Last week, I was so excited to have a four day weekend for our fall break. I thought that I would finally have the chance to come up for air in a semester where it feels like I’m drowning in class, The Mirror and internship work. However, after the two extra days were over, I found myself questioning: “what would I have done without it?” I actually needed those additional 48 hours to be able to complete a quiz, studying, upcoming projects and homework assignments. And even then, I still didn’t finish everything! Upon acknowledging this, I felt cheated of my supposed “fall break” where I was supposed to just sit on the couch, watch TV and sleep in. Only, our professors took our time off as an opportunity to assign us more work because we had the extended hours and even emphasized that we have midterms nearing in the upcoming week.
So now, I don’t feel re-energized and ready to dive back into my responsibilities. Instead, I continue to feel drained. This experience leaves me posing the question: Can we just put a strict pause on everything academic whenever we have a break?
The only time students come back feeling refreshed is during Christmas or summer break, and that’s because we aren’t enrolled in any active courses and therefore can actually use our time off to our advantage. In some rare cases, people are actually excited to start up their classes again! Granted, these vacations are weeks, if not months, away from school and it’s easy to become bored. However, if we are to have a mini break during the semester such as a fall/spring or holiday situation, then there needs to be an enforced rule that professors cannot assign tests, projects, readings, homework or even mention future assignments before we leave their class before entering our time off. Additionally, we should have limited email blasts about school related information as well. Because frankly, I just don’t want those notifications during my break.
I remember seeing on social media that the reason why we feel we are unable to feel rested during weekends or any time away from work is because we often feel guilty that we are not accomplishing the items on our to-do list or partaking in activities that would work towards something more productive. This feeling of culpability takes away from our ability to enjoy any time off that comes our way. And due to the fact that I had a pile of assignments waiting for me during our fall break, I felt like I was lazy for putting on a couple of episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” at the end of the night when I could’ve been memorizing what 18th Century British author wrote a piece that I read about last month. Yes, this is definitely a personality fault that I, as well as many others, need to overcome. However, it is merely natural, instinctive and just an important factor overall to note when calling attention to this fact.
If we are to include a break throughout the current semesters to allow students to breathe, then it should be done the right way: putting a strict pause on anything and everything academic and allowing our time to do absolutely nothing. I need to be able to crawl out of bed at noon with a consecutive string of absences from Blackboard.