Several “wellness days” dispersed throughout the semester do not provide the relief of a traditional spring break. They instead offer a mere pause — assuming that professors do not load up on assignments in order to compensate for losing a day of class.
As student–journalists, we take on the responsibility of creating content on top of our academic obligations. In addition to classes, editors on The Ithacan take part in hours of meetings throughout the week, in which we brainstorm and plan our stories and multimedia content. Beyond the editorial board, we have approximately 100 staff members spread across our sections who have to juggle class assignments and assignments from The Ithacan.
After seven weeks of exhaustive reporting at The Ithacan, we are taking a week off. We will return the week of April 5, with our next print edition coming out April 8. Two of our last three wellness days fell on main production days for the paper, meaning we just had more time to work — there was no break.
Between classes and a nonstop news cycle, our editors, reporters, fact checkers, photographers and multimedia content creators deserve time to stop and recuperate. The work is fulfilling, and we are grateful to be in these positions, but we also need time to rest. The entire college community does. We are overcoming a pandemic, collegewide changes and the individual challenges life presents. All of us need more than one day to even begin recovering.
While the college and its professors are trying to be accommodating, workloads remain overwhelming. Considering the pandemic and its individual hardships, random days off do nothing to alleviate the stress students are under. Professors also deserve a break. Constant work with hardly any time off is exhausting. Studies have shown that time off from school can lower stress, decrease risk of heart disease, improve one’s outlook on life and increase motivation. More than ever, an actual break — not just a day to catch up on work — is essential.
Students are drained. Professors likely are as well. No one is thriving because of a couple of days off. This semester is not breezing by, and it is wearing us all out. We should prioritize sustaining our mental health in general, but even more so during a pandemic.