(This example is a composite of student experiences. Any resemblance to an actual individual is purely coincidental.)
Aubrey transferred to BYU-Idaho last fall semester, having attended classes for two years at a community college close to home in southern California. She is majoring in Health Science and plans to pursue a career in Public Health Education. She would at some point like to get married and have a family.
The transition to BYUI has brought a certain amount of stress. Aubrey knew about the Honor Code, but she was surprised by the monitoring and judgmental attitudes she encountered in some of her fellow students, two of her roommates, and some leaders and adults. She has always been a member of the church in good standing, but she started to get the feeling that she was not trusted--almost as if a person is guilty until proven innocent. She was somewhat relieved after she talked to some fellow students from her hometown. They helped her make a distinction between what the rules are and what is LDS culture or "the bubble" as she has come to know it. She did enjoy being around more LDS young adults in other ways. For instance, she found herself being a little more at ease on dates, since the guys here generally didn't try to get physical so quickly. Group dates were a lot of fun, and she was able to get to know more people more quickly. She wished she had a little more time for socializing. She got to know people, but making good friends really takes more time than she had to devote to her social life.
While she carried only 14 credits her first semester, Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology kept her plenty busy. She was pretty sure that the shorter semester kept her schoolwork on her mind, and she wished she had a little more time "just to breathe." She did earn a 3.0 GPA for the semester, and she liked the stuff she was learning. The stress also prompted her to deal with her fear of approaching professors. She found the courage to talk to her Microbiology professor to get some extra help. She also found another advantage to being here at school. Even though Aubrey was missing some family activities, she felt a little more grown up, being farther away from home.
While Aubrey thought fall semester was challenging, she said winter semester "buried" her. It wasn't just the snow and the cold, although that was quite an adjustment in itself. The bigger issue was that her dad had a mild heart attack. She wanted to go home, but she couldn't. Her concern led her to spend a lot of time on the phone getting reassurance that her dad was going to be OK. She also tried to be an emotional support for her mom and siblings. She worried a lot for three weeks. Her concentration in class dropped. She also felt tired and didn't sleep well. The stress affected her motivation to some degree as well. She had to play catch-up the rest of the semester. Her GPA dropped to a 2.0 for the semester. She found out later that she had barely avoided academic probation.