We are at the point in the semester where students are practically begging for a break — midterms have us over our heads in stress, and all we can think about is the fact that spring break is around the corner.
It is no secret that school can be incredibly overwhelming and we tend to dream of the weekend or break.
It can be so mentally draining that we feel as if we absolutely need that break or weekend because otherwise, we may actually snap.
In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, three out of four college students had experienced at least one stressful life event in the past year, and one in five college students had experienced six or more events that caused them high stress.
Furthermore, stress is connected to mental health diagnoses, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts. Harvard also says one-fifth of college students have thought of suicide, another one-fifth has self-harmed and almost one-tenth has attempted suicide.
It is clear that the effects of stress on a student’s life are not a joking or laughing matter and instead something serious affecting a large amount of the college population. It is no wonder that we look forward to breaks like we do.
While it is clear that something needs to be done on the university level — and sadly, it is unlikely that will happen anytime soon — there are ways we can take care of ourselves during this break and throughout the year.
Whether students are at work, at home or on vacation, they should take some extra time out of their days to take care of themselves so they don’t come back to school as stressed out as they left it.
Students should take time to do the things they enjoy, whether it is running, binge-watching their favorite shows or movies on Netflix or hanging out at a coffee shop with friends.
Yes, it is true that school doesn’t stop just for spring break, but we have more free time on our hands, and we should make good use of it.
We should also incorporate these things into our lives as often as possible because even though school is important, we need to try and care for ourselves as well.
Breaks just offer a particularly big chance to take some time away from the rush of our lives to care for ourselves.
If students are struggling with stress or mental illness, they should consider reaching out to a therapist or a helpline such as the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-6264 for additional resources.