Leisure in a time of transition: A qualitative investigation into the leisure involvement of first-year university students
Maple, Laura Christine
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Every September, tens of thousands of students enter the world of higher education for the first time, and face numerous new challenges without their traditional support systems. The literature indicates that leisure involvement can work as an effective coping strategy, but little is known about how first-year students make decisions about their leisure. This study examined the factors affecting students’ involvement in two leisure coping strategies (planned breaks and avoidance) and two leisure contexts (structured and unstructured). Nine one-on-one interviews with first year students were conducted. Insights consistent with the reviewed literature include students’ social leisure choices, their personal background and behavioural factors, and the transitional issues they faced. A new factor to add to the existing literature is the connection between students’ leisure actions and their sense of self. Researchers and leisure service providers on university campuses should explore these insights further, to help with students’ transitions into university.