Students Burning Out Get a Break Students Burning Out Get a Break

SU students will have a four day weekend to help combat student burnout.

Syracuse, N.Y.  (NCC News) — Mental Health Awareness Week will end with a four day weekend for Syracuse University students. This is the first time in SU history that the university introduced a fall break, according to Yasmin Nayrouz, the Executive Vice President of the Student Association. This weekend will last for four days with students having Monday, Oct. 9th, and Tuesday, Oct. 10th off to help combat student burnout.

Nayrouz spearheaded conversations with administrators to consider what is now “Fall Break.” She was encouraged by complaints made to her by friends, other Student Association members, and generally, random students coming up to her. She said seeing students push for this addition helped convince administrators of the importance of mental health days.

The unemployment rate in Syracuse has increased from 2.6% in April 2023 to 3.5% in August 2023, according to statistics from the US Department of Labor. The idea that college students are already “burning out” before graduating and entering the workforce is concerning to some. Dr. Max Malikow, psychologist and LeMoyne professor, said anyone who is “crawling to the finish line” of their undergraduate degree concerns him.

“The definition of burnout is it’s a loss of enthusiasm and energy and meaning for a person’s work or activity,” Malikow said. “That would seem to me to be a recipe for depression. How can you spend so much time at something that from which you draw no enthusiasm.”

Students are grateful for Nayrouz’s efforts and excited for their four-day weekend, but many don’t know why it’s happening in the first place. Some students think it’s because they deserve a break, some think it’s to alleviate the imbalanced fall semester schedule, and some just have no idea altogether. It all comes back to mental health. This current generation cares more about mental health than previous generations, according to Nayrouz.

“I think employers need to prioritize mental health much more because it matters to our generation and also because it improves productivity,” Nayrouz said. “Instead of harsh and strict regulations on how you can get PTO, like really insanely low maternity leave, all of these policies that do not promote people taking a break.”

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