Editorial: Taking a Breather

College students can begin a semester bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and hope-filled. Throughout the semester, they can become mentally exhausted and the best solution is to just take a break.

Students can suffer from stress and an overabundance of work, particularly during the long stretch from the end of August to Thanksgiving. As the Student Government Association at Youngstown State University drives for a fall break starting in 2019, some of these issues can be resolved.

The benefits from breaks are not limited to students either. The same issues can be faced by faculty at the university or anyone in any workplace.

Breaks from work should not be mistaken as excuses to be lazy or counterproductive. According to a column posted on Forbes by psychotherapist Amy Morin, sometimes people need to take days off work to maintain their mental health, even if it’s something as common as battling stress or managing emotions.

It is not unheard of for people to feel overworked from long hours at their jobs or find it difficult to concentrate because of so many things on their plate. In fact, it happens frequently.

According to ABC News, a national study indicated more than half of American employees feel overworked or overwhelmed by their jobs.

“A day or two away from the office might give them an opportunity to administer the self-care they need to get back on track,” Morrin said in the column.

College campuses are no exception. Students and faculty do not shy away from having an overabundance of work on their shoulders, and sometimes even a few days of relaxation can relieve some of that stress.

At the same time, students and faculty have families. Many of them have children whom they may not get to spend much time with during long hours of the semester. A fall break gives students who live on campus an extended weekend to go home, or it gives an overworked parent an extra day or two to spend with their kids.

Now, breaks from work do not need to be extensive. Sure, sometimes longer leaves are necessary for an out-of-town vacations or medical situations. However, a few days off keeps hard workers in the mindset of work while also giving them the chance to recharge if they are burned out.

A fall break directly following midterms would do exactly that. It would give professors time to catch up on grading or research and it would give students a moment, even if it’s just a moment, to catch their breath and prepare for a strong second half of the semester.