Westminster College students said the lack of a fall break during the 2020-21 school year left them feeling burnt out during the semester. This year, students said they looked forward to the week off.
Hannah Frazier, a sophomore public health major, said taking a break is important, especially because people can easily feel burnt out.
Frazier went to Colorado and Seattle during fall break.
Leya Sikujua, a first-year sociology major, used the break to work and spend time with her family.
“We need [fall] break to refresh your mind and come to school again after break,” Sikujua said.
Jenessa Jimoh, a senior global political economy major, spent time outdoors and slept.
Madi Hughston, a sophomore psychology major, went canyoneering.
Students Reflect on Fall 2020
“I feel like we really needed some mental health days to just relax and decompress [during Fall 2020,]” Jimoh said.
The Westminster community first received the news of no fall break during Summer 2020 through former Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs Karnell McConnell-Black’s announcement May 26, 2020.
The change was implemented to minimize travel and reduce illness risks within the community, according to the announcement.
Hughston said she thought it was difficult going through the Fall 2020 semester without a break.
“It just felt really academically exhausting with kind of no end in sight,” Hughston said.
Jimoh met with former ASW President Obaid Barakzai, former Interim Dean of Students Dan Cairo, and Provost Debbie Tahmassebi in 2020 to get mental health days implemented, but it did not work due to the academic calendar, according to Jimoh.
“I was really struggling last year,” Jimoh said. “I remember around the fall break time I was feeling really burnt out and it just seemed like overall everybody was feeling very […] tired.”