Suffering Through Spring Semester

By Kaitlyn Kelley
Jambar Contributor

Whether it be more upper-level courses or the lack of breaks when compared to fall, most students agree that the spring semester is a time where they start to feel the pressure of their academics kick in.

Valerie Vittori, a junior education major, said she feels like there’s a lack of motivation due to the shorter break given between fall and spring semesters

Most of the 30 students interviewed made similar observations. There is a three-month break given to students after the spring semester. Comparatively, the break given to students after the fall semester is one month, a third of that time.

Anne Lally, the assistant director of Student Counseling Services, said the most common cases the counseling center gets in the spring are due to overwhelming anxiety and stress.

For many students, the spring semester is when they have more difficult, upper-level classes.

Mikayla Shiels, a first-year pre-nursing student, said she experienced a shock when she came into the spring semester.

“Since I’m a pre-nursing major, my classes in the spring are way harder.” she said. “I went from having anatomy and basic science classes to really hard sciences that I spend all night studying for. It’s just draining.”

Feeling drained from the workload was a complaint echoed by many students.

Dawon Townsend, a sophomore biology pre-med student, also finds the spring semester more difficult due to heavy workload.

“It’s more difficult in the spring to be motivated,” he said. “Apart from the lack of breaks, the weather is terrible, so I never really want to do anything that seems simple in fall, like just walking to class.”

One YSU student, junior Danielle Rance, feels the fall semester is more damaging than the spring.

“I find that I have really bad seasonal depression in the fall that makes it harder to do my work,” she said.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression influenced by the seasons, is common during winter months in Ohio and can cause depression.

Nicole Kent-Strollo, the director of the Office of Student Outreach and Support, is in charge of handling and organizing certain cases that come through counseling.

“We got around 250 counseling cases in the fall, measured from Aug. 1 to Jan. 19,” she said. “It’s really hard to compare which semester truly gets more cases, but depression and anxiety are certainly the main reasons we see students.”

Diana Lurtz, a freshman with an undecided major, said she never had many feelings of depression before coming to college. But once she got to YSU, the amount of stress coupled with the bad weather has made her first spring semester hard.

Students seem to agree that the spring semester is difficult, whether it be the shorter break periods or bad weather. 

“We have programs to try and assist students,” Lally said. “I’ve recently founded an anxiety workshop. I go into classes and can also be contacted by organizations.”

If you are struggling during a semester, visit the Student Counseling Center’s website for helpful resources.