Experience with the first break day

Bella Lee, Staff Writer

Most Wednesdays, I have an online class at noon followed by a graphic design lab at 2 p m. I also meet with my advisor at 10 a.m. and I’m sure to have an Ambassador tour sprinkled in there eventually.

These can be long days, combined with homework, so I’m usually pretty exhausted by the end of the day. However, this past Wednesday, Feb. 17, was different. I still had to wake up early for my advisor meeting, but besides that I had nothing to worry about, as that day was the first break day that the school had in place this semester. I was able to get a good amount of work done that would’ve otherwise probably had to wait until the weekend, and I was still able to hang out with friends as well. It was a great way to just let out a sigh of relief after a few weeks of getting into the swing of things with a new semester, but it also begs the question: why didn’t Mercyhurst think of this earlier?

As most people might recall, when Mercyhurst went online last spring, the Easter break that was scheduled for mid-April still occurred. It was a nice way for students to have a bit of relaxation after a stressful few weeks of transitioning from in-person to online courses. However, when students returned to campus this past fall, not only did we begin a week earlier than originally scheduled, but we also ended the semester earlier than anticipated, which had us going home right before Thanksgiving break and taking finals from home. However, the major consequence of this was that we had absolutely no breaks in between. Zero, zip, zilch.

While I’m certainly grateful for the break days we have this semester, I’m still quite annoyed by the fact that we didn’t have any breaks last semester. For three straight months, the only time we were able to have a breather was during the weekends, and even then, those periods were limited as there was still homework and projects to be completed. Days that are usually days off, such as Labor Day, saw us attending classes then as well.

In short, it simply was not healthy for us to have classes non-stop for three months in a row, as we all suffered major burnout as a result. I’m definitely glad that Mercyhurst made a change and gave us break days this time around, but it should’ve happened last semester as well. Even when I was in grade school, we would receive days off for Labor Day and Memorial Day, but also religious holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, which is perhaps something that we could implement in the future. College students need breaks every now and then and going without any last semester proved to be almost detrimental. This first break day helped me alleviate a lot of stress. While there’s only a few of them, and we still are going without a spring break or Easter break, at least we’re not nearly collapsing from exhaustion by the end of the semester. Our next break day, which is also advising day, is Mar. 16, so I’m looking forward to another short break soon.