Thanksgiving break is only days away, and we are all feeling the effects of the first 12 weeks of the semester. This fall, especially, we’ve sensed a shift on campus: Reeling from the stress of post-pandemic expectations despite still operating in a pandemic-driven world, students, faculty and staff all seem particularly exhausted. We at the Collegian ask that you all go easy on yourselves this coming week, as you’ve all earned this much-needed break. Hopefully it will serve as a way for everyone to recuperate and end the semester strong.
Additionally, we ask that Kenyon professors adhere to the grace period and not assign any additional work to their students over the course of the next week. This Thanksgiving is the first time in nearly two years that many families will be able to gather together in one place without worrying about Zoom memberships or unreliable Wi-Fi. This reunion ought to be uninterrupted by the stressors of college life. Students should not have to think twice about their upcoming finals or current school assignments, and should be able to focus completely on resting and connecting with friends and family, especially during such a challenging semester.
With the adjustment back to more of a normal college life, we have struggled to balance commitments and maintain motivation. Excluding two days of fall break, the portion of the fall semester from September to November is the longest without a pause all academic year. It is already an exhausting stretch, and at this stage of the pandemic, energy is at an all-time low. To perform to the best of our abilities on final exams and papers, we need this week of break to recover and re-energize. We have worked hard to reach Thanksgiving with the promise of respite, and professors need to honor that time off we have earned.
College employees, too, deserve substantial rest this break. To meet student demands while understaffed, most AVI workers haven’t had more than a few days off since students arrived on campus in August. They are not alone: Many workers in the Village have had to accommodate the mass influx of students who frequent their restaurants throughout the semester. Professors are often inundated with grading during this period, as well, and we hope that they will choose to rest and relax during this break.
What often feels like an unrelenting wave of stress, anxiety and exhaustion is finally coming to a pause, and we sincerely hope students and staff alike will be able to rest, relax and enjoy this holiday break. Eat some stuffing. Gather with friends and family. Just breathe.
The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Jordy Fee-Platt ’22 and Linnea Mumma ’22, managing editor Amanda Pyne ’22 and executive director Joe Wint ’22. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.