By: Ashley Thomaz

Mount Saint Mary College, along with other colleges and universities across the country, have canceled spring break for the 2021 semester. The decision was made with hopes of preventing a surge of cases among students and faculty, but questions and concerns for mental health have begun to rise. 

Life during the pandemic has brought about many challenges for students, including an increase in mental health issues. Some students worry that not having a break in a 16-week semester will worsen these issues. MSMC junior Kaitlin Zani, 20, said that not having a spring break “will affect mental health the most because students need a break.” 

While not having a spring break may intensify issues regarding mental well-being, it will help keep cases at a low rate. Another MSMC junior, Emily Souter, 20, said she thinks a steady semester “will lower cases on campus.” However, she wishes there was a safe way to have days off. 

Looking at the academic calendar for this spring semester, the only day off is Good Friday. While this may not be an ideal situation, it is the safest one. Zani believes, “it will improve the amount of cases,” and thinks we may even get through the whole semester after the current pause is lifted and in-person classes resume on March 1. 

Socializing and practicing self-care has been harder due to COVID-19 restrictions. Seeing friends or spending time away from devices requires extra effort and planning.

“Not having this [spring break] relief valve makes it more important than ever for students to do all they can to practice self-care,” said Orin Strauchler, assistant dean of Student Support Services and director of Counseling. He also suggested that students “stay socially connected” and “avoid falling into ruts of inactivity, no matter how tempting it is to stay in pajamas.” 

No spring break may cause students an increased amount of stress and anxiety. Be sure to reach out to the counseling center if needed.