By Len La Rocca
You know the feeling — two essays, a lab and an obnoxiously long online homework assignment, all due by the end of the week. You feel as though you are being held underwater by your academics, begging to rise to the surface for air. This is how many students feel before a break.
I’ve found in my life that the present has never been something I could embrace. My eyes have paced the calendar constantly, hoping that it would make the days move faster until I had a break. My ideology was that once break came, I would feel energized and overall better. This has never been the case and is why I argue that students shouldn’t look forward to break.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, stress is a motivator. We are stressed to earn a fruitful internship, find a job and make money. On the cusp of adulthood — and many of us already having entered full-blown adulthood — we can see the next chapter of our lives through our older friends and just how little leeway the real world allows. A phone bill will never take it easy on you and give you extra time to send payment. Work will never recommend that you take a week off of your craft.
The idea that break is something that we as students are entitled to, regardless of workload, is irresponsible. We must embrace the overwhelming tendencies of life to our fullest extent to not only get things done, but to increase our threshold of tolerance in anticipation for a life full of unexpected twists and turns.
This is not to say that I am anti-break. I am pushing for less break-oriented thinking and a more goal-oriented mindset. Work for the reward of accomplishment rather than being one step closer to leaving your dorm for a week. I find that mini breaks are the best ways for me to charge my batteries. One-hour Netflix sessions or going out for ice cream is far more relaxing than finding yourself on a week-long binge with nothing in your plans but your sofa and laptop. It is in those moments of “now what?” where I ironically wish I had something to do.
When I do find myself with a week off, I like to plan at least two event-based things for me to do, such as kayaking or going to a sporting event. Doing something that creates memories rather than unplugging completely is the ultimate way for me to enjoy a break while returning without the feeling of dread as I open my laptop for the millionth time. Although, plans can sometimes be hard to come by amidst weather and the schedules of friends. This is why I’ll never plan on looking forward to a break full of uncertainty again. My ideology is to enjoy the present, as tumultuous as it may feel, and not to live for the break.