Social Support for Academic Success

Kayleigh Casto, Staff Reporter

Students attending college for the first time may be overwhelmed by the expectations of a new environment – schedules, deadlines, internships, and independence. The anxiety and fear of transitioning into an unfamiliar territory can cause unnecessary stress and negatively impact academic performance. Overcoming the anxiety and unfamiliarity of attending college is credited to discovering social support.

These challenges are also true for non-traditional and under-represented students initially attending or returning to college. Many veterans attending Fairmont State University turn to the services provided by the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) for the social support needed to achieve academic success.

NBC News contributor Chandra Thomas Whitfield explains social support as “a network of friends, acquaintances and mentors to turn to, especially in times of need or crisis.” A student’s social support network creates a community of those willing to reduce pressures and challenges a student may face within their academic career. This sense of support and community alleviates the overwhelming emotions caused by stressors in a college environment, allowing students to be more focused on academic achievements.

Matthew Moore, President of Fairmont State’s SVO, reminds us that “the connection between veterans is a very intimate relationship that is difficult for other students to replicate. This relationship is a true brotherhood that helps veterans overcome obstacles in the transition out of service into their professional academic careers.” Moore also stated, “Having [that] constant variable in the ever-increasing academic life helps to ensure student veteran success.”