No Time Off? That’s A No for Me!

Peyton Dripps, Contributing writer

About two-thirds of colleges and universities around the country have cancelled spring break. Institutions believe that this was necessary in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, but was it the right decision? Fellow Patriot League schools — such as Lafayette College and Colgate University — as well as large state schools like the University of Georgia and Ohio State University have cancelled spring break in an effort to keep their communities safe. Although this move has kept students from traveling off campus and possibly infecting others with the virus, the continual academic and social pressures of college life has caused students’ mental health and motivation to rapidly deteriorate. 

With this cancellation, many colleges have allowed for a few scattered days off during the spring semester, with the intention that students will be able to relax and step away from school-related assignments. However, these intermittent days off do not compare to the rest felt over an extended break. This was a very poor decision made by administrators who will, ultimately, remain unaffected by the change they put in place. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on a whole new slew of student anxieties: students are now anxious of contracting the virus and had to adjust remote instruction and social distancing policies. The administration’s decision to take away spring break is yet another obstacle in students’ lives. San Diego State University students were very unhappy with the university’s decision to cancel spring break as Mark Gaunin, a junior, shared that “it’s not a break,” and it’s not really a rest and recovery day. It’s just going to be nonstop school. We’re still going to have homework and deadlines that are going to be due the day after what they call ‘rest and recovery’ days.” Similarly,  a first-year student at Michigan State University shared that “a lot of people are struggling more than usual this semester,” and “my mental health has been depreciating at an extended rate,” in part due to the university’s decision to cancel spring break. 

Likewise, our university’s plan allows students to have three scattered days off during the spring semester, compared to the 10 consecutive days of spring break that is normally given. Students at our University have also complained that the scattered rest days have been an excuse for professors to assign longer assignments that are due shortly after the day off. This is unacceptable, as students never receive a true “break,” making people question whether institutions like the University truly consider and care for students’ mental health. 

In essence, spring break has been ripped away from us. Universities have framed this as a precautionary measure as students are suffering from burnout. One can only hope that the normal spring break will return next year.  

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