With midterms looming over the horizon, almost every student on campus has spent the last few weeks stressing out. Trying to fit in studying for tests, writing papers and attempting to get some sleep can be quite the feat. But lucky for us, spring break is right around the corner!

Illustration by Gerald Alfieri / equinox staff

Illustration by Gerald Alfieri / equinox staff

Spring break allows students to escape the classroom, throw their backpacks on the floor and destress before heading back to school for the rest of the semester. Some will use the break to escape the cold New England weather in search of someplace warmer. Others will choose to head home and spend time with their families. Regardless of how students choose to spend their break, not having to worry about homework, tests or studying is relief enough.

Those who choose to go home for spring break can enjoy catching up on sleep, getting ahead on some schoolwork and reconnecting with family and friends back home. Those who go away with their friends come back with exciting new experiences shared with their best friends.

According to Michael Harris, an associate professor of higher education and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, spring break has an enormous benefit on the well-being of college students, allowing them to come back to class well-rested and ready to take on the rest of the semester, such as enjoying life. “This is such a simple idea, but we so rarely do this with the grind of our daily routine,” Harris explained. “During my week away, I spent more time in nature, reading, or just talking with my wife than I’ve done in years. The ability to enjoy a slow-paced life was one of my favorite parts of getting away.”

Along with taking a deep breath and appreciating life, spring break also has many benefits to the physical and mental health of students. On break, there is rarely a good excuse to not get a good night’s sleep. According to researchers at the University of Georgia, college students are routinely sleep deprived. The average college student needs between eight to ten hours of sleep a night, but hardly anyone gets that. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, more illnesses, such as the common cold and flu, a lower GPA and decreased academic performance. Spring break allows students to catch up on much-needed sleep.

Break also has several mental health benefits. It is beyond exhausting to constantly be studying, writing a paper or answering emails. Break allows students to get away from work and give their minds a break. Taking the time to enjoy a meal, read a book or watch a movie lets students recharge their batteries. The ability to slow down, rest and recover for a week is invaluable to many college students. It provides a welcome relief from the hustle of college life.

Overall, spring break leaves students happier and more prepared for the rest of their semester. It provides a wonderful opportunity for students to recharge and, prepare themselves for the upcoming projects, tests and late nights studying.

Lindsay Gibbons can be contacted at lgibbons@kscequinox.com