Snow days ward off college and pandemic burnout

Olivia Bachar

This week’s snow storm brought about seven inches of snow.
Photo: Samira Kassem

Snow Days: they bring back fond memories of sleeping in, sledding with friends and drinking hot chocolate. Snow Days in elementary school were positively incredible. Waking up to our parents saying the school called to say class was cancelled, was amazing news. If we were lucky, we got two to four a year.

Each and every snow day was a treasured opportunity to have fun and play in the snow. As we get older, snow days evolve into something else. Snow days are still times to sleep in and drink hot chocolate but also maybe to hit “play” on Netflix, instead of playing outside. Snow days are as equally appreciated as they were back in the days of elementary school, but it is a different kind of appreciation. 

All things considered, snow days are great, no arguments there. The not-so-great part of snow days is the decision by the school to have or not to have a snow day. Back in the non-COVID days of childhood, it was a much simpler decision: whether school buses could run and if there was the possibility of people catching frostbite. 

Now, the decision becomes more complicated. On one hand, most classes are online and do not require even leaving bed if you so please. On the other hand, there are protocols for those who are sick or quarantined to still get the content from in-person classes. Students do not get breaks, only weekends, even though many still do homework or study over them. 

This year, we will not have spring break. The lack of such a much-needed break will have detrimental effects. Students have already started to experience burnout, a snowball effect of stress and exhaustion. If the snowfall is high and the windchill is harsh, why not have a snow day? Not a virtual day, or an “up to the professor” day, an actual snow day. Students can enjoy a break, wake up whenever they want and  do whatever they want (within reason). They could take it as a mental health day, a re-set day or a day to manage the burnout. 

COVID-19 has already taken away so many classic college experiences, especially for freshmen like me. There are no sports games to attend, no roommates and online classes. Snow days, a classic college experience, are still a possibility for us. When going to college somewhere like the midwest, winter is a definite force to be reckoned with. 

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter on Feb. 2, and now that seems to be coming true. Recent snow storms ravaged the nation, including in southern states like Kentucky and Texas. Some schools even took on several snow days.

Even so, with the assumption that we are prepared to trek through snow and ice, snow days are a rarity. But, college students and kids alike treasure snow days. School is a stressor for people of all ages and extra stressful when trying to get there in snowy weather. Snow days give college students a break to not worry about being late or scraping ice off their vehicle. They are a break to enjoy the beauty of their snow-covered campus, from within the warmth of their residence hall of course. Snow days are more than just important during bad winter weather; they are 100 percent essential.