Excuse mental health days

Beau Benoit

It’s midterm season, so I think it’s time to say what we’ve all been thinking. Students need mental health days.

After suffering an onslaught of exams and tests, students feel burnt out. I’ve been going to sleep late, skipping meals and forgetting to drink water, all because of the stress of classes.

Research by The Zurich Study found that 12.9% of young adults claimed to experience a lack of sleep lasting weeks, correlating with disorders like depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Regardless of these struggles, the weekend will still be just as short as it’s always been, and professors still expect filled seats as soon as class starts. Students want to take a break from school and not feel guilty or behind when they return. 

Because of stress, many students are contemplating dropping classes. Some are even considering quitting college altogether. 

Mental health days have been controversial. Many complain that they serve only to increase laziness and give individuals an excuse to slack off and miss work. It’s time to break this taboo of mental health days and start accepting that people need breaks to be efficient in and out of the classroom.  

According to CNBC, as of August this year, 12 states already allow mental health days as excused absences. One such state, Illinois, requires that students receive at least five personal days per academic year. 

Even if you spend the day simply catching up on some sleep or getting back into a regular eating routine, a single day can boost a student’s mood and work. 

Feeling overwhelmed can affect many aspects of daily life, especially school. In addition, not feeling worthy enough to care for your mental health is unhealthy. 

As college students and adults, I have no doubt that if given mental health days, we can use these days to improve our minds and bodies. We all deserve some love from ourselves, and with the scarcity of breaks after these rough couple of weeks, we sure need one.