This year, spring break was divided into five individual days, intended to support student “mental health and restoration,” according to the schoolwide email from President White sent on Oct. 9, 2020. These days were distributed throughout the semester to prevent students from traveling out of state.
So far, there have already been two mental health days: one on Monday, February 1 and another on Tuesday, March 16. The remaining three will take place on Wednesday, April 7, Thursday, April 29, and Friday, May 14, the day after final exams end.
The guideline for wellness days is that it must be one day with no classes and no assignments due on that day. However, some students still have assignments or tests the next day.
Senior Laura Spasske had a homework assignment due on Tuesday, March 16. “I emailed the professor and he ended up moving it to [Wednesday, March 17], the next day after,” Spasske said.
She thinks that her professor simply forgot the existence of the assignment. “We were supposed to have an exam on Wednesday, but the professor emailed us on Monday about moving the exam to next week,” Spasske said.
Spasske slept in and rested on the wellness day, however, she said, “I spent the majority of the day just doing homework. It’s actually the most productive I’ve been all semester.”
The next wellness day is a Wednesday. “Those are the days that I have more classes so I am looking forward to having a Wednesday off,” Spasske said. She clarifies that the wellness day is not the same as spring break. “It’s not comparable to what we used to have, but it’s still good to have some kind of break,” Spasske said.
Backpacking Outside the Classroom
First-year Cole Pedro went hiking at Turkey Run with a group of friends. “A couple days before [Mar 17], we didn’t really have a plan. But we
got an invitation the night before to go hiking,” Pedro said. Pedro left campus around 12:45 p.m. to head to the Turkey Run and grabbed dinner before returning back to campus. “We spent most of the day hiking because that took a while,” Pedro said.
Pedro also studied after she came back to campus. “I had some readings for next day classes, but nothing huge or out of the ordinary,” Pedro said.
She said the wellness day didn’t feel like spring break, “but since we were able to go out and be active, it did feel like a day off.”
Pedro is planning to go hiking again for the next wellness day. “Hopefully it's nice outside, [the next wellness day] is in April so hopefully it will be,” Pedro said.
Sleep, Play, Repeat
Sophomore Arthur Frankel planned to use the wellness day to catch up on work prior to the actual day, March 17. “I ended up sleeping until 12 p.m., so I already kind of started the day off not very productive. And I ended up watching TV, playing video games for most of the day,” Frankel said.
Frankel also thinks that the wellness day did not feel like spring break. “I feel like if we had another day or more, just to help to fully recover by getting two nights of good sleep would help more so than just one day. I just really tried to cram everything I’d like to do in Spring break in one day. It’s kind of hard.
“I think for me being an athlete, I just really wanted to catch up on sleep and on school work,” Frankel said.
Frankel is both looking forward to and not looking forward to the next wellness day. “I feel like I’m gonna end up using it for a day of homework, rather than just relaxing,” he said.