Fall break is quickly approaching this weekend. The way Sycamores are spending their time off is different than it has been in the past due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has impacted this school year in several ways and this break is no expectation. Breaks are an important time for students to decompress and enjoy time with friends and family. Breaks allow students to escape some stressors of school for an short amount of time. 

Some students are still heading home for the long weekend, but many are choosing not to. “I am staying in town over fall break because travel equals danger” says ISU student Alyssa Qi. Many students share this opinion that traveling can aid in spreading COVID-19 and that they do not want to go home and risk exposing their family members, especially grandparents.  

The pandemic has also affected many financially. Students are staying in town in order to work, instead of going home or visiting friends over the long weekend. ISU student Patrick Moore says, “The grind doesn’t stop just because it’s fall break,” and that he will be spending his break working and enjoying the break from Zoom classes and homework.  

This year students are missing fall festivities like weekend trips, hayrides and local traditions like the Covered Bridge Festival. This leaves students to wonder what to fill their long weekend with. Although many local pumpkin farms and apple orchards are still open, there are many risks and restriction that keep students, faculty, and staff from participating in normal fall activities.  

A member of ISU faculty suggests taking this time just to relax. “This semester has put unnecessary amounts of stress and pressure on students due to unnerving circumstances and so much change. Fall break is a great opportunity to regroup and recharge.” Self-care and mental health are of utmost importance during this time. It is important that students, faculty and staff use this extended weekend for themselves.