Readers’ Forum: No rest for the… righteous?

Students Eden Paupulaire and Anais Dawes study together in the HBLL. (Laurie Bradshaw)

The sun is shining as you walk out of your last class on a Friday. Finally, the weekend!

But then you remember the 3 essays due next week, the reading assignments due in 5 of your classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and, oh yeah, you forgot, you are teaching Sunday School this week. Suddenly the sun seems more like a temptress than a friend. 

This is the reality for most college students. Virtually everyone accepts the fact that college is time-consuming, and some late nights are usually involved in the process. College is hard work and that is good, it promotes growth and accountability. Unfortunately, it can also cause burnout if taken to the extreme.

In today’s world where mental health is a hot topic in the media and our personal lives, some people say that students should just power through burnout. While I agree with that sentiment to some extent, everyone needs a break. Even robots need a chance to let their engines cool off or they will eventually explode. 

While I am not advocating making college a piece of cake, I truly believe that a spring break would be extremely beneficial for mental health and would boost what students are able to accomplish in the same amount of time.

Emily Hunter and Cindy Wu in a study on breaks said that “evenings, weekends, and vacations have numerous benefits, such as decreased burnout; increased performance; and even lowered blood pressure [and] heart rate.”

However, BYU only has three days off from school in a 14-week semester. Many advocates of the shorter spring day argue the benefits of finishing school earlier, but even a day or two more of vacation would give students a reprieve to recharge, get ahead of schoolwork and do much-needed life work such as applying to jobs or filing taxes — all without adding to the semester length. 

In the end, it is up to BYU to decide its spring break policy, but if we cannot catch a break, we can at least give our roommates one and do the dishes tonight. 

–Julie Wiltbank

Gilbert, Arizona

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