For the academic year 2021-22, IU is welcoming students back to campus in person once more. However, while discussing the academic calendar, leaders at IU have decided that fall break is not necessary, and for now spring break remains undecided.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mental health issues in the U.S. to rise. In 2020, there was an almost 20% rise in anxiety and 18% rise in depression from the previous year, according to the CDC. This should be a concern for university officials.
In addition to overall rates of mental health issues rising, breaks being taken away from students has caused them more stress, and it has some mental health professionals concerned. The mental health of students is important and breaks from school perform a vital role in self-care.
Wellness days are a good idea; however, they are not enough. There is a random day off from class in the middle of the week, but not all professors take part, the homework load continues and outside responsibilities do not stop for that one day. It does not feel like a true break.
I am a nontraditional student. I have a family and two part-time jobs. Breaks are times I use to help me catch up on other areas of my life, and that has not been possible this year. While I have been able to power through one year, adding an additional year where breaks may be gone feels overwhelming. I am exhausted and I know through communication with my fellow classmates, I am not alone.
Other public universities, such as Purdue, Indiana State and Ball State, still have fall break scheduled. The next IU Board of Trustees meeting is April 8-9. Let your voice be heard and share your story of how having no breaks has impacted you through this past school year. You can email the Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, let us show the administration the importance of breaks for university students.
IU-South Bend nontraditional student