Although the news of spring break’s elimination was announced on Oct. 9, the conversations on the possible repercussions have not stopped.
As students, we have felt the impact of not having a fall break, and our staff believes the toll on mental health that took place this semester cannot happen again in the spring.
A break in the middle of the semester is needed for students to rest and recuperate so they can succeed in the following eight weeks of the academic calendar.
Spring break is also an opportunity for students to prepare for midterms and plan out the rest of the semester.
Not having a break in the middle of the semester is like seeing a four-hour play without an intermission. You can’t grab a snack, stretch out your legs or run to the bathroom. You become tired, cramp up and irritable.
However, The Scout staff understands that this decision was made to prevent students from traveling to and from campus for the sake of the Bradley community’s physical well-being.
Many colleges and universities across the country have also canceled their spring breaks, including Butler University and Illinois State University.
Physical health is important, but so is mental health. Bradley has counseling services for students who might be struggling, but it can be a challenge to seek help and take the initial step to talk to someone. Sometimes, all a student needs is a quick visit home to see their family or pets to improve their mental well-being.
The Scout has put together a few suggestions that should allow students an academic break while also minimizing impacts on the academic calendar.
One option is for classes to meet normally during the week spring break would normally take place, but to not have assignments due. Attendance would still be required, but there would not be deadlines for students to worry about.
This could also be a chance to do something besides a regular lecture. March 15-19 could be a week dedicated to goal-setting and self-improvement.
Courses and/or departments could bring in guest speakers in a virtual format for students to learn something related to their field of study or mental health awareness in a college setting. Attendance for these speakers could be required for certain courses or an opportunity for extra credit in others.
Another suggestion is for Monday, Wednesday and Friday courses to not meet one week and Tuesday, Thursday classes to take off the next week in the middle of March. This would provide a break from some classes and give a few free days to focus on midterms and other projects.
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to adapt to keep each other safe, but we can’t compromise our mental health in the process. If breaks are being canceled for safety precautions, then more resources need to be allocated to improving the mental well-being of students and faculty.
We understand that there isn’t a sole answer to get through the spring that everyone will agree on, but there are better alternatives than starting a week later and canceling a mid-semester break.
The university needs to make the mental health of its students a priority over making sure classes meet on a specific number of days.
A good education goes beyond instruction time, and the overall learning experience will not be sacrificed if we get a few days off.