Letter to the Editor | Canceled spring break imposes long-term unease
May 29, 2021
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges for everyone. While safety is a priority for all of us, the University’s decision to cancel spring break this semester comes at the price of students’ mental health. Even before reaching mid-semester, I watched my peers struggle week after week engaging with school as well as exhibiting some of the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
While there is an urgent need for mental health services at the University, there has not been a substantial number of additional resources made available for students who are experiencing the repercussions of nearly three semesters of remote learning and social isolation.
Non-instructional days have proven ineffective. Providing three days spread throughout the semester exacerbates the anguish as students spend their day off playing catch-up. Not to mention, days off are only applicable for class-related work on that particular day.
Ensuring the C-U community’s safety from the spread of COVID-19 is important. Eliminating spring break when most students are learning remotely was not the most effective method to accomplish this goal and came with significant negative mental health impacts for students.
As we brace ourselves for classes to continue online, demand for mental health services will continue to rise. Collaboration between students and administration, peer support and student-led initiatives are shown to be effective, sustainable ways to engage students and increase awareness and access to mental health services on college campuses.
Stefanie is a graduate student in Social Work.