Are GV’s mental health days really enough?

Maddie Zimmerman

During college, there are a lot of things to look forward to: meeting new friends, partying and seasonal breaks, like Christmas and spring break.

But things are a little different this year. Instead of a full week of spring break with no classes, we have two mental health days.

The big question that has been lingering among students is, is it really enough? Out of the whole school year are the 4 mental health days truly enough of a break for college students?

At least from what is being said online, students generally argue that it’s not enough. Among thousands, I am one of them.

How are we expected to perform at our highest when we are all burnt out by this time of year?

During a normal year, midterms are finally coming to an end. Spring break is right around the corner. When students think, ‘finally, a break to take a breather,’ sike – there’s no break.

It’s downright not fair of the university to cut out spring break as a whole, let alone to have the mental health days be somewhat discretionary among professors who just pile up the usual work the class before or after.

I still had a slew of assignments due last Wednesday, which was the first mental health day. After seeing that, the mental health days should be called “catch up on homework days.” The day was still nice to have a quick breather, so the implemented mental health days are better than nothing, but I felt like I blinked and I was back in my 10 a.m. Writing 150 class. 

I fully understand that in order to be responsible during a pandemic, a spring break trip probably isn’t the best option. I understand that Grand Valley State University has to be fully responsible for making wise choices during COVID-19. But cutting out a week that should be free of class isn’t the answer.

Students now are going home left and right. Cancelling spring break feels like it isn’t helping with the student travel rate. If anything, I believe that it is hurting it.

I was supposed to go home and enjoy my spring break with family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while. Instead of going home during the designated week off, I am instead having to skip class to see my sister for her birthday.

Cancelling spring break did not do any good to anyone attending GVSU. If anything, the mental health days are a joke among students.

Overall, I understand that we have to be responsible during this time in order to save lives and keep everyone safe, but regardless of if we had spring break or not, students are going to travel home, to other states and go on cruises with remote classes. If GVSU is implementing “mental health days,” then why would they not enforce that, especially tied to professors who disregarded the attempt? That was the least they could’ve done.