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Give us a break...no, not fall break

After cramming for 10 weeks straight with only two days off our normal schedule we are experiencing the most intense burnout the world has felt in decades.

On the Friday of Fall Break, I got to skip one whole class. Boy, I was ecstatic…

This is my third semester at Miami and I surely felt burnout in the previous two. However, this semester is hitting like a bus, and I know I’m not the only one.

We’ve had two days off so far, during a semester pinned under a dreadfully long summer. We’ve only just made it to cooler weather, notably without much of a change in the color of leaves nor attitude from the school acknowledging how much we’ve put into the semester by now.

After making it nearly two-thirds of the way through this semester, the end exists nowhere on the horizon. Unlike *normal* Spring semesters, we don’t get a break that lasts longer than a free afternoon until Thanksgiving. 

Where are the Wellness Days? How about getting Indigenous People’s Day off – which would’ve given us an extra day for Fall Break? A holiday, mind you, the administration got off, paid.

The student body feels strewn unbearably thin. Unconscionable amounts of caffeine imbibed just to make it through the morning, let alone the whole day without a nap.

Even Bangs don’t have an effect on me anymore. 

A precedent was set last semester that the administration simply let go once the pandemic had just barely diminished enough for them to give up half of their efforts to combat the pains we dealt with. Wellness days, late-semester credit/no-credit deadlines, increased understanding of missed work ingrained into university policy– All to the wayside.

I’ll let you all in on a little secret: the pandemic isn’t over.

It’s clear the administration expects its students to revert to pre-pandemic normalcy on the turn of its heel, but half of the undergraduate population has never yet experienced “normal” college life.

We need a chance to ease our way into college life as it existed two years ago.

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The leaves continue to persist as emerald as they were for the entire summer. Even The Farmer’s Almanac thought the leaves would have changed to the beautiful autumnal aesthetic we all yearn for by now. This semester drags as the summer drags: It still looks as it did the second week of classes.

We all deserve a break at this point in the semester. I wrote earlier this fall about the benefits of post-COVID college life and the benefits of keeping yourself around people. This semester, overall, has been drastically better in so many ways, but I continue to feel intense burnout.

I’m finding myself wondering how many weeks until I get to go home for five days and get some sleep, see my dogs. Counting the days left until I go home proved to me, last semester, that I was unhappy. 

That should not happen simply because we weren’t given a chance to take a minute and enjoy our lives outside of educational responsibilities.

Let this semester end the cycle of piled work, intense burnout and dragging yourself to the finish line. The administration must notice the negative trends in students’ mental health. All my professors complain to their classes about the lack of motivation they’re seeing from their students.

So, to the administration that crafts our end-all-be-all calendar: Keep us in mind, please. Give us a chance to rest our heads, to be with our friends without worrying about work, to enjoy these last fleeting moments we have to be kids.

I don’t think we’re asking for that much.

@devin_ankeney

ankenedw@miamioh.edu 

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