Tallahassee, FL — Spring break is when students get the much-needed mental break from endless studying nights, cramming for midterms and finishing other work for class projects. When it’s taken away because of a global pandemic, what’s the impact on their mental health?
While some college students are having a blast — several with no regards to the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the increase of COVID-19 in major cities like Miami — others aren’t as the cancellation of spring break at some universities left many without any mental break at all.
Although health professionals say this was the right call to stop the increase of the virus amongst raging spring-breakers, students are wary of their mental health and finishing strong for the remainder of the school year.
Florida Atlantic University student, Abigail Mitchell, shares how she has dealt with severe stressful moments due to an overwhelming amount of assignments while also working.
"I am actually just pushing through with getting my assignment in on time. I work a part-time job, four to five days a week. So I take Saturdays off to try and reset and relax, but those Saturdays I still end up doing homework," said Mitchell, a junior. "There have been times where I have been stressed to the point I don’t want to do any work, but you always have to push through difficult moments because as time goes by everything is not going to be easy. Manifesting the hard stuff now will allow for difficult moments in the future to be easy.
Kia Cannon, a junior at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, said professors are rushing to get through the syllabus.
“The semester is almost over and all teachers are steaming ahead trying to finish their lesson," said Cannon. "Only one of my teachers gave us a lab class to work because she felt bad about spring break and saw we needed a break.”
While some students are apprehensive about the cancellation, others are appreciative of their universities taking the necessary measures to keep their campuses safe during the pandemic.
FAU’s Gabriela Clemente said not having the week-long break is a "small price to pay" with the significant number of lives lost daily due to the gruesome pandemic.
"Not having a spring break right now is a small price to pay in my opinion. People are losing their loved ones, lives. I think that not participating in spring break is the least that we can do to protect others and even ourselves. I lost a couple of family members due to Covid and if I have the opportunity to help stop the spread and protect others, I will do anything in my power to do so," said Clemente, a junior.
She added, "Another thing I have done for my mental health has helped others receive vaccines. I have scheduled vaccines for over 30+ individuals a week and it is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing that I can do. It has helped my mental health by allowing me to help change the lives of others in any way that I can. I am overwhelmed with amazing messages and pictures that I have been sent of people receiving their vaccines. It is the most amazing feeling."