Twenty-three days of break. UTSA students worked and studied for 16 weeks to get only 23 days to relax, recharge and regain the will to continue studying. When the first day of the new spring semester starts, some students will return saying the break wasn’t long enough. Most of us would agree. The first few days of break will feel like you are forgetting to turn in something or to do some assignment.
That feeling is the trauma we need a longer break from. It took a week before I finally felt like I could relax after the stressful semester I had, and I know I am not the only one who felt that way. School is a stressful thing; stress will follow you around wherever you go, but sometimes students (and the faculty and staff) need a break from the crazy deadlines and sleepless nights.
Sixteen weeks of schooling and stressing out and students get a few weeks off before the cycle begins again. Students are lucky to have the opportunity to take a break once every semester. Those who work do not have a guaranteed break, and those who work are lucky to get any time off with or without pay. However, students still deserve a longer break in between the fall and spring semesters. This is one of the last times we will be able to have a guaranteed vacation away from school.
Once we graduate, some will join the bandwagon of nine to five jobs with limited days off.
Consider this: students are constantly stressing out over due dates, social lives, healthy living and working. The break between the fall and spring is not really a break when you factor in having to go home and visit family and friends while dealing with the stress of the holidays.
Students need a break from stressing and time for relaxing. UTSA had three weeks off for winter break. Minus the one week to control the panics of having nothing to do, the holidays and the mental time to prepare for school to begin again, in reality, we get about a week and a half of
break to actually do what we want.
Relaxing after four months of studying, testing, writing, staying up late, waking up early and so on is something we should all focus on. We are young now and our bodies are resilient, but we should still not push them beyond what we can handle. Recharging is important.
After burning out to complete one semester, there is limited time to charge up and do it once more in the coming semester. Recharging means catching up on sleep, binge watching shows without feeling guilty, taking up old hobbies or finding new ones. Any thing that will help take the edge off and get you mentally and physically ready for another semester helps.
Maintaining sanity may sound over dramatic, but taking care of our mental health is an important task we push on the back burner when school is in session.
We live in a world where mental illness is seen, but not understood. We continue tasking our minds and bodies without realizing we are breaking ourselves down.
As a person who has a mental breakdown at least twice a semester, I understand the difficulty of admitting I need a mental break. Recharging and relaxing can help relieve the anxiety and stress we experience as students.
Three weeks is not always enough time to relax and recharge. There should be more time in between the spring and fall semesters. The summer break, for some, is two months of time to collect yourself.
By the time you come back for the fall, you are ready and excited to begin a new year. This is not always the case when you are entering the spring semester. Walking on campus, I see the faces of those who wish they were still in bed watching Netflix, never having to worry about being on time to class or turning in an assignment.
I understand the excitement as friends once more get to see each other after three weeks of freedom. But all I can think about as I continue on is how tired I still am and how much I wish I had more time with my family and friends. A new cycle has started; how ready are you?