As places begin opening back up, should students take trips after finals?

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Taking a trip after finals will not only improve a student's mental and physical health, but give them a boost for next semester. (Photo taken by Reena Brooks from Maui, Hawaii)

Finals week, a dreaded time where 15 weeks worth of content is tested, examining just how much the students retained. For many college students, this means one week of projects, one week of study and then test week, summing up to over 21 days of stress. 

College students experience many changes during this time: more work, responsibilities and outside factors that really push them to their breaking point.

In order to help cope with that stress, many students take some time to exercise, meditate, watch some movies and read books in order to relax. After finals, some consider trips, planning a getaway from everything. 

As cities, restaurants and tourist attractions begin opening up, the question remains as to whether or not students should take a relaxing trip after finals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinvented the way the world runs now, especially if and how people travel. According to CNBC, international travel entry bans have finally been lifted as of Nov. 8, with travelers only needing to wear masks, have proof of vaccination and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test if a person cannot get vaccinated. 

Some high traffic tourist cities or states, such as Hawaii, may require vaccination cards to be shown in order to eat in a restaurant, while many others are lax with this rule. 

I recently took a trip down to Maui, Hawaii and the vaccination cards were not a big issue; neither was wearing masks. It was only a requirement when you went into a store. Overall, many places are not as strict as they once were, making it an easy, relaxing time to go on vacation. 

With these bans lifted, people are able to travel once again, a positive step after a negative year. These lifts mean that more restaurants and shops are reopening their doors and are much more lenient when it comes to reduced capacity. The only real requirement for entering a place is simply wearing a mask, erring on the side of caution.

With all of these bars, restaurants and stores opening up to almost full capacity and requiring only masks, now may be the best time for students to consider taking a trip. College finals are stressful, and students taking some down time is always beneficial to one’s mental health. 

According to the health blog, AllinaHealth, writer Kathryn Isham provides a list of reasons as to why taking vacation time can be beneficial to those battling overwhelming stress, such as improving one’s mental, physical and motivation levels. 

Taking a vacation after finals, especially before the next semester takes place, can help prevent burnout as well. Isham states in her article that people who “take time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.”

In another health/travel blog, Service, writer Thomas Busson also lists out the benefits that travel can have for overworked employees and students alike, focusing in on the external. He focuses on how travel can help people expand their knowledge, social network, lifestyle and creativity, as they are being exposed to something new and exciting. 

Another key benefit he focuses on is that traveling allows for a person to disconnect from their reality, taking in the moment and putting the rest aside. Bossun states, “Sometimes it is best to take a step back, take a deep breath, and go take that Tower Bridge selfie.”

In a recent poll conducted on the official Scarlet & Gray website, out of the 29 people who had voted, over 59 percent stated that they would be going on a mini vacay after finals week, with only 41 percent voting no. 

Taking big or mini vacations after finals can be beneficial in improving a student’s mental and physical health, especially after finals. Having a fun little getaway will not only recharge and destress a student, but give them the kick they need to tackle the next upcoming semester as it slowly approaches.

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