More Time to Panic

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

By Mac Pomeroy

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Youngstown State University canceled classes for a “wellness day.” On Monday, Feb. 15, I rolled my eyes. 

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a day off. I am not groaning at the idea of a day off or at taking a break for mental health. Instead, my frustration comes from the fact of these days being meant to replace our spring break.

The cancellation of spring break was announced a few months ago, and even back then the idea of giving up a longer period of relaxation for a bunch of individual days was absurd. Now that it is in practice, I question if this is helping anyone.

I can’t speak for everyone, but one day is not enough time for me to relax. It is not an uncommon attitude that you can’t relax until your work is done.

What was I doing on Tuesday? I was doing my homework. I planned to edit this article. I tried to do my work on my day off to lessen the load later in the week.

What was I not doing? Relaxing. I need more than a day to calm down from the nerves and fast pace of school. Sometimes, even the weekends aren’t enough — I find myself wanting at least three days. The first day I can calm down, the second day actually relax and the third I prepare to go back.

Of course, not everyone is like me. I don’t make it a secret I have anxiety, and I may take longer to settle down. But, I know even for many students who don’t have anxiety, a single day won’t be enough. As I mentioned prior, they will also be trying to catch up on their schoolwork.

It isn’t just the length of our current “break” that has me writing this article, but also the break we are not receiving. I understand we are in a pandemic, and the reason given seemed to be this will lower the risk of students traveling, but it also further isolates students from their own lives.

This may be to stop kids from traveling back to see their families, but what about people whose families are here and in their own bubble already? I know the implication seems ridiculous, but with the chaos of school, especially online classes, many students already don’t have time to spend with their loved ones. I haven’t even seen my own sister in nearly a month with how hectic things are.

A day won’t even give a busy student enough time to call home and ask how things are, especially not when the day is a random Tuesday.

Of course, I am not part of whoever made this decision — I am just a student giving my opinion, and so I don’t know their full reasoning.

I am just questioning if a day is truly enough time for anyone to take a break. With a day, the pressure of our work and the need to be productive does not fade away. It isn’t even enough time to catch up on any chores I may have neglected during the semester. It is basically just a busy day without the Zoom meetings.

This all being said, I tried to try to enjoy at least a few minutes of my one day. I worked on this crochet scarf that has been bugging me for a few days with the few minutes I had left after doing all of my work.