Dear WashU, 2 Wellness Days is Not Enough

I think it’s safe to say that when Chancellor Martin released the spring semester plan last week that there was a lot of backlash regarding the new plan for spring break. Instead of our two weekend, five weekday usual break, it has been shortened to two wellness days: a random Tuesday in the middle of March and a random Wednesday in the middle of April. I know I am not the only one feeling pretty iffy about this new policy, so let’s talk about why we need more of a break next semester.

Not only will we only have two days off this whole fall semester, but we are already having an accelerated workload due to the late start. In addition, while this may not be true for all students, most of us have finals ending the second week of January. Since we will be studying during our “winter break” until those tests or project due dates, that only gives us about ELEVEN DAYS until we need to be back on campus to start the new semester. If you add up the technical “break days” where we are not doing any sort of schoolwork (theoretically), that is 15 days off in the whole school year.

This is quite alarming if you ask me because constant work and stress for all the other days of the year is not good for our emotional or physical health. College is especially challenging this year because of COVID and all the transitions and changes we have had to make to our lifestyles have been extremely taxing on many teenagers. Not only are we faced with the possibility of being quarantined, extreme zoom, and electronic fatigue, but having fewer days off and NO long weekends next semester does not allow time for students to see or spend time with any family members. Family is a very important support system for many college students and taking this way abruptly is just another huge transition that WashU is forcing students to make.

Give us a full week off... we need it. The two wellness days in the undergraduate schedule are positioned at times that would not allow for students to take the 24 hours as a mental health break. Instead, it is likely that we will be confined to our rooms and be studying for upcoming midterms, catching up on assignments, and not decompressing... in any way. In fact, it takes more than 24 hours for someone, especially a student to relax. Without a proper break, WashU is just asking for their students’ mental health and physical health to decline even more. I am hoping that Chancellor Martin takes the student body’s concern into evaluation because there are some serious effects that this decision could have on us.

However, take this Thanksgiving Break to relax as much as possible. YOU DESERVE IT. I know everyone here has worked exceptionally hard this semester and this break is so needed!!