Student wellness days not an adequate replacement for spring break


Courtesy of Unsplash

Student wellness days were put in place by the university to help maintain student mental health in the absence of a spring break.

St. Edward’s University previously announced the addition of wellness days with the elimination of spring break for the spring semester of 2021, with Feb. 11 marking the first wellness day. The decision to have wellness days instead of spring break has been met with mixed reactions. I previously wrote an article regarding my thoughts on the matter when the plan was first announced, and recent events have proven my points even more. 

This first wellness day occurred right before the Texas winter storm hit. We as students had no way of knowing what was going to happen during the storm, yet it does seem odd that we had so much time off after having a random day off. This didn’t help with the catchup that was necessary after the storm passed and classes resumed. 

It feels like we need a wellness day more after the storm rather than before, so the timing was generally, but unintentionally, poor. Having three wellness days rather than having our original spring break always seemed like a confusing substitution to me, as lacking a spring break is odd and the wellness days don’t equal the amount of days off that spring break would have allowed us. There are only two remaining wellness days this semester on March 10 and April 30. 

Therefore, the wellness day we got didn’t feel much like a rest day, as many students (including myself) had work and worked on schoolwork during the day. I understand the intent behind including the wellness days, but it seemed like the first one didn’t accomplish the goal that was intended. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into all of our plans, so another change was unnecessary. The intention behind the wellness days was to help students not travel during spring break, therefore hopefully minimizing the spread of COVID-19. These are logical intentions, but the execution and end result has proved to be questionable. 

All in all, it seems like the wellness day contributed to students and faculty getting more behind in school than anything else. These random wellness days don’t seem to benefit anyone in the long run, especially when severe and unprecedented events occur, such as the winter storm. It also seems like an odd break from students’ normal routine, as this first wellness day occurred on a Thursday. Since some students have Friday classes, this made for a random gap in the week rather than a long weekend. 

There are many things that could happen that might hinder the schedule or break the routine of students and faculty, so adding a day that does the same thing doesn’t seem helpful. In short, this wellness day seemed random and not beneficial at best, and inconvenient at worst.