Spring break is designed for students — especially college students — to get a break from the stress of their everyday lives. They theoretically get a week of no classes, assignments, tests or papers.
Unfortunately this spring break will be filled with more work than relaxation for many students, including myself. I am currently a communications major, but I am also in the elementary education program on track to receive my teaching certificate. In order to receive this I need to observe classrooms for a specific number of hours this semester, among other things.
This semester I will be in two classrooms: at one school I will need to observe the class for a total of 18 hours, and at the other school I will be observing the class for a total of 25 hours. I will need to do these observations over spring break to ensure I complete these hours before they are due. This task is in addition to the homework I have been assigned to complete over my break for my other classes.
Throughout my college journey, I have learned that this is a common trend among students. Frank Ruggiero, a freshman, plans on “staying on campus and maybe helping with [the Ramapo production of] Everybody. [I’m] also going to pick up a mannequin from my high school theatre for [the Ramapo production of] Sunless.” Ruggiero is one among many students that will continue their school-related work over their spring break.
“I will be spending my spring break picking up extra shifts that I otherwise couldn’t take because of classes,” said Samantha Gallo, a senior, who doesn’t plan on getting much rest during her spring break,
Alternatively, Julia Warburton, a junior, will be utilizing her spring break to relax on a trip to Florida. “Surprisingly everything [is] due on March 11, before I go, which I am very thankful for.”
The dangers of not having a break from school are plentiful, the biggest one being burn out. If a student feels burnt out from school, their work ethic may begin to slip, which could lead to their grades dropping.
Feeling burnt out can also bring on feelings of anxiety and depression. The best way to avoid this is to take a mental break during this week off of school. School and stress take a major toll on students, so it is important to take time to check in on your mental health.
When students are given work to complete over spring break, they not only lose time to rest, they also lose time to spend with their family members and friends. This semester has kept me from being able to spend time with the people I love. I was planning on using my spring break to catch up on lost time, but because of my busy schedule I will be limited in my ability to relax and bond with them.
Knowing that I will not have a real spring break this semester is stressful. I try to remind myself that I am doing this work to make my life easier throughout the rest of the semester, but these words feel hollow when I consider how I won’t have much time to spend with my family. Not having the time to take care of my mental health is also upsetting. This being said, I have come to appreciate spring break more now that I won’t get to utilize mine for the right reasons.
Spring break is necessary for students to succeed. We need opportunities to take our mind off of school work and stress, as well as the ability to spend quality time with our friends and family. Colleges should recognize the importance of spring break for students and ensure that they will not be assigned homework when they should be relaxing.