Give me a (spring) break


Photo by Thomas Sagers

Emma Olson, Opinions Editor

In a move to stop the spread of the coronavirus amongst its students, Linfield University has cancelled this year’s spring break. While there were good intentions behind this move, it was a controversial one for a reason. Students need some time to relax—especially during an already-stressful pandemic.

In place of a week off, Linfield has designated three random days throughout the semester to be “mid-week breaks.” There was one on Tuesday, February 9, and the other two will be on Wednesday, March 10 and Thursday, April 8. While I appreciate the sentiment, mid-week breaks don’t quite cut it.

Spring break is a time to chill out, to briefly be free from academic responsibility. It’s the last bit of time off before summer. A random Wednesday without classes just isn’t the same. If I wanted one free weekday, I’d ask Linfield to start recognizing President’s Day.

There’s also the obvious issue which is the length of our break. Spring break usually gives us a full five weekdays without classes; we only have three mid-week break days. Combined with the weekends, spring break is basically nine days long. Nine solid days off just can’t compare to three.

On the bright side, our early start to the spring semester combined with a lack of a break means that the semester is going to end much earlier than it would have. I certainly don’t mind an early start to summer… but it’s just not the same. 

While Linfield is pretty good regarding our amount of in-person classes, there are still many instances in which classes are remote. And boy, is that exhausting. Burnout happens so much faster when you can attend class wearing pajamas and eating leftover pizza, trapped in your dorm or apartment. If anything, the increase in online learning makes a longer break even more desirable. 

I understand why we can’t have a normal spring break. Too many days off in a row would encourage students to leave campus, breaking the “Linfield bubble” and threatening the health and safety of our community. Still, three days off randomly scattered throughout the semester, from a student’s perspective, kind of sucks.