This semester has been difficult for many students because of the lack of a break. Many other universities gave their students a week off for spring break, while Hamline gave their students one Friday. Most Hamline students are disappointed that Hamline has not given the much-needed time off for their students this semester.
Junior Victoria Osanyintola has been concerned about her mental health due to the lack of a spring break this semester.
“I’ve been really overwhelmed recently since maybe March. I’ve been feeling anxious, stressed and just overwhelmed. I’m taking four classes and a lab and then also working two part-time jobs,” Osanyintola said. “With the semester being so condensed because of COVID, my mental health was just not in a good place.”
Several students like Osanyintola claim they spent their one day of spring break doing schoolwork.
“That one day didn’t do nothing for me. I had a group project and had to go on campus to meet up with my group. Then I came back home and still had homework to do,” Osanyintola said. “I get my homework done during the week so that I have the weekend to just focus on myself. And the fact that I didn’t get that break just completely screwed me up. I just was struggling.”
Osanyintola believes Hamline needs to do more than the bare minimum in terms of caring about their students.
“I feel like Hamline talks about wanting to be there for their students, but like, they send emails, and they do this, but like, you actively have to reach out to students. I just feel like it’s important not just the counseling people but also faculty and staff, reaching out to students, making sure that they’re okay,” Osanyintola said. “Especially with the semester being condensed, like it was a lot. I just feel like Hamline needs to do better for their students.”
Firstyear Maggie Sullivan has also felt the weight of the heavily condensed semester.
“I feel extremely stressed, and I think that I’ve been lacking some rest due to the amount of work that I have to do,” Sullivan said. “I would have liked to have a break where I could rest and unwind. It would have helped immensely. As someone who works while also going to school, I feel like I haven’t gotten a break at all. It would have been nice to have some time off.”
Sullivan feels in addition to having time to rest, a longer break would have provided more time for her to do her assignments, which would have lessened the stress.
“I usually use breaks to work on projects that I have to do. It gives me enough time to work on more long-term assignments like final papers and presentations. Without a break, I had to do those without any break from my day-to-day homework. It added to stress for me,” Sullivan said.
First year Cole Brennan also claims that this semester has been highly stressful for him.
“School has given me more stress than anything else this past semester, but I think a lot of other factors have contributed,” Brennan said. “There are just a lot of unknowns right now in the world, and that makes me really nervous. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.”
Brennan believes that it was unreasonable for Hamline to refuse to give students a longer break. It was frustrating for him to be the only one from his friend group without a break.
“I spent the last few weeks going on social media and hearing from friends that they were going on vacations and going home for break. My friends at the University of Minnesota asked me when my spring break was and it was really frustrating to say, ‘Oh I already had it. It was one day,’” Brennan said. “Even people that go to University of St. Thomas got to go home for spring break. That is a school that isn’t much bigger than ours, so I had a hard time figuring out why Hamline didn’t do the same. Especially since a large amount of our student population doesn’t even live on campus.”
Brennan thinks Hamline could have made arrangements if there would have been a longer break to keep everyone safe.
“Obviously, COVID is something we must consider, but I think if you were to ask the students to receive a negative COVID test before returning to campus in exchange for a week off school, I would guess a majority of the student body would gladly get tested,” Brennan said.