By Jessica Karcz
BROCKPORT, N.Y – When thinking of a typical Spring break, many often picture wild college students setting off on trips to party with their friends, yet for most, it is common to travel home and use the week to recharge for the remainder of the semester. This year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Spring break looks very different for most college students.
SUNY Brockport had decided to cancel the current semester’s Spring break and have yet to offer any days for students to rest. SUNY Brockport has coined the phrase of ‘protecting the nest’, but there is the question of if students mental health is being protected as well.
Students throughout SUNY Brockport have expressed their concerns with the cancellation of Spring Break in the schools calendar. Current student, Hayley Thompson believes this semester is like no other.
“I think I started out really strong and now I just don’t have the energy to finish,” said Thompson. “I feel very distracted cause I have no structure, so it’s kind of a ‘do the work when you want to’ kind of thing and I never want to do it, so it rarely ever gets done.”
Current student, Hayley Penvose has also struggled with burnout throughout the semester and has caught her grades slipping.
“I’m that type of person that doesn’t like to hand in late assignments and I feel like i’ve turned in quite a few late assignments this semester,” said Penvose, “It sucks cause all these kids had breaks and had time to get their life together and other schools that did not have breaks just kinda had to suffer.”
As schools began to reopen in the beginning of this year, many had encouraged students to ease back into a routine they once had before quarantine to focus on prioritizing mental health. Schools, such as SUNY Oswego, have introduced the idea of ‘wellness days’ into the school calendar to allow students to take a day off of classes, while limiting them to travel home. SUNY Brockport has yet to offer any days to their students.
Thompson was surprised to hear about how Brockport was not given any days for a break, given other SUNY’s have offered ‘wellness days’ for their students.
“I wish we had wellness days like other SUNY schools, so it just kinda sucks that it wasn’t an umbrella concept because I feel like all SUNY schools are the same,” said Thompson.
Thompson urges teachers to take into consideration how students are handling not having a break with the pandemic still going on. During Fall semester, students were often homesick and unmotivated to push through the semester.
“It’s technically our second semester without a break because we didn’t have a mid semester break last semester. We had the Winter to kinda separate everything but still, Spring semester is usually hard for everyone because we have this Summer mindset, so it just becomes so hard to do anything no matter what. COVID-19 or not, Spring semesters have never been easy for me,” said Thompson.
Current resident assistant at Briggs Hall, Jianna Peliccii, has seen her residents struggle the most this semester. Pelicci currently only has two rooms of residents in her hall because most of them have gone home due to the isolation that comes with living in the dorms. Since students are not allowed any guests outside of the building in their room, even Pellicci has felt herself struggling to push through this semester.
“Im burnt out. I’m ready for this semester to end, my grades have been slowly dropping and it’s terrible, especially for underclassmen who don’t have friends on campus, they’re stuck in one room,” said Pelicci.
Penvose empathizes for those who are living in the dorms during this semester.
“I can’t imagine how excluded they feel and how they aren’t making any friends. When I was in a dorm, we were making friends with people on our floor and we were still able to go out. They can’t do anything. They’re not allowed to invite their friends into the dorms,” said Penvose.
Many students have expressed their concerns with the cancellation of breaks in the school calendar and some have even gone far enough to take a week off of school to travel, despite the college’s recommendation to stay at the school. As the pandemic continues, students and staff at the college wonder how to keep students safe, while allowing them time to take a break.