Introduced in Fall 2020, the Academic Guides program is a Duke Endowment funded initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Education. Members of this team create evidence-based, holistic approaches to student engagement that support students’ academic and emotional well-being and build resilience. By placing the Academic Guides’ offices in the residence halls on West Campus, the program seeks to normalize help-seeking and expand access to available academic services.
This has certainly been a challenging week on campus. With students in quarantine and isolation (Q/I) having recently reached an all-time high at Duke, we thought it would be valuable to share more information about campus testing and quarantine/isolation, answer common questions, and reinforce the supports your students will receive should they be required to quarantine or isolate.
We know that no one would choose to be in Q/I if it was not necessary, and we recognize how hard it is to have your loved one far away under these conditions. Even if your student has to be in their room without others during Q/I, they are never alone. There are so many people, offices, and structures in place here at Duke to make sure your student is supported and cared for.
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:
Don't forget to take a break from studying for finals! Here is your one-stop guide to study breaks around campus.
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.
“If you do not take random naps, you are not living life” - despondent pre-med student after coming from a chemistry lab.
As finals season approaches, most of us find ourselves running low on sleep. CAPS recommends 6-8 hours of sleep to maximize productivity. Although napping daily isn’t advised (sad, right?), such times call for dire measures- in this case should suffice. No one wants to take the bus back to East or Central Campus or walk down the countless steps to your room in Edens (you might as well just go to Wilson if you needed to work out) just to take a nap. I asked a couple of students- whose napping habits are questionable- for the perfect napping spots around the Campus Center.
This list is in no preferential order.