Students end winter break feeling less relaxed than they’ve ever felt before

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By Zarmminaa Rehman 

As Ryerson students start their winter semester, a university-wide poll revealed that many students believe the winter break wasn’t as “break”-full as it was meant to be. 

The poll, conducted by the Ryerson Statistics Association, asked students 20 multiple choice questions and four short answer questions, including “What fun at-home activity did you do?”—Wordle being two of the options—and “In 500 words or less, detail how the new Omicron variant deteriorated your mental health during the break.”

Despite the break featuring a string of holidays and generally being a time of celebration that students usually enjoy, a gaping hole was created that even the Andrew Garfield renaissance could not fill. 

Typically, students return home, enjoy several days of meals without having to meal prep, and sleep the equivalent of the fall semester. This year, however, was not the same. 

“My school-induced dark circles have become permanent on my face”

Feedback from the poll showcased a variety of problems students faced during the break, including claims that the Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey Christmas songs seemed a blur, the snow just wasn’t falling properly and most of all, the sleep just wasn’t hitting right.

“My school-induced dark circles have become permanent on my face,” said grad student Nieda Rehst. She continued: “It’s like I’ve become immune to proper rest, but I still take pre AND post-sleep naps.”

Rehst is not alone. Many like her just couldn’t get that well-deserved 12 hours of naps they needed in their childhood bedrooms. Alternatively, some got so much that family members had to FaceTime them to request presence for dinners. 

Even if students did somehow unwind enough, or downed enough cups of coffee to stay awake for a whole day, the poll suggested that the lack of holiday festivities to enjoy in the wake of the Omicron wave was significantly lower than in previous years. 

Architecture student Luca Noel found that the few traditional winter activities that were still open quickly became boring.

“I always go ice skating and visit the holiday market with friends or family, but there is a limit on how many times a person can go ice skating or to the holiday market,” he said. “My limit was reached during my fifth trip to the market when Santa Claus recognized me through my KN95 mask and asked me if I wanted to be one of his helper elves.” 

“I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year because 2022 doesn’t sound like a real year”

The end of 2021 was a disappointing event for many students, but the poll also indicated that the New Year could be an opportunity to look forward to a better future. 

Several respondents decided to start doing a 10- to 15-step skincare routine each night.  Third-year student Faith Mackenna had a more unique resolution: “My New Year’s resolution is to stop obsessively checking the Keeping Up With the Kardashians Subreddit,” she said. 

Mackenna remains committed to her resolution, despite having checked the subreddit three minutes past the New Year’s countdown. Philosophy PhD student Dean Roberts also shared his New Year’s intentions. “I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year because 2022 doesn’t sound like a real year to me, and because I’m incapable of completing them.”

Furthermore, the poll revealed that an unsurprising 19 per cent of the student body were unable to totally unwind due to receiving pleasantly useless emails from president Lachemi. 

“Adsfadsfadsfasdhajkshajskhaksj,” said second-year student Susie Moody when asked how the emails made her feel. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” she added.

If the cheerlessness of the holidays weren’t enough, the stress of school began at least a week prior to the beginning of the winter semester, with the biannual bloodbath that is course selection. 

For first years, the constant stress of course selection and grades was a looming threat and affected their enthusiasm, even their winter break plans—the ones that Omicron didn’t ruin, anyway. 

“I have no idea how I did it in the first place and now I have to go through it all over again?” questioned first-year student Laurie Dots. 

Dot’s older brother, Stevie, said he still hasn’t found in his heart to tell her she’ll have to go through a similar unhinged routine at least six more times. 

“I’m keeping the first-years in my thoughts and prayers,” he said.

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