No matter where college students are living and learning, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted daily life. As a result, the well-being and mental health of students is of keen interest to parents, families, and universities worldwide. Between November 1 and 16, 2020, the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) Research team invited all Duke undergraduates to share their experiences with academics, social relationships, stress, mental health, and well-being during the fall semester, and 1,015 students responded (15.4% response rate). To provide context and a point of comparison for student responses during COVID-19, we drew on data from previous research conducted at Duke during more typical times.
These are some unprecedented times. In the past month, our students have experienced a lot to be grieving about, from a worldwide pandemic changing their everyday experience to the postponing of so many traditions and expectations on campus in an attempt to keep everyone safe. We continue to make choices on a systems level, which impact the day-to-day experiences that make the Duke community special. Our students are left to navigate the final month of the semester away from community and often feeling very alone. Students are home and surrounded by the love of family, but this is not the college experience for which they prepared. As a result, we are all grieving and longing for our world to return to some bit of normalcy.
This year, it is estimated that over 46 million turkeys will be consumed in this country on November 28, Thanksgiving Day. With mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving not only provides Duke students with a chance to visit with family and friends and take a well-deserved break from campus life, but it also gives all of us an opportunity to acknowledge and express our gratitude for the many things that make our lives meaningful and fun.
Families can play a critical role in the health and well-being of their college students. Your wisdom, guidance, and relationships help inform students’ decisions throughout college. We believe that parental conversations about alcohol, in particular, contribute to increased student safety, student ownership of their actions, and healthier and more positive experiences in college.
Parent and Family Programs and DuWell (Duke’s health promotion and wellness unit) developed the following video to spark conversations about alcohol use and social decision-making before your student arrives to Duke: https://youtu.be/kPd3vfKpzjM.
We suggest addressing the following in your conversations with your student:
In her new book, Dare to Lead, Brené Brown writes, “Wherever perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun.” She continues, “Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because perfection does not exist. It’s an unattainable goal.
Congratulations to all graduating students!
The Student Health Fee for Spring Semester 2017 EXPIRES at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 19th. This means that all Duke students who have paid the Spring Fee can continue to utilize Student Health Services (SHS) through May 19th. Depending on your status at Duke, there are different rules that apply after that date. If you are:
Graduating on May 14th – After May 19th, you can no longer be seen as a patient at SHS. You must find another source for health care. The only exception to this is if your SHS provider requests that you follow up for a condition for which you were seen prior to May 19th.
Taking summer classes at Duke – Students who are taking summer classes pay the Summer Health Fee each term.
A nap, a big hug, some really really good food, and snuggling with your dog are a few of the mental images the âTake What You Needâ board offers. The end of the semester can be a stressful time and while a weekend at the beach would be great, sometimes just taking a moment to imagine yourself on vacation is enough to catch your breath.
Dear Duke Families,
It is a pleasure to meet you! I am the new director for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a unit on campus that supports your student on a path toward academic success. I am excited to be here given the commitment Duke has made to student wellness. Many institutions across the country are working to address mental health issues based on the fact that mental health is the number one factor in lowering retention and is a better predictor of college grade point average than ACT or SAT scores. The 97% four-year retention rate to graduation at Duke demonstrates that retention is not a significant issue on this campus; highlighting that Duke’s focus is supporting mental health services because student wellness is valued.
The Student Health Center will be closed on Monday, September 5th, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
For after hours care or nurse advice, please call us at 919-681-9355.
The Student Health Center will be closed on Wednesday, August 3rd.
For healthcare options or nurse advice during closed hours, please call 919-681-9355.