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Mental Health

Why Students Deserve Breaks during Online School

Zoom Univeristy is every college student’s new reality, which means having class from one’s dorm and doing all schoolwork on a laptop. For me, this has been a big adjustment and first semester, I struggled with giving my full attention to a class and taking tests in an environment that did not put me in a mindset for school. The constant disorganization of every assignment, discussion post, and essay for each of my online classes really began to overwhelm me during my first semester of sophomore year. My distress showed in my grades at the end of the semester, for I felt very drained and burnt out. During online school last semester, I noticed a shift in my motivation to do school. I began to just have random bursts of energy to do assignments, instead of a constant dedication to my work when it needed to be done.  

overhead shot of a desk with someone writing in a notebook and on a video call on a computer
Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels


I believe that one of the reasons for my burn out was the fact that our school gave us absolutely no time off. It was school, school, school for three straight months. It overwhelmed me to have the same day, the same work routine, the same habits over and over with not even just one day to myself. I am grateful that our school put a lot of time and work into making a stable plan to try and continue college as best as it could during a pandemic, but the lack of days off school took it’s toll on me and many other students. I felt like, without a few holidays or days off, I could not focus on other tasks that were not school. Internship applications were placed on the back burner, my extracurricular activities did not seem fun anymore and it became hard to give all of them 100%. 

It was also very hard for me to find time to spend with my friends, because everything had to be planned out during this pandemic. Dinners had to be scheduled, group walks were coordinated, and trips to the dining hall were always made with a friend, but I missed the casualness of just bumping into a friend walking to class. A three day weekend or fall break would have allowed me to relax and regroup for a bit, it was difficult for me to just keep going throughout my same week over and over.  

School’s need to give students a few days off throughout their semester, for the pressure of school becomes overwhelming and students burn out. It’s important for college students to have time for other activities to prepare for our entry into “the real world”. Learning in a pandemic is a struggle, but one I am trying to overcome! 


I am a sophomore at Southern Methodist University and I intend to double major in Public Relations and Political Communication with a minor in English. I am our chapter's Her Campus President and am so happy to be in a leadership role in a field I am passionate about! I am from Dallas, Texas and journalism has been a big part of my life all through high school and the years I have spent so far in college.
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