By Jacqueline Hyman
Now that Purim is over, we have another “holiday” to look forward to: spring break. The problem is, most people don’t treat this as an actual break — and trust me, I understand why.
Papers, homework, even take-home midterms … they get the best of us as students. But I strongly urge everyone to really unwind and take this break for what it is, even if they have to do some homework along the way.
Taking a vacation is extremely important for a person’s mental health, giving him or her time to relax and escape the pressures of everyday life. It can also be a good time to work on physical health, if working out or eating healthy isn’t a habit during the regular semester. This article from Psychology Today has a good list of tips for going on vacation, from planning ahead to checking on outlets in foreign countries. I’m not saying that spring break has to be everyone’s chance to get to Los Angeles or Rome, but just allow yourself some wiggle room.
As someone who gets easily stressed by the overwhelming workload associated with school, work and extracurriculars, I know this isn’t easy. I constantly think about what else there is to do. But over spring break, I am going to try my best to avoid the stress I usually feel during school by spending a few days in New York with some friends. There’s no other time during the spring semester when we get a week off to slow down a little bit.
This university does not have a fall break, unlike many schools, so spring is really our time to get away*. Many people do this through Alternative Breaks, short trips like mine, or just binge-watching shows on Netflix. Since I won’t have a gym during the break, I’m excited to walk all around the city and crush my step goal every day. If you don’t have any such plans, please set aside some time for yourself. Go to the mountains or the beach with friends for a couple days, lay in bed and watch shows or read books all day, or do something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time for because of school.
It may not completely feel like spring due to the snowy and cold weather we’ve had the last few days, but it’s the middle marker of our semester. For seniors, this may be the last time to party a little before graduating and starting a new job. For everyone else, it should be an important mental break from what normally takes all of our attention away from treating ourselves (and treating ourselves right).
So grab some leftover hamantaschen and hit the road — or the sack. Just whatever you do, be sure to focus on self-care for a while, because it is so hard to do when the pressure of class is turned on high.
*The question of whether we should have a fall break is something that I think could be highly contested — although I do think that many students at this university are used to the rhythm of our academic year and may feel that a week break would disrupt that flow.
Jacqueline is a junior journalism and English major. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.