Self-care Day Increases Stress Among Students


Hephzibah Rajan, Associate Producer: Q30 Newscast

Spring break was canceled for Quinnipiac students this year due to COVID-19 travel concerns. In order to make amends, the university implemented “self-care days” as a way to provide students with time during the semester to focus on themselves, as well as their physical and mental wellness.

On self-care days, no classes are held, but university offices will remain open and staff will report to work. March 9 was the first self-care day for Quinnipiac students, and while many of them found the non-instructional day helpful, the self-care day also seemed to have increased stress among other students.

“Putting [the self-care day] on a Tuesday made me more stressed out because I had two exams today to study for, instead of one today, one tomorrow, one Wednesday, one Thursday, like it usually is,” Alyssa Baker, a third-year nursing major said.

Students voiced their displeasure when the school announced that the self-care day would be placed in the middle of the week to avoid students from going home. 

“The two self-care days they gave us are on a Tuesday and Wednesday, but instead of doing that, they could’ve made it a Friday so that it’s a long weekend and we could’ve had more rest time,” Baker stated.

This idea was put forward by students multiple times, even during the state of QUnion. However, another rationale behind the university’s decision was to ensure that every courses’ required number of contact hours was met.

To remain an accredited university, a certain number of contact hours need to be met. Contact hours are the time spent learning a course in contact with teaching or an associated staff.

“We have to have enough contact hours and so really the only way to do that was to spread out the days as a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday,” Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett said. “We have a Monday which was MLK Day and then we needed Tuesday, which was yesterday.”

Ellett suggested students like Baker use the on-campus resources available to them.

“I would hope that students who feel more stressed would utilize the resources we have,” he recommended. “Whether it be counseling or whether it be other strategies like going to the gym, taking a hike, sleeping extra over the weekend, etcetera.”

Although Baker was displeased with the extra work from her courses, she was relieved to find out that she wouldn’t have to work on her self-care day. 

“Besides school, I work at the office of admissions and they actually gave us off and are not making us do any of our tours tomorrow, which I thought was really great,” Baker said. “They usually don’t do that so I thought it was really good of them to give us a self-care [day] where we didn’t have to work. It wasn’t just school, it was also work. So that was like the good part of it.”

The final two self-care days will be held on April 2 and April 21. The first annual “Bobcat Day” will also be held on April 21. The event will be organized by the Student Government Association and will focus on what it means to be a Bobcat.