The importance of rest during spring break
Spring is finally beginning to hit campus, and it’s just in time. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the student body has been needing a lift, and warmer weather with blooming surroundings certainly doesn’t hurt matters.
I was born and raised in California, but I didn’t find my first New England winter to be too bad, just long. When I went back home for winter break, there were daffodils in the yard; when I got back to campus in January, there was a blizzard.
Many students have been battling seasonal depression; even those hailing from climates closer to Massachusetts may find the combination of weather and school stressors draining. People have reported feeling overly fatigued, as if they’re just going through the motions, or — my personal favorite descriptor — simply “gray.” Some shrugged the question off when asked about what they’ve been doing to cope, while others said they’d like to do more self-care but don’t have the time. On a campus of standout kids and overachievers, there seems to be almost a culture of burnout. Students tend to wear baggy eyes and crumpled papers as badges of honor. It can create a horrific spiral, in which students feel like they can’t take a break for fear of being swept under the current, yet those within the current need a break most desperately.
Though, on the subject of breaks, our spring break — which could provide a much needed respite for students — is surprisingly late in the semester.
I understand it’s over Passover, which is great that students can return home for the holiday, but it’s also two weeks away from finals. Most of my peers at other schools had breaks placed somewhere in March, which seems more appropriately timed burnout-wise. Students have gone from late-February to mid-April with no breaks. Personally, and from what I’ve seen of peers, we’re tired. We’ve had midterms and projects, and we’ve been grinding on courses and extracurriculars without a solid break. Rest and recuperation time is important just to avoid getting stuck in a rut of more repetitive tasks.
Nobody seems as enthused about things as they were at the start of the semester, and most are likely homesick as we’ve been on campus for an extended period.
Essentially, we’re all very ready for spring break, and spring in general. Yet the two weeks between break and finals may be awkward for folks, including myself. It seems fairly impractical for students from further away to go home for break only to come back and move their things out so soon, but staying on campus alone while your friends go home obviously may not be so appealing either. Additionally, the closeness to finals means some of us might have some heavier workloads over the break. If you want to get a head start on studying or stressing, it’s difficult to fully relax and unwind during the week off.
Finals feel like some looming entity you can’t do much about, but also can’t stop thinking about and dwelling on.
For students who’ve been stressed for the better part of the semester, it can feel like things are going to get worse long before they get better. I’ve yet to find anyone who feels they are prepared or ready for the matter, myself included. However, the timing of the break over Passover and Easter seems kind and practical.
Students of various faiths can celebrate with their families, wherever their families might be located. It’s incredibly important for students to take this break, for lack of better wording, to take a break. If you’re one of the many folks who feels like they’ve just been holding it together, or if you’re actually doing pretty well, either way, get some rest. We all need it.