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American University

October 3, 2021

Dear students,

We hope that Fall has been going well for you. It has now been a month since we returned to campus and in-person studies, a change that has been welcome and revitalizing but also challenging in its own way. For students in particular, the transition to campus after so many long months of pandemic restrictions has meant a shift from solitary learning and limited interactions to a 24-7 world of heightened academic, social, and emotional demands. It’s a big transition to make.

As the semester picks up speed, and also as the weather changes, it’s natural to feel fatigued, anxious, and stressed from time to time. Please remember to pace yourself and know that there are times to catch your breath built into the academic calendar.

The first will be on Friday, October 15, when classes are canceled for Fall Break. That day creates a long weekend for most students, coming six weeks into the semester, that is an important time to focus on wellness by taking a break, getting some needed sleep, exercising, and carving out time for self-care.

Six weeks after that is a five-day Thanksgiving Break, from Wednesday, November 24 to Sunday, November 28.

Moving back into the full, intense swing of in-person academic life after more than a year away is not easy, especially considering that we are still in a pandemic. We’re enormously impressed by the ways AU students have taken health and safety seriously and by the care you show for your Eagle community. We encourage you to approach self-care and self-pacing with that same level of commitment.

Remember to access as needed the resources available, including academic support services (such as Academic Coaching, Tutoring, and Disability Support Services), Recreational Sports and Fitness, Center for Well-Being Programs and Psychological Services, Kay Spiritual Life Center, affinity spaces and support, and Health Promotion and Advocacy Center.

Wishing you the very best this month and this semester as we continue to navigate the return to campus. Remember to take care.

Fanta Aw
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence

Peter Starr
Provost and Chief Academic Officer