Students reflect on a ‘spring break’ like no other

Alex LaFontaine | Staff Photographer. Food trucks lined Bluff Street on Tuesday as part of the university’s first Wellbeing Day. The semester’s last Wellbeing Day is scheduled for April 14.

Kellen Stepler | Editor-in-Chief


With no spring break, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the one-year anniversary of a year like no other, Duquesne students have felt increasing frustration, isolation and anxiety.

Insert: Wellbeing Day.

On Tuesday, the Duquesne community was able to participate in the university’s first-ever Wellbeing Day, giving students a pause from classes and an opportunity to unwind and de-stress.

“This is such an important day to allow both students and faculty the opportunity to not need to think about classes — well, as much as they can,” said Katie Patrizi, president of Duquesne’s Student Wellbeing Club. “Everyone has been working tirelessly to make it through this difficult year, and we all deserve this small break to do something for ourselves.”

Bluff Street was lined up with food trucks as part of “Food Truck Frenzy” — which was what sophomore secondary education major Michaela Shannon said she “loved.”

“I believe [Wellbeing Day] was very much needed and appreciated,” Shannon said.

Options like Bruster’s Ice Cream, PGH Crepes, The Coop Chic & Waffles, Franktuary, Sinkers-N-Suds, Oh My Grill and BRGR were available for students Tuesday.

In the afternoon, students had the option of attending a meditation session on Zoom, mural splash painting in Gumberg Library, a women’s lacrosse game at Rooney Field and rock painting on A-Walk.

Evening events transitioned to the northern side of campus as the Power Center held a rock, paper, scissors tournament, a Hatha Yoga class and a knockout basketball tournament. A Wellbeing bingo was held on Zoom.

The events were presented by the Division of Student Life and the Center for Student Wellbeing.

Sophomore international relations and political science major Riley Moore thought that Duquesne’s Wellbeing Day was “extremely important for students.”

“Burnout is real, and having a day to relax and take a break helps more than you know,” Moore said. “So many of us are suffering from other things like depression, anxiety, ADHD and other mental illnesses on top of school, and it gets to be too much.”

The trend of Wellbeing Days have appeared at colleges across the country during the spring semester in lieu of a traditional week-long “spring break.” Along with Duquesne, colleges like Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania have sprinkled days off throughout the spring semester in hopes to give students and staff a break from classes.

The next Wellbeing Day at Duquesne is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14.