These past two weeks have been seemingly the longest weeks of my life (and I am sure it has been for other students as well). I have had something due almost everyday for my classes during one of the roughest semesters. In a normal year, students would get a week off and not have any work to hand in. Obviously, due to COVID it is unsafe for students to leave the campus for a vacation, or even worse, leave the country.
In response, Clark University put in place Wellness Days, one day each month (with the exception of March where an additional ‘Wellness Day’ was allocated for move-in day) for Clark students to have mental health “breaks.”
These Wellness Days are not a break; rather, they feel more like a Sunday. We get one day off with classes restarting immediately afterwards. These days are supposed to be for our well being but truthfully, I feel as though it is a Band-Aid for a larger problem, while others use this extra day as a “catch up day” with classes and work.
Almost everyone I have talked to is feeling burnt out.
Additionally, there is zero motivation and zero initiative to finish the spring semester strong. Everyday we wake up and have to do another round of schoolwork and assignments. There is no time to breathe.
Clark pushes for “mental health” breaks but is it truly a break or just a brief pause? The signs and students’ reactions and conversations on social media point to the latter. I understand the logic of having a nonstop semester due to our long winter break. However, we, the students, did not ask for an extended break. I would have prefered coming back late January or early February and having a relatively normal semester scheduling wise. This nonstop workload is not good for anyone. Students and faculty need an extended break.
To the admins of Clark University: prioritize health, not work. Give the students of Clark University a break and a minute to breathe.
-Mia Levine, Class of 2023