Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-06-04 07:23:31



Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2024


The transition from high school to college marks a critical period of adjustment for students, often accompanied by various stressors affecting mental health. Entering adulthood can be a time of identity crisis and emotional vulnerability, and beginning college only adds to existing pressure. This literature review explores multifaceted aspects of first-year college student adjustment, the impact of COVID-19 on universities, predictors of adjustment, and interventions. Emotional, social, and academic adjustment are intertwined with each other, and all significantly influence well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated challenges, leading to heightened stress and decreased social interactions. Establishing connections and support from peers are crucial for social adjustment and decreased loneliness. Not only did depression and anxiety rates increase during the pandemic, but studies are showing a continuing increase in mental health issues and adjustment problems post-pandemic. Factors promoting positive adjustment include sleep, exercise, limited social media use, and parental support. Interventions like mental health screenings and campus support services can facilitate smoother transitions to college life and manage the mental distress of students. Despite certain limitations such as convenience sample or self-report bias along with research gaps regarding intersectionality, the research supports that understanding the complexities of adjustment and implementing proactive strategies are vital for promoting student well-being in higher education.

Research Sponsor

Kevin Kaut

First Reader

Ingrid Weigold

Second Reader

Emily Ethridge

Honors Faculty Advisor

Charles Waehler

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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