With April 15 marking Duquesne’s second ‘Wellness Day,’ many students on campus still feel obliged to hunker down in their dorms or in the library to catch up on unfinished work.
The purpose of this day was initially to let students catch their breaths, being that the shortened spring semester left students, faculty and staff without a proper spring break. With the semester droning on without a pause, this leads many students to burnout.
Now with a day or two of rest, the blueprint was for students to find time for activities they may otherwise not have time for with jam-packed schedules of classes, schoolwork and extracurriculars.
But how are students expected to take a day off when they are also expected to meet deadlines in a timely manner?
Even with food trucks, free prizes and music on A-Walk, not all professors are encouraging their students to take a break. In fact, some are begrudgingly giving the class period up and assigning outside work to make up for the time lost.
With this added pressure, students feel even more pressured than before, feeling as though ‘Wellness Day’ has become a day to crank out assignments rather than making the most of the day.
For those inside today worrying about their workload, the activities, food and fun will be mostly over by the time the sun sets, making an accomplished day feel like a day wasted, or an opportunity missed.
Even with assignments due at midnight, the day feels shorter when trying to cram in some fun while still getting the work done.
It may even feel like an added pressure, like you have to participate in all of the events occurring on campus when everyone else is, too.
Not to mention, sometimes we seem to forget that acts of self-care aren’t always about running around on city adventures when time allows. Sometimes it’s taking longer showers, listening to music that brings you joy, having positive self-talk and organizing yourself and your surroundings for a more cleansing, healthy environment.
It seems almost contradictory for Duquesne to be encouraging students to enjoy the day for what it’s worth, but not allotting time for students to stick to the syllabus.
The School of Pharmacy, for one, still had classes on this day, while the School of Music still had to tend to their private lessons and upcoming assignments.
It’s hard enough playing catch-up, and even harder when there’s guilt behind it. Though a kind gesture with the fruitful opportunities provided on this day, we must remind ourselves that no one should feel as though their work comes before their well-being, or that the two intertwine.