As we near Fall Break, I can feel the sense of relief from both students and faculty across campus. We’ve all been going nonstop since August, and quite frankly, I’m burnt out.
A lot of students went from only showing up to maybe three in-person classes a week with the rest were on Zoom last semester – to having a full five-day week with the expectation that things would be the same as before the pandemic, with the only difference being masks.
I know the pandemic has been extremely difficult and drastically changed our reality, but it feels like there’s no room for forgiveness as we move forward. Believe me, I want to return to normal as soon as we can, but we all know that’s impossible at this point.
However, despite sharing this lived experience of the pandemic, there seems to be a disconnect between policy makers and their constituents.
I know this puts administrators in a tough spot, being the connection between state officials and students, but we need advocates. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this extra fatigue.
There was no transition between how things were run last semester and how they’re being run this semester. There’s no room to breathe, and for college students, many of whom are working and/or involved in extracurriculars, the physical and emotional burn out is very real.
There are even many students on campus, like the freshman and sophmores where this is their first real semester fully on campus. It’s hard to know the full scope of the pandemics impact on them, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Even pre-pandemic, many college students suffer from higher rates of depression and mental illness. This is a huge problem, and a lot of people don’t fully understand how much it impacts my generation.
Since the pandemic started, I know I spent multiple days a week laying in bed until around 3 p.m. That is not a good sign.
Unfortunately, this issue is not isolated to just students. Faculty and staff are also feeling the pressure.
This experience is much more shared than we realize, and now more than ever, we should have each others backs.
So, be patient with students. And students, be patient with professors. We’re all feeling the emotional burn-out from not having a transition period.
Thankfully, we have Fall Break approaching. Once we come back, we’ll be back until the day break for Veteran’s Day. Then, we have Thanksgiving break. After that, it’s dead week and then finals. So, take time now to do the self-care you need.