The impact of semester breaks on health

How even a short break can help students and faculty

Chloe Palmiere, Roundtable Editor

As I tried to come up with a topic for this week’s Perspective column, all that came to mind was how happy I was to be home.

I realized how having fall break this year has the potential to help Gannon students, faculty and staff mentally and physically.

I believe that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, people were grateful for these little breaks.

However, it was all about being done with classes for a few days and nothing more.

That’s great to have, but in all honesty, it is so much more than that.

And this has been realized in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Everything that has happened in the world and within the Gannon community the past two years has impacted us greatly.

Everyone’s eyes have been open, and we have been shown that these breaks are a time for the whole campus to just stop and simply relax.

Since the pandemic started, it has been much harder to be a student away from home.

Virtual learning is one thing and limited-sized classes were a big change, there’s no doubt about that.

But having no breaks was something that we all realized was extremely destructive for our mental health in many ways.

I have heard from so many people that they are very grateful that we are able to have these breaks again.

Even though it is only a few days, it is a few days where we can solely focus on ourselves more than school or work.

This could include doing so many different things: having a self-care day, hanging out with friends and family, working out or simply doing nothing.

Sure, that seems like something people could do on an average day.

But there is so much that students must do during the day that most of us barely find time for ourselves.

Even when we do, it’s hard to enjoy it  without having a guilty feeling saying, “Do your work” or “You should be studying.”

What people do not understand is how hard it really is to juggle all the things that we do in college.

This could include being a student-athlete, having jobs, being members of different clubs and organizations, or just being a student and juggling a heavy course load.

No matter how much or how little you are involved with during college, it is hard to focus on all that along with your social life and your mental health.

Having these breaks, no matter how short, really plays a big role in students’ and employees’ overall health.

Now that break has come to an end, all I have to say is how happy I am to have had a break at Gannon.

I know of other schools that did not give their students a fall break or gave them one day off, and we all know that is not enough.

We are very thankful for what we were given.

And we are thankful that people are listening to the mental health concerns for our students and employees.


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