Resilience in a group of first–year psychosocial science students at the North–West University (Potchefstroom Campus)
First–year students entering university for the first time face considerable life changing challenges, from relocating to a new setting to adapting to a new learning environment. For the student to be successful, the level of resilience plays a vital role in the student’s development and future growth. The fundamental aim of this research is to explore resilience amongst first–year students. This exploratory and descriptive study undertook to determine the level of resilience and the risk factors that contribute to the transition to university. The participants in this study were first–year psychosocial science students who enrolled at the North–West University (Potchefstroom Campus) in 2011. Thirty–five students participated in the quantitative study that examined the level of resilience in first–year students. Thereafter 12 of these students participated in the qualitative study that investigated the risk factors in first year students. Data was analysed by means of the Perspective Training College Program and by use of thematic analysis. The results showed significant high levels of stress in first–year students. The scores for expectations, achievements and satisfaction were not in an optimal range of functioning. Many risk factors were associated with first–year students such as stress, lack of social support, self–concept, time management and the fear of fitting into the university set–up. These factors cannot be avoided, nonetheless, literature explains that protective factors can be instilled into the university set–up to assist with students and thus decrease the risk factors associated with the transition to university.
- Humanities