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Penn State Needs To Make Wellness Days A Permanent Addition

This last year has been taxing in every way for college students.

It feels like we can never catch a real break and are constantly drowning in work because, well, that’s been one of the only sources of distraction for us in the last year.

When Penn State implemented three non-instructional “wellness days” into the spring 2021 semester, it seemed like the general consensus was that we all thought they were stupid and a lackluster way of replacing a canceled spring break.

Although the wellness days weren’t ideal, implementing them into the fall semester moving forward could prove to be more beneficial. At least then, wellness days could hold us over until it’s time to go home for Thanksgiving break.

Not to mention, there will *hopefully* be more to do during the fall semester if all goes according to Penn State’s plan.

It’s really hard to be excited about having one day off per month when there’s essentially nothing to look forward to. But it was better than going through a whole semester without any break at all, right?

I know people who weren’t as lucky and still had classes or important assignments due on or after the wellness days. Luckily, my professors valued the importance of the wellness days and encouraged everyone to go forget about any schoolwork on them.

Although I’ve simply been existing for the last year and forgotten what a ~normal~ fall semester feels like, by the time Thanksgiving break rolls around, we’re exhausted, considering the only other day we have off during the semester is Labor Day, which we didn’t even have off for this past year.

Having wellness days spread throughout could give us extra time to recharge and keep our motivation from completely going to shit before Thanksgiving break.

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that your overall health is way more important than any grade, test, or homework assignment — even if some professors don’t see it that way. More importantly, it’s shown us that Penn State students and professors deserve a few days out of the semester to enjoy themselves and catch a break.

Yes, the wellness days certainly weren’t perfect. But I still like to believe that it was a very small step in the right direction to emphasizing that we don’t need to overwork ourselves to the point where we’re all burnt out to a crisp.

Penn State’s going to spend its summer intensely planning for the fall semester. It’d be remiss not to keep wellness days as part of it.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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