Break… ing the Schedule

Joshua Tigges, Co-Editor of Photography and Multimedia

As the semester chugs along, students were granted a whopping full day of “fall break” on October 22nd. Traditionally consisting of two days, the 2021 fall break has left students with a sour taste in their mouth, understandably so. What was meant to be a day of relaxation after a crammed week of midterm was s, quickly filled with practices, studying, and projects. Although it appears as if this elimination of the extra day was moved to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I still cannot help but wonder if this so called “break” did more harm than good.

In talking to students across campus, an interesting revelation came across my mind. It appears as though a three-day-weekend only disrupted the schedules of many. We hear that human are creatures of habit, and while a day off may sound appealing, I may argue that it only throws us off course. While some took advantage of the day by binging their favorite shows or going on adventures, other were left consumed by academics. With exams being pushed back to after break, it seemed as though I was simply living for the future rather than cherishing the limited time I got to spend with family members. Nights consisted of “bonding” with my mom over studying, as she quizzed me instead of laughing at our favorite television show. Days consisted of running rampant across the county collecting information and relevant content for projects due the following week, only swinging by to say “hi” to my dad at work for a couple minutes. While I did take the opportunity to unwind and relax by my favorite means possible, sitting in a tree stand soaking in the natural beauty of the world, I was left with a constant burden to accomplish lingering projects. This burden guilt tripped me into pulling out my phone and doing research in the middle of the woods! Before I knew it, Sunday had already rolled around and it was time to get back into an academic mode, but I did not want to.  

The Monday after break quickly became my worst day of the semester simply due to the fact that I did not have the correct attitude towards the day. I was left dreading classes and had no motivation to finish the projects I spent all weekend working towards. I soon came to realize that I was not alone. A different feeling swept over campus that gloomy Monday morning and it appeared that professors had been thrown out of their rhythm as well. The hint of relaxation many felt during the time off left them thirsting for more, making a majority of the week simply a return to our typical schedules. This raises the question, does having one day of fall break do much good, or does it simply make it sound as though students are granted an opportunity to recharge mentally?  

Even though I got the opportunity to at least spend time around the area I grew up, many students were stripped of that luxury. Students who live a sizeable distance away from campus did not see the benefit of spending countless hours on the road or in the air only to turn back around and do it all over again. In addition, many athletes were robbed of the thought of this opportunity due to games scheduled during the day off and over the weekend. Even sports with upcoming seasons took advantage of no classes by holding lengthy practices. A day off is no longer a day off. The schedules of our committed students require continuous observances to practices, activities, oh yeah, and academics.  

As a “committed” student priding myself on my involvement and academics, it is hard to admit when I have reached my limit, but enough is enough. I, along with many other students I have talked with, are burned out. We have reached our max with weeks left in the semester. So, I raise yet another question, how can we truly produce our best work and achieve our full potential without mentally functioning at 100%? Perhaps I had the wrong impression entering the so-called fall “break,” but I cannot help but notice the talented students across campus falling into the trap of giving up. With Thanksgiving break quickly approaching, my schedule has once again filled with accomplishing academic work. It is my hope that students get the opportunity to forget about classes for a couple of days and indulge in a mental reset, as well as some turkey. While breaks prove pivotal to individual’s mental health, I feel as though a singular day is not sufficient to achieve that reset and arrive back on campus fully recharged. Let’s focus on breaking the stress… not the schedule.