No spring break? Not cool

By Jillian Veldey | Reporter

I am aware, or at least I hope, that Baylor is doing everything they believe is in the best interest of the students, faculty and Waco community to stop the spread of COVID-19. But I am tired.

My body has been conditioned for the last 15 years of my academic career to rely on a mid-semester weeklong break to recharge before the school year finishes. Normally this break might have included a change in scenery for some much-needed R&R or even laying low at home and having three-day sleepovers with my best friends.

Having a spring break in what would have previously been considered a normal year feels necessary. Now when you factor in the hardships and struggles of 2020, giving students a break before they dive back into their studies to finish the semester strong seems like a no brainer.

It’s important that I note Baylor so graciously gave us a pseudo-spring mini-break “wellness day,” … oh wait.

Scheduling challenges forced Baylor’s hand to cancel said wellness day after the snowpocalypse that seemed more successful at shutting down the State of Texas than any stay-at-home mandate. I know a lot of Baylor students joke that there is nothing inherently Christian about TCU, but unfortunately our purple rivals to the north have extended the value of grace to their students far beyond what Baylor had to offer.

Students were left displaced and without electricity for about a week. Everyone’s experience was different, but personally, my roommates and I were left without water and electricity, which made it impossible to cook food. We were unable to go out and buy food because just about everything was closed. It may sound intense, but this week off of school thanks to “snovid-19″ was not in the slightest a “break.” With the temperatures in our house reaching a low of 35 degrees, we were not on a break, we were honestly barely surviving. In no way shape or form did not having classes, in this scenario, qualify as a break.

Due to the pandemic, our nation has seen a rise in mental health problems. Stress and isolation have taken a huge toll on people’s mental health, especially college students.

In a study measuring the effects of the pandemic on college students’ mental health, researchers found that out of 195 participants, 138 said that their stress and anxiety has increased due to COVID-19.

I am in no way insinuating that spring break will magically cure depression and anxiety. I am, however, stating due to the multitudes of unforeseen circumstances which weigh heavy on students’ shoulders we deserve a break. A real break. Not one where we have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or if there will be freezing temperatures in our house when we wake up.