From a turbulent pandemic to hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, students at the University have not found the time to digest everything that's happened this semester.
This fall has proven to be one for the books--and not in a good way. On top of a lockdown, dangerous weather, social unrest and Manship Dean Martin Johnson’s unexpected death, students are now getting ready to take the last of their midterms.
The University needs to start thinking in the best interests of students when making academic calendars. That could mean giving students a couple of days of no classes or assignments due after midterms to build up mental health. Midterm week is such a tiring week for all students; it’d be helpful to give their minds some time to regenerate and rest.
The weekend does not allow enough time for the recharge students deserve after a stressful midterm week, especially since most college students work during the weekend. Colleges should not just cram a semester in the middle of a pandemic without giving students and faculty proper time to alleviate their stress.
Professors have to schedule tests within close time periods during midterms week, forcing students to cram material from four to five different courses in a matter of days.
Students often become sleep-deprived as they study for hours and pull all-nighters to grasp whatever information might possibly show up on their midterms. We could use a few extra days to catch up on sleep.
“Take time for yourself each day. Step away from the news and from your coursework to do something you enjoy and that you find relaxing or rejuvenating,” advises a students' mental health guide from the University of Michigan.
Poor mental health is already common among college students. A break would allow students to refocus and make them more likely to succeed academically. Students could also take that time to learn how to manage their stress more effectively or schedule an appointment with mental health professionals on or off-campus.
The University constantly tries to promote mental health yet does not give students time to actually use the resources provided. Mental health services at the Student Health Center could be more available to students by extending their hours until 8 pm during the break instead of 5 pm.
The University’s faculty would also benefit from a scheduled break during the semester. Professors have to rush through grading midterms with their teaching assistants to submit grades on time all while preparing lectures and moving on with their classes. They need substantial time to focus on properly grading midterms and preparing for the rest of the semester.
This past week I studied for midterms while simultaneously completing assignments for my other classes. My roommates were studying four chapters for one test and knocking out essays at the same time. Over the weekend I worked 9-hour shifts.
My brain was running at a hundred miles an hour.
Our college years are supposed to be the best times of our lives, yet many of us are struggling mentally. Our minds deserve a resting period before we are pushed out into reality and full-time jobs. We deserve a break.
Tamia Southall is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from New Orleans.