Nothing has been untouched by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Saint Joseph’s University academic calendar is no different. Spring break has been a staple of the college experience for years, but students in 2021 saw their spring break replaced by two health and wellness days.

This week long break built into the schedule with the purpose of giving students a much-needed break after their midterms were replaced with a day off on Tuesday March 2nd, 2021 and Wednesday April 28th, 2021. Students were notified of this change to the academic calendar during the semester leading into it on September 25th, 2020 in a letter from the school. A big question that came with this is, can a weeklong of activities and relaxation be forced into two days?

With the first health and wellness day long behind us, many students have already learned this is not a good replacement for Spring Break. Many teachers did not ease up on the workload for the day, many students had exams the days following, and ultimately, for many, it turned into a day of studying. The next day off is fast approaching, and it will be important that students make the most of it, allowing for a day off before the daunting task of finals consumes their lives. There are a few tips we have to have the best health and wellness day possible.

Photo Credit: Dominic Coppola

The first tip we have here at HAWK cHILL to make the most of this day is to prepare for the day off. It is not a secret that college students love to procrastinate, but for any who don’t want to spend their Health and Wellness day doing work, they will need to prepare. What we mean by this is spend the two school days leading into the off day getting work done. You will be in a working mindset, so spend a little extra time getting your work done on Monday and Tuesday allowing for extra time for relaxation on Wednesday.

The second tip we have is to try something new on this day. It may be easy to sit down and watch tv or play games all day, but this won’t give you a break from your normal routine. We have an amazing resource at our disposal, the city of Philadelphia. Covid has kept us trapped in our houses so use this day to get out of it. Three new things that our group members plan on trying out are detailed below.

  1. Fairmont Park is filled with different things to go see. There are over 2,000 acres to go explore, filled with trails, picnic areas, and sites to see.
Photo Cred: Dominic Coppola and Michael Napoli

2. The Mural Walk in Philadelphia are a great way to get out and see some new things in the city we live in. With over 39 murals spread out among the city, on this guided tour you will get exposed to many different experiences on your walk.

Photo Cred: Dominic Coppola and Michael Napoli

3. Visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art is something ever Saint Joe’s student should do before graduating. As a student you are eligible for a discount, with your ticket only costing $14. 

The third and final tip that we have for students looking to make the most of their Health and Wellness day is to do what the name of the day says. Pick one thing that you will do on that day for your health. Some of the best options that we have devised are listed below.

  1. This goes hand in hand with our previous tip, and that is go for a walk or run on your day off. Grab your roommate and go explore somewhere new. Getting exercise is a prime option for stress relief, which is the ultimate goal of this health and wellness day.
  2. For something to do in the comfort of your own home, find a new recipe that you want to try making. This can be a new meal, a snack, or a dessert. It is a skill we are all going to need to develop during our lives, and there is no time like the present to start.
  3. Call a relative. Talking to our siblings and guardians is always nice but take this day off to reach out to a relative you have not been able to see or talk to since the pandemic has begun. 

The lack of a spring break has been an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic, but in life you have to roll with the punches. Our current situation is that the last day off we have before finals begin is the Health and Wellness day on April 28th, so to make the most of it we suggest you take advantage of some of these tips and get ready to crush the final part of the semester.