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Editorial: Self-Care Is Nice, but Only Two Days off Isn’t

by Madison Jarnot

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Like many other students, I enjoyed having some time off this Tuesday, but it felt disappointingly short and barely relaxing.

The University ‘recommended’ that professors avoid assigning work due the day of or after our self-care day, but it was not required. I only had one professor who followed this recommendation, and they’re the only professor I know of on campus who even acknowledged it.

Plus, as The Pitt News wrote this week, Pitt’s Day of Giving was scheduled on Tuesday, and student leaders had to spend the day fundraising and promoting their organizations instead of resting.

Tuesday was one of the two days we have off this semester. I know our winter break was extended but having a break during the semester is even more important to me than having a long winter break.

We typically get an entire week off for spring break. It’s a nice reprieve from the pace of classes and helps me feel better prepared to finish the semester when I get back.

These ‘self-care’ days don’t feel anything like that.

I spent all of Tuesday (as well as the self-care day last semester) doing work. I felt just as unrested and exhausted as I always do on Wednesday.

I guess I could have arranged my week so I could spend all of Tuesday relaxing, but that would’ve required doing a ridiculous amount of work over the weekend and into Monday. I would’ve been even more miserable, thereby defeating the purpose of the day off.

Every student I’ve spoken with about the new self-care days feels the same. It’s a nice concept, but one day doesn’t do much.

I can’t imagine how exhausted our faculty must be, too. These breaks give them time to plan their coursework, catch up on grades, and take some time to themselves.

They’re always overworked, but especially now, considering they essentially have to coordinate two versions of their classes for Flex@Pitt. They need a week off just as much as we do.

Now that Tuesday’s come and gone, we won’t have another day off until March 24.

I know the intention of removing the extended breaks from our schedule was to prevent residents from going home, possibly contracting COVID-19, and returning to campus.

However, if this is really such a concern, why do we have residents on campus at all?

Many students work off of campus, travel, or go home on the weekends outside of these scheduled breaks. Whether there’s a week-long break or not, residents are leaving campus and could potentially spread COVID-19 when they get back.

Shortening our time off doesn’t prevent anyone from going home. It does, however, overwork students, faculty, and staff, and places undue stress on all of us.

Please, don’t give us two days off in Fall 2021.

Other stories from vol. 14, issue 2:
Life Science Building Planning Continues
Student Nurses Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
Former President Trump Acquitted in Second Impeachment Trial
Introducing Pitt-Greensburg’s Pre-Law Society
Faculty Fight Club Takes on the COVID-19 Vaccine
A Takeover of Vengeful Proportions: WWE NXT
Stream Your Heart Out: “WandaVision”
Super Bowl? More Like Super Spreader

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