Cura Personalis days no replacement for spring break, students say

Canisius’ first Cura Personalis Day was Tuesday. While it was meant to give students a break from course work, many students aren’t feeling any less stressed than before.

(Tessa Pszonak)

At the beginning of the semester, Canisius touted “Cura Personalis” days as a solution to give burnt-out students a rest while also leaving room for a full semester, minus spring break. 

However, after Tuesday’s Cura Personalis day — the first of three scheduled this semester — Canisius students say they’re not feeling less stressed or burnt out than before. 

According to a Twitter poll conducted by The Griffin on Wednesday, 61% of respondents said they still felt the same amount of stress as they did before the Cura Personalis day. 39% reported feeling “somewhat” better, while no respondent said they felt completely less stressed. There were 18 total respondents. 

“I wouldn’t say it was more or less productive, it just felt like another day of the week. It wasn’t anything to be happy or relieved about,” said senior Isabella Jankowski, who is working remotely this semester. 

“The work just doesn’t stop. At least with spring break, returning from break is a fresh start with new work and everything. It provides a week of no responsibilities for school work, that really helps being prepared for more course work,” she said. 

The coronavirus pandemic has had a grim effect on college students’ mental health. According to a study conducted by Texas A&M University, 71% of college students reported additional stress brought on by the pandemic. 

Of these students, 86% reported additional “sleeping problems” and 89% reported “difficulty in concentrating” along with a rise in negative and positive coping mechanisms, according to the study. 

The Texas A&M research team concluded that colleges and universities needed to “develop interventions and preventive strategies to address the mental health of college students.”

Canisius started its semester later than normal so the coronavirus pandemic would not overlap with the traditional flu season. Officials decided to cut the spring break period to ensure the semester ended in May like normal, and administrators replaced the week off with a handful of days off sprinkled throughout March and April. 

While some schools, like the University at Buffalo, are giving students no time off at all, Canisius students are finding that the Cura Personalis days aren’t much help when it comes to reducing the stress of the semester. 

“I feel like the whole idea of these rest days is a good idea, but the execution just missed the mark,” freshman Natalie Faas said. “It was nice to have a day off, but overall nothing will be able to replace a spring break.”

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