As the University of Memphis adapted to COVID restrictions and became an almost fully virtual learning experience, the school introduced wellness breaks, instead of the normal Spring Break.
Students and faculty at the UofM are growing accustomed to a semester held solely online. After the abrupt discontinuance of on-campus courses in the Spring of 2020, semesters that followed flowed a bit more smoothly.
In the spring semester of 2021, the wellness break was introduced. Instead of the week-long spring break that students usually look forward to, it was a two-day break and an earlier end to the semester.
The first wellness break took place Monday and Tuesday of this week, and the next wellness break is April 8 through 11, intended to allow students an opportunity to mentally prepare for the upcoming weeks and remainder of the semester.
¨I personally feel like the two days of wellness breaks is one of the worst ideas that the University of Memphis has come up with during this pandemic,” said Alliyah Jordan, a senior at the University of Memphis. That's simply not enough time for people to actually enjoy their break or even a mental health day. I feel like the weeklong spring break is more effective, and it's doing students an injustice by not giving them their well-deserved break.¨
Many students agree that the wellness break offered by the UofM is not as effective as the regular Spring Break.
According to a Twitter poll, asking students if they preferred the week-long Spring Break or the two increments of wellness breaks, 100% of student voters chose the normal Spring Break over the latter.
¨The UofM is wrong for taking our Spring Break away like that,” said Kim Brown, a senior. “They should have continued it — I really don't understand that. Spring Break is wellness. What are two days going to do?¨
Many of the upperclassmen at the UofM are more frustrated than their underclassmen counterparts. These students had the opportunity to experience their collegiate life, in full and on campus, with the inclusion of their Spring and Fall Breaks.
Students who were accustomed to weeklong breaks and an on-campus learning experience are having a harder time accepting the transition without any grievances.
As virtual learning continues to be the forefront of campus life, there are some students who do not mind a quick break and use it as a booster to continue to progress through the remainder of the semester.
¨I feel that both the wellness breaks and Spring Break have their pros and cons. But the wellness breaks are more effective because it allows me as a student to finish the semester sooner, to get a quick break when I need it and to remain in my school focus during the break due to how short it is,¨ said fashion major, Ashlyn Davis.
The wellness breaks are divided in two increments, which could possibly be a more digestible way for students to enjoy their break periods, allowing both students and teachers the opportunity to enjoy two extended weekends and a small refresher.
While the wellness break can be a quick way to rejuvenate for some, for others, it is not seen as a break at all.
Students continue to take to Twitter to discuss their frustrations with the UofM and their decision to have wellness breaks, making note that many of their teachers have placed deadlines during their designated break period.