surrounding coursework and other activities
  • Colds, stress-related illnesses arise
  • Campus friendships become a student's primary support
  • Coursework, tests, and papers intensify before Thanksgiving
  • Anxiety about signing up for spring semester classes
  • Financial strain


  • Anxiety about final papers and exams
  • Insecurity about grades
  • Excitement/anxiety about going home for Winter Break
  • Concern about not seeing campus friends over break


  • Disappointment/relief about first semester grades
  • Pleasure at having an opportunity for a new start; enthusiasm about new courses and instructors
  • Sense of security at having survived the first semester


  • Students are generally comfortable with the University and friendships by now
  • Seasonal depression/lethargy peaks as the cold, darkness of winter continues
  • Anxiety begins over finding roommates and making living arrangements for next year
  • 5th Week Assessment results end of Feb/beginning of March


  • Anxiety over mid-term results
  • Excitement about spring break plans
  • Summer job/internship hunting begins


  • Frenzy of social activities and celebrations
  • Finalization of plans for roommates and living arrangements for next year
  • Heightened concern about selecting a major


  • Panic about finals and completing class projects
  • Sadness at leaving friends for the summer
  • Frustration, anxiety about sorting, packing, and cleaning in preparation for moving out
  • Worry over facing conflicts at home with family, making the transition back

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 Last Modified 9/24/14