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Another Perspective: Life Without Spring Break

We all know that American University attempted to give us a break this semester with wellness week but it still seemed it didn’t provide us with any wellness. American was not the only university to take away spring break in fear of a spike in COVID cases, as students were also impacted by their university’s decisions in ways that impacted academic success and their mental health. 

Zoom meeting with coffee Photo by Chris Montgomery from Unsplash

Wafaa Abdelamak is a freshman at George Mason University. George Mason, a majority commuter school, is located in Fairfax, Virginia. This semester they have had a similar operating status as American University with limited campus operations and few in-person classes. 

Her Campus American: What did your school do to try to give students a break?

Wafaa Abdelmalak: Our university did nothing to give us a break this semester. Unlike other universities, we did not have a wellness week or reading days like other schools had.

HCAU: How do you feel about finishing out the semester without having had time to rest and step away from Zoom?

WA: I mostly felt tired and stressed, and would have appreciated a break. 

HCAU: It seems as if things have been draining, how has not having had spring break impacted your mental health?

WA:  My mental health has somewhat been declining. Zoom classes are difficult to keep up with and it makes it easier to fall behind. It leads to a lot of stress and a couple of days off would have helped me regain energy to continue classes. 

HCAU: Is there anything you did to give yourself a break, even if it was not a break given by the university?

WA: It’s hard to give yourself a break when there is so much to get done.

Happy Lifestyle Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash

The lack of a spring break has been affecting everyone differently. Some tried to make the best of it rather than only take what their university was offering them. Annelise Ervin is a freshman at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU has been operating with most students living on campus and most students have at least one or two classes occurring in person.

Her Campus American: What did your school do to try to give students a break?

Annelise Ervin: Instead of a traditional spring break, JMU gave us one day off from classes in February, March, and April. However I often still had assignments due on this “break day”. 

HCAU: How do you feel about finishing out the semester without having had time to rest and step away from Zoom?

AE: It’s very difficult for me to pay attention and focus on online zoom classes. As the semester drags on, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find the motivation to log on to class and participate. The semester is almost over for us, but I’m taking a summer class that is asynchronous. It doesn’t feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. 

HCAU: It seems as if things have been draining, how has not having had spring break impacted your mental health?

AE: My mental health hasn’t been impacted much, but my motivation for school has definitely decreased and I feel as if I’m living from assignment to assignment. I’ve also noticed many of my friends and other students are mentally tired and wish we had a long continuous break. 

HCAU: Is there anything you did to give yourself a break, even if it was not a break given by the university?

AE: I was fortunate enough to be able to go home with one of my friends for a week, and we did everything we could to treat it like spring break. While we still did our classes and assignments, relaxing with my friends and getting away for a bit definitely helped me take a break. 

It seems as if the lack of a spring break has affected everyone differently but one thing remains true, students wish there was a stopping point in the middle of the semester, one where they could regroup and relax.