Our View is a staff editorial produced collaboratively by the entire Rocket Staff. Any views expressed in the editorial are the opinions of the entire staff.
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The finish line is so close, yet so far.
To say this semester was a whirlwind and went by fast is an understatement. Thanksgiving break has just passed, and although it was certainly refreshing to have a few days to spend with family and friends, it didn’t feel long enough to compensate for the stress of this semester. But all we have left is finals week, and then we’re home free.
This semester was much different than anything The Rocket staff has been through before. From having to wear masks and face coverings to in-person classes to having two different breaks in the semester, we can only speak for ourselves as a staff of college students when we say that we’ve been in survival mode.
During the spring 2021 semester, students worked through 14 straight weeks of classes without any breaks. It was an adjustment to have fall break and Thanksgiving break this semester, coming out of two semesters without breaks. It’s especially difficult to come back from Thanksgiving break and get right back into the groove of classes when last year’s semester ended before Thanksgiving.
Yet, sometimes, breaks aren’t so much of a break as they are just periods of time where students don’t have classes. Students still have a sense of responsibility looming over their heads. Classes may not be occurring, but the course work still is. Most students are focused on upcoming deadlines, homework and working their jobs back home to maintain financial stability.
Although it’s been talked about over and over again, it’s still important to acknowledge how difficult this semester has been on students, faculty, administrators and staff. It’s been hard for everyone to adjust to the “new normal”: the phrase that we’re all tired of hearing.
SRU students are struggling to balance coursework, make friends and attend a plethora of club meetings. While subconsciously thinking about packing to go home for break, students are saying goodbye to those friends they just made. As quickly as it’s started and gone, break is an abrupt ending to the hectic lifestyle we’ve been maintaining.
Through it all, The Rocket staff has remained vigilant as we diligently report the news of Slippery Rock. But on that same note, we are students as well. With so much responsibility comes burnout. We’re dedicated and passionate about our news coverage and our coursework, but it adds up over the course of 16 weeks.
With all of this in the past, winter break is the glimmer of hope and relaxation that the community is yearning for; the reset we all need before the spring semester.
We can view this fall 2021 semester as a test run and hope for a smoother, less stressful semester in the spring. While the spring semester will bring its own success and struggles, we remain hopeful of what’s to come.
For juniors, at least, this will be their first full spring semester physically on campus, as spring 2020 was interrupted by the “extended spring break.” The underclassmen, freshman and sophomores have had no experience with a spring at SRU, which leaves the seniors as the only students who may remember what a spring semester was like at SRU.
Come the spring 2022 semester, everyone will be venturing into uncharted waters with a full spring schedule modified with COVID-19 regulations.
Before the spring semester begins, SRU will have roughly a month to rejuvenate. The holidays will bring the usual festive cheer that offers the opportunity to unwind and reset before the new year rings in. Students will be spending time with family and friends from home, working jobs and taking a break from coursework.
With all this being said, we want to thank our readers for sticking with us throughout the semester, including through all of the COVID-19-related news. This goes for the entire SRU community, as well as The Rocket staff: With such an emphasis on physical health because of the pandemic, use this winter break to check in with yourself mentally.