Spring Break: The Comeback Kid

Ava Compagnoni (avcompagnoni@ursinus.edu)

How did we survive on break days last year? This past spring break felt like the first real break from school work in the past two academic years. Summer and winter breaks aren’t mid-semester, and Thanksgiving and Fall breaks aren’t enough. Professors will always find a way to wiggle in some light reading or a few busy work assignments over those breaks to keep our brains engaged. 

The spring semester of 2021 seemed like an insufferable, ongoing academic hike, all uphill. The administration attempted to incorporate ‘break days’ throughout the semester, but those did not compare to a whole week off. Break days were not an adequate break for students because we would still be completing assignments for the rest of the week. When the announcements came out for break days last spring, students were ‘encouraged’ to take time to themselves and relax their minds and body for the day. However, this was challenging for students because we had to worry about class the following day. “I felt as if it was not a break, there was always school work sitting on my desk. I felt guilty if I was to exercise the break day or my grades would slack,” says Alexis Miller, Class of 2023. While we were lucky enough to be in person, unlike other universities and colleges, it was a difficult time to be a student.  

Many professors still assigned work over this past spring break or encouraged students to prepare for exams that would take place the following week! Some students completely disregarded their work during the break, and I do not blame them. Spring student-athletes had spring training for their respective athletics during the week and simply did not have time to study for an organic chemistry exam or write their research paper draft. Some sports had double-headers and multiple practices, so even then, spring break still meant putting in work. Hard and fast deadlines following the week of spring break should be terminated. There is no time to relax if an assignment looms over students during the break. 

By the time March 10 rolled around, the Thursday before break, I could feel the anticipation and laziness kicking in. I was ready to break from 19426 and head to any other zip code possible. Returning and settling back into residence halls is a break from spring break. Keeping the residence halls open is a nice touch, especially for students returning from out-of-state trips. This adds ease for students, so they do not have to rush around on a Sunday if they choose. 

Even so, spring break is a total must-have! I hope to never see an opportunity for ‘break days’ to resurface. Having a random Tuesday off in the middle of the semester is not a break. It is simply an injustice. Students could do that any day of the week, with the right desire. Anything more than four days is a significant amount of time to recoup – a break. A 24-hour grace relief does not do the same. I feel rejuvenated after spring break. Even the first Monday back after break, classes were not that dreadful. Hopefully, the second half of the semester won’t be too bad with a clear mind.