Midterms, ‘turkey dump’ impact mental health of stressed students

Posted on October 6th, 2017

The first few weeks of university or college can be exciting for new students, but at the same time, an incredibly stressful time.

For many students, it’s the first time they’re on their own, setting their own schedule and away from parents or caregivers.

“They’re exposed to a whole new group of friends, in many cases a new city – new country for some – and they’re in many ways redefining themselves and some of the history they have at home gets left behind,” said Walter Mittelstaedt, director of campus wellness at the University of Waterloo.

And now, just as they’re getting settled, two more big things are on the horizon: Midterms and the dreaded “turkey dump.”

The turkey dump is when a student returns home for Thanksgiving and they either break up with – or get dumped by – their high school sweetheart.

“Just when you think you’ve figured out how to make the long distance thing work, your high school sweetheart decides to heave your heart down a spiral staircase.”

That’s what a section for “dumpees” says on the website turkeydump.com.

“I think it’s funny that the term has been defined, and it has spread from word of mouth between students year after year,” website creator and University of Guelph graduate Scott McCarter said of his tongue-in-cheek look at a common occurrence in a student’s first year.


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