When I found out we were not getting a Spring Break, I was devastated for more than one reason. I was planning a Spring Break excursion for students and the position was something I had been dreaming of all summer. We had to pivot, to an extreme extent, to keep our learning experience afloat. The trip is now the week after classes end.
The trip being during Spring Break, in my opinion, makes it all the more impactful. So the adjustment of having to wait to see all of our hard work come to fruition and in a different way than ever before, sucked.
But it is important to remind ourselves that this sacrifice is not without validity. Could it have been handled in a different way that was more cognizant of students’ mental healths? Yes. Does the pain of not having a much needed break still hurt? Most definitely.
And that is what I will say about the predicament we are in this year (I am clumping 2020 and 2021 together because they are in fact evil twins), it sucks. The lack of a Spring Break profoundly and distinctly sucks. And it is ok to feel that, but we also can pivot to minimize our struggle. 2020 and 2021, the year(s) of pivoting. Here are some ways to make midterms more manageable and in turn make having no Spring Break less awful.
1. Ask for help
There is no shame in asking for help. Sometimes, the weight of your own thoughts is too much to carry on your own. Whether it is school work, mental health, work, etc., you have to treat yourself as you would a loved one. If your loved one was overwhelmed or in pain, wouldn’t you want them to ask for help? Email your professor and ask for that extension. Call your parents or close relatives. Look into the many affordable telemental health options available. Don’t give up on yourself.
2. Learn how to say no
Self and community care both involve not spreading yourself too thin. Saying no is not a bad thing if you do not have the capacity to fully commit.
3. Make a Google sheet of all your deadlines
I swear by this eight times over. I enter the due date, name of the assignment, type of assignment, and a checkbox to denote whether or not the assignment is complete. I then color code each assignment, I enter the assignments by class, and sort them by the due date. I live in this spreadsheet.
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4. Schedule one day a week where you prioritize self-care
Self care is not just cute matching pajamas and fancy candles, although don’t get me wrong I enjoy those just as much as the next person. Self-care also means doing your laundry, dusting your room, filling out your calendar, taking a day off social media. For me, this day every week is Sunday. Sunday usually involves heightened anxiety about the coming week which can lead to me spiraling into regressive habits. I like to do things that make me feel in control to fight those feelings.
5. Start a new hobby or show
Recently, I have been obsessed with the show Bones. Obsessed as in I watch an episode or more every night while drinking my tea like an old woman. Having a storyline that is so wildly separate from your own life to attach too is a nice break from how overwhelming life can be right now. I have also been really into making some of my favorite foods or ingredients at home. This week I made homemade tomato soup and granola for my morning yogurt. We have to spice life up when we can!
I hope that each of you continues to show yourself the care you deserve, collegiettes.