Mental health check-in post winter break


Courtesy of Finn on Unsplash

While winter break may be restful, many students struggle coming back to school and getting into a routine.

Kaitlyn Richardson

The spring semester is in full swing on Iowa State’s campus as students have returned from winter break and are readjusting to campus life. This adjustment is not easy for some students, as there are many challenges that can occur during this process.

Jacob Blaskey, a junior majoring in accounting, has a lot on his plate coming into the new semester.

“I think the biggest challenge, or, at least the thing I was worried about coming back to campus, was time management since I’m gonna be super busy with school and all these clubs I’ll be involved with,” Blaskey said.

Blaskey faces an issue that, according to an article on, is very common among students of all ages returning from an extended break. From extracurricular activities to jobs, many things fall on top of class schedules for college students.

“A Georgetown study found in 2011-2012 about sixty percent of college students work at least 30 hours a week while enrolled in college,” the article stated. “Twenty-six percent of those students were working full-time.”

Blaskey has found multiple of his own methods for working through this busy time.

“At least two days in, I think following my planner has really helped me manage my homework and classes,” Blaskey said. “Another thing that’s made it easier for me is having an optimistic attitude about this semester, too.”

Rebecca Linn, a freshman in animal science for PreVet, faced some personal struggles in the fall semester that has led to its own set of adjustments for this spring.

“It felt as if I was the only one feeling that I could not meet the level of performance my peers had and the stress of that for sure affected my performance,” Linn said. “I was finally diagnosed with a learning disability and finally getting the recognition that my struggles academically were not because I was inadequate, but I just processed so many things different from standard teaching style.”

The article from also references the importance of building a strong support system of people around you that you can go to during the semester, no matter what individual struggles you may be facing.

“Building a support system is important because you will likely need to rely on these people to keep your life running smoothly during the hectic periods of mid-terms and final exams as well,” the article states.

Linn found a support system to be her most important factor in transitioning from the fall to the spring semesters.

“Professors and the school overall have been very accommodating with my challenges and knowing that my issues do not make me less of a student has made me excited to try out not ignoring the problems, but working with them with people I can trust,” Linn said.

Blaskey has found his own ways of building a community to assist through the stresses of college.

“Just surrounding myself in good environments like The Vine will really help out, too, in case things do get too much for me I’ll have people who I can decompress with and unbottle any stress I may have,” Blaskey said.

Overall, Blaskey feels optimistic and ready to take on the spring semester.

“I feel very overwhelmed with how much I already have to do, but knowing that once I get out of this semester I’ll have better experience related to my major, time management and communication, it has me feeling like I’ll really grow as a person,” Blaskey said.

Linn feels students should recognize the importance of simply having open conversations about these struggles and asking for help when they need it.

“I know many students face similar struggles and I hope sharing even a small part of my story makes others more comfortable to talk about that being a college student and adult is very difficult, but Iowa State is here to help, and that you are not alone in these struggles,” Linn said.

For information on some of the accommodations available to students, check out the Applying for Accommodations page on the Student Accessibility Services website. If you are seeking Mental Health Resources, check out this extensive list of resources on the Thielen Student Health Center website.