Understanding the Student Experience
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Much research has been done about the cycle of the student experience. While every student is unique and very much an individual, we felt that it would be helpful to provide you with a general overview of what it’s like to be a Rockford University student today. Below you will find a general overview followed by points for each year your student is with us.

General Overview of the Student Experience

August/September – Students are generally excited at the start of the year. Returning students are excited to be back at school and catch up with friends that they didn’t see as much over the summer and yes, even to start their classes. New students are looking forward to testing their freedom. You may initially receive lots of phone calls to talk about anything and everything. At some point homesickness will begin to set in. The newness wears off and anxiety about roommates, course work, how and where to get involved, and finding that balance in social/academic schedules begins to set in. Elections for Student Senate take place and students begin to form clubs/organizations for the upcoming year.

October – As October rolls around and mid-terms approach it’s natural for students begin to question more and more if they belong at Rockford University. Those first papers/exams are returned and some students are confused as to why their grades aren’t as good or come as easy as they did in high school. Roommate problems may begin to arise. Homecoming and Family Weekends are approaching giving students an opportunity to show off their campus and community to loved ones. Fall Break will hit giving students a chance to breathe.

November – Mid-term grades are in and students begin to see the impact of there early semester habits. With many papers and exams taking place right before Thanksgiving break students begin to feel the pressure of juggling all of their course work and a social schedule. Study skills and time management practices begin to have a larger impact on them. This is also the time that campus-wide illnesses start to set in.

December – Final exams are approaching and testing anxiety can be at an all-semester high point. Some students will become apprehensive about returning home for the holidays and become sad at the idea of parting from friends for several weeks.

January – Returning students will come in with either satisfaction or disappointment of the previous semester’s grades. Friends may have graduated the previous semester, or decided to travel abroad for the spring semester leaving some students with a feeling of loss. Some students will miss home while others will be relieved to be back.

February – Winter weather may or may not play into the student’s general attitude. Students will begin thinking about possible internships for the summer. Seniors will start thinking about life after Rockford University…job? Grad school? Valentine’s Day may cause sadness or loneliness for students. Spring Break is on the horizon though!

March – Mid-term exams are back and so is the stress that comes with the exams/papers. More and more students are thinking about summer employment and internship opportunities. Information about housing selection for the fall semester is posted. Opportunities to get involved as a Resident Advisor and/or as an Orientation Leader for the next year will also be made available. Some students begin to become concerned about winter weight gain as the weather gets warmer.

April – Spring weather is beginning to set in bringing new life to the campus community. Seniors begin to detach themselves more and more as graduation looms. Students start to feel the weight of their coursework as the end of the semester approaches. April Weekend arrives and as students have one more celebration before finals hit.

May – Graduation, end of the semester, and final exams. Everything begins to wrap up and shut down as students prepare to move out of the residence halls and finish up their course work. Sadness will begin to set in as students say good-bye to friends for the summer. Some will grow apprehensive about summer jobs/internships and returning home.
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