Nicole Pechacek | Staff Writer
In January, SGA announced that they helped implement wellness days at Hampton University, which were days for students to have needed breaks. Students have had two wellness days thus far, and overall, the consensus has been positive.
Some students find the days rather helpful and use them as intended, de-stressing and focusing on their mental health.
“I usually spend my wellness days just relaxing unless I have an assignment due on that day,” said Rayna Wynn, a Computer Science major from Atlanta, GA, “If nothing is due on that Friday, I just decompress and avoid looking at school stuff.”
Many reported that they were glad they finally had a break during the year, especially since the second semester tends to be a lot busier than the first with finals and big projects.
Some students found them helpful and necessary for getting through the semester, saying that the first semester felt like too much.
“We just went nonstop last semester. We didn’t get breaks, so they really helped,” said Sydney Broadnax, a Journalism major from Detroit, MI, “I can’t do school nonstop like I did last semester. It just wouldn’t be good for my mental health at all.”
While the idea of wellness days has been praised by some students, others think that some issues have come about that should be addressed.
The main goal of the wellness days is to give students a much-needed break from school for the sake of their mental health, yet some students have reported receiving homework on the assigned days. They believe that their teachers are not respecting the days for what they are and see the days as just a regular break instead of a way to get rid of some of the stresses that come from school life.
“I think they should let everyone know that wellness days are occurring because some teachers don’t seem to know why they’re happening and still assign assignments for that day, so I feel like they should organize a little better,” said Austin Phillips, a Strategic Communications major from Plainfield, NJ, “Some teachers seem to just treat it like a break. They see it as a day off and think they can just pile on homework due the following day and that is very stressful to the students.”
The newly implemented wellness days are usually held on Fridays. Students report that their Fridays are not their busiest day of the week, and those days are when their homework tends to be due, so they are not getting time to destress because of the homework their teachers have assigned already.
A possible improvement to this issue is the idea that students could answer a poll and pick what day they want the wellness day to be, collectively as a school.
“Collectively as a class, let’s decide on when we have a wellness day. Let’s come together and decide what day would be best overall,” said Nathan Abdul-Haqq, a Strategic Communications major from Philadelphia, PA. Students appreciate and like the idea of wellness days, but they do need improvements. Students also want more mental health programs to help them have a better experience at Hampton.
For the first mental health program put in place by students for students, the wellness days are a great step in the right direction for an overall better mental health experience for the student body during the school year.