The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our entire way of life and now it could be taking a college student’s favorite time of the year — Spring Break.
Halee Molina, a freshman at Washburn University, says she received the news during an online lecture, according to Teen Vogue.
“Everyone is just kind of here but not here,” Molina tells the magazine as she and her group chat discussed how imperative Spring Break is to her and fellow students’ mental health during such an unprecedented time.
With the pandemic still in full effect, colleges and universities are canceling or altering spring break 2021 with the goal of maintaining public safety.
“After eight weeks, the students’ performance tends to decline and mental health [concerns] tend to increase,” shares a clinical social worker at Purchase College in New York, Akeera Peterkin.
Per Peterkin, spring break — which is generally scheduled in the middle of the semester — allows students the time to “recoup mentally.”
Since the announcement, students have been using Twitter, petitions, conversations with their administrators and op-eds in their school papers to voice their concerns.
To date, students on the WSGA at Washburn organized a meeting with the school’s academic committee and a petition to add mental health days to the spring 2021 calendar.
The petition garnered 1,114 student signatures within a week and included comments where students shared their need for break days to combat exhaustion, concerns about finances without the time off, and just the need for time off because the stress has been making them “physically sick.”
“I know [the administration] thinks that we just want to go party or something but that’s not true,” WSGA’s diversity and inclusion director, Brandon Moreno tells Teen Vogue.
Now, thanks to meetings with students, Washburn administrators added two “wellness days” to the calendar. One is scheduled for Feb. 26 and another for April 2 — which splits the semester into periods no longer than eight weeks alone and gives students two three-day weekends.