Students reflect on burnout and homework


Photo By: Josh Meredith

Students exit the Blue Line METS bus outside the Orr Center Thursday after a day off for reflection. There is no plan for any additional days off this semester.

Hayden Olberding, Digital Editor

Students express burnout and difficulty with the semester, despite being given a “reflection day” on Wednesday.

President Ron Rochon granted a day, March 17, to reflect on the date that instruction at the university went online.

Rochon announced all classes would be online on March 17, 2020. On the same day, students living on campus were told they had to take their belongings and leave campus by the coming Sunday.

March 17, 2020, graduation ceremonies were postponed for spring that year, and would eventually be canceled. 

Corye Parrish, a junior criminal justice major, is an essential worker at a hospital. 

“I could’ve taken off work a month ago if they had put it in the calendar,” Parrish said. “But only giving me a week-and-a-half notice, there’s no way for me to get off.”

Parrish said the day off wouldn’t feel like one because she will still be working. 

She said she can feel herself in a state of burnout because there’s no break for her to look forward to. It is hard for her to find the time and motivation to get work done, she said.

“I feel like I’m just kind of going through the motions to get things done and not really benefiting from my education,” Parrish said.

Chloe McIsaac, a sophomore mathematics teaching major, said the day was poorly planned out.

McIssac said two of her professors, who found out at the same time she did, had to move around projects, lectures and material for exams.

“It’s kinda chaotic,” McIsaac said. “I think that could’ve been avoided if they just put it on the calendar earlier.”

McIsaac said she thinks it would have been better if the university planned out the day off earlier since they knew students wouldn’t have a break in the 16 week semester.

“I just wish it had been planned out, or that students would have heard about it ahead of time,” McIsaac said. “It’s not as sincere that it was not planned out.”

The semester has been challenging and busy, McIsaac said. 

“Even though the break is supposed to be a day to reflect and things like that, I probably will just be catching up on homework,” McIsaac said

President Ron Rochon said he gave the day off to think about where the community has been over the last year. 

Rochon said he chose March 17 because it marks a year since the university moved instruction online.

“I wanted it to be the true anniversary date,” Rochon said. “That’s what motivated me.”

Rochon announced the day off on March 8. He said he moved quickly with the executive team when the idea came to him to close campus on March 17.

“I won’t call it impromptu, but I definitely will say that it was something that came to my thinking most recently,” Rochon said.

Indiana University and Ball State University included 3 days in their academic calendar where there would be no classes. Both had a day in February, March and April.

There is no plan for any additional days off for this semester, Rochon said.