Issue: No breaks during the semester is draining for students



Editorial Board

We’re tired.

After 35 days of online, in-person or hybrid classes and 35 more days to go, we’re sure you are too.

In a “normal” semester, there would have been a long weekend for Labor Day, a break this Monday for Native American Day and a day off for Veterans’ Day in November.

Though a one-day break may seem minuscule when looking at a whole semester, these breaks played an important role for students — a chance to catch up, a chance to relax or a chance to get away.

It’s important to remember, even though we don’t have extra days off, that taking breaks is crucial to productivity and our mental state.

In a study led by the University of Illinois, students who take breaks while studying allowed them to remain focused when working. Students also saw no drop in their performance over time if they gave themselves breaks.

This semester has, and will continue to demand students to stay resilient, get creative and adapt daily.

Staying focused and motivated does not go without challenges though, and students must remember to give themselves a break.

Time is a scarce, valuable resource. Just like your paycheck, it’s best for everyone if you can save some for your own use. Budget your time throughout the week, and use it on yourself.

This doesn’t have to be a weekend or a whole day. Finish your homework early on Wednesday. Cook a meal. Watch Ratatouille. Paint something cool. Read a book. Whatever. It’s your time, and that’s important.

This isn’t always possible, we know that. Especially during midterms, we can’t be expected to have free nights every week.

The semester drags on whether we have time or not, leading to a cycle of classes, homework, sleep, repeat. A monotonous routine can cause loss of passion and a downturn in motivation though there’s an entire second half of the semester to go.

Break the routine. Take your Zoom class outside with your morning cup of coffee. Ride your bike to class when you usually drive. These things, while not being wholly unproductive, can give your brain a rest from the harsh demands of rigorous college life.

We know you’re all sick of reading about the “unprecedented times” mentioned in nearly every email salutation, but it’s true. This pandemic is a monumentous, world-changing event that will shape the nature of education for generations to come. It does not make sense to treat it like a normal school year.

Take advantage of every tool at your disposal, especially the counseling services offered by the university. We’re drained and stressed. They’re trained to help with exactly that.

The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.