Opinion | Spring break anticipation can lower motivation

Ahead of spring break, many students can feel less motivated to complete their assignments.

Chris Klepach, Opinions Columnist

Spring break is that special time in the middle of the semester that every student looks forward to. However, the wait for spring break has different effects on each person. Students at the University of Iowa shared how their motivation levels have been affected this week.

“For the past couple weeks I’ve been thinking anything that doesn’t have an exam right before spring break. I’ve been feeling less motivated in that class to do it,” UI first-year James Whipple said. “I feel like once we come back from spring break, I feel like I can push it all off until I have to do it after.”

UI freshman Sebastian Baracato agreed, adding that he feels less motivated if he doesn’t have a big test or any large projects to finish ahead of break, a situation plenty of other UI students may face.

“I’m definitely less motivated, having one class in particular which I do have a test for right after spring break. I am trying to study up a little bit on that for sure,” he said.

For me, anticipating spring break becomes a process of intense patience, matched only with the kind needed for food delivery to arrive at the doorstep. I begin to daydream about what I’ll do during break, like seeing my family, who live just 30 minutes away in Cedar Rapids, and most importantly, the unrestricted sleeping schedule that will allow me to wake at noon each day.

Unless a new break time is proposed, no one can argue against spring break, and I’m not saying it is a detriment either. It provides students with relief after the rush of all of their assignments. I feel as though spring break creates a feeling that can make a student feel less motivated, because of instances where an assignment or reading is necessary after spring break, and it becomes easy to push off until the last minute.

However, for students like UI junior Justin Petkus, it can also serve as motivation to finish assignments on time.

“Personally I feel my motivation is higher right now, because I’m just telling myself, ‘I need to get through the rest of this week and I have a whole week break,’” he said. “If anything, the motivation is higher right now because I just have to keep doing good for my classes. I have a period of relaxation so I can recharge after this.”

Such anticipation can be shown through fellow Iowans ramping up in travel thanks to loosening COVID-19 restrictions. This kind of anticipation was previously reported by The Daily Iowan last year, when despite the removal of a week-long break as a measure against spreading the virus, students still traveled outside of Iowa to have the ritualistic break, even if it came with risks.

Thankfully, COVID-19-related curfews and air travel restrictions are nearly shelved. There is no time like now for healthy people in Iowa to go back to partying like it’s 2019. However, depending on where you go, vaccination cards may still be a requirement to the function.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.