When Goshen College announced that there was not going to be a break in the fall semester, I did not know how that was going to play out.
I was excited about the idea that classes would end at Thanksgiving and we would have a seven-week break, but I hadn’t taken into account how overwhelming 16 straight weeks of class would be.
Still, it was nice to have a seven-week break as a reward at the end, where I was able to lay on the couch and binge watch Netflix while my friends from other colleges were stressed out about finals.
I remember thinking that one straight semester wouldn’t be terrible, but when the news of no spring break hit, I felt even more exhausted than ever.
It also doesn’t help that the few days we had off during the semester, to make up for no fall break, were days I didn’t have classes anyways. That, or my scheduled exam would be moved a day earlier, which caused more harm than good.
As a nursing student, the program is set up so that you take two clinical courses a semester. Rather than taking both all semester long, they are broken into eight-week courses.
The great aspect about this is that fall and spring break separates the courses and it’s just about the only time all year that there is no homework or responsibilities.
You just finished your final in one class and have a nice break of several days where you don’t have to start thinking about your next class.
This was taken away when it was announced that there would be no breaks. I am now in the midst of 16 straight weeks of content and clinical, with no time to switch my brain from thinking about how to take care of different patients.
While at first I was extremely overwhelmed, I got used to this feeling and turned numb. It was like going through the motions of class, clinical, exam, repeat. During winter break, I felt the need to be doing something because I was so used to doing everything.
It took awhile to be able to relax and not be thinking about the next thing that was due, and then I was able to re-energize for the next semester.
There’s no doubt that the lack of spring break will cause stress on all students.
However, the lack of a fall break has made me plan my time better, so that I am able to have little breaks for myself. I’m trying to stay positive about the college’s decision because I think it’s the right call for the health and safety of all of us.
These times are unpredictable, and we must learn how to adapt to changes and make do with what we have. So, for the near future, I will try to soak up these random Tuesdays we have off and look forward to laying on the beach next spring break.