Students deserve a day off between spring break and finals

Written By Erin Yudt, Editor-Elect

It has been a little over five weeks since spring break. I don’t know about you, but to me, it has felt like years ago. The stretch from spring break to finals is exhausting and feels like we can never stop and catch our breath. My classes have been emptier than ever. We need at least one day off from classes in between spring break and finals.


Last semester, the school introduced the first annual Pioneer Pause, a day off from classes around the last week of October to focus on mental health and help students recharge to get to the Thanksgiving break, which was great and so very much needed. Where is our Pioneer Pause in the spring? 


A designated mental health day in October should not be expected to get us to the end of April. If anything, we need more of a Pioneer Pause in the spring as the only day off we have besides spring break is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all the way back to the second week of the semester. 


The spring semester is also so much more stressful than the fall as the excitement of starting a new academic year has faded, freshmen are getting the swings of things and getting more involved, seniors are preparing for graduation and their lives post-college, and everyone is trying to figure out their summer and fall plans and apply for scholarships, internships and organization leadership roles amidst all our regular school work, let alone trying to take care of ourselves amidst the seasonal depression as well. 


While one may argue that we technically get an additional day off each week without having classes on Fridays, a lot of us do not have that day off anyway, either doing schoolwork or regular work. The school also encourages this day to be used to work. I remember being told during my tour that the reason most majors do not have classes on Fridays is so that we have the time to go to the places they need to complete projects. Also, COPA students still have classes on Fridays, which is a separate piece in itself because that is not fair; they deserve a day off now more than anyone. As students, we also cannot leave our work at the workplace like many jobs. Homework is still a thing in college, and the weekend is usually the only time we have to do it. There is no real day off in the week as a student, and that is not okay. 


We say that as a society, we are becoming better at recognizing the importance of mental health, but we are still not making changes at the institutional level. How more burnout do we as students need to get for there to be change? How many more mostly empty classrooms do professors need to walk into? 


Another Pioneer Pause between spring break and finals would not only benefit students, but our faculty and staff as well. Professors can get burnout too, as their work- grading- comes home with them too. I think it is very important that a university not only takes care of their students, but their faculty and staff as well, as there would not be a university without them too. 


A day off from classes between spring break and finals would give us the chance to stop and catch our breath a little. We should not be expected to run full steam ahead all the time, and the spring semester deserves a Pioneer Pause as well. A day off during the Passover and Easter holidays would also give some students a chance to maybe visit home and have the time to celebrate the holiday in general. As a school that prides itself in taking care of their students’ mental health, we need to start acting like it. A day off between spring break and finals is not too much to ask for.