Students need to relax over the holidays

Columnist, Maya Williams. Courtesy Williams

This semester was my most challenging, draining and mentally exhausting at Florida A&M. This is my fifth semester at the illustrious university. I’m extremely grateful to be in college, but this semester was not one for the weak. Being required to be on Zoom all day is a task in itself with trying to stay focused, barely any human interaction, and fighting to not give up and lay in the bed all day. 

The Journal of Medicine Internet Research conducted a study on 195 college students and found that 71 percent of participants reported that they had increased stress and anxiety due to COVID-19. The JMIR explained how the mental health of students is a key factor in their success. Mental health influences a student’s level of motivation and concentration. 

This semester was a challenge with a never ending flow of course work. Once this semester comes to an end I plan to be inaccessible in many ways. It’s so important that us students fully allow ourselves to unplug and relax over the holidays. We are only allowed three weeks and a couple of days off until it’s time to return to a hectic semester. Spring semester to me is the most rigorous because we are given only one day off [spring break this year was canceled]. 

A combination of only having one off day and the semester moving at a very fast pace is sure to take a toll on students. Spring semester to me always feels like a race and I’m always trying not to lag behind. It’s tough trying to balance course work, maintaining a positive mental state, consistently practicing a self care routine, and trying to handle other personal responsibilities. 

As this semester comes to a close, we students should give ourselves some grace. This semester that we have almost completed was one that no college students before us ever had to face. We should be proud of the work we were able to complete and realize that we tackled this semester in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. An unprecedented time that no one has ever seen before. That in itself is a major win. 

In the coming weeks as we begin to  travel home, I suggest we all take a much needed break and practice a form of self care. Once spring semester starts we’re off to the races.