There is only one day between the last day of classes and finals. After Thanksgiving break and before winter break, students are often overwhelmed by the pressures and demands of school. Final papers, quizzes, make-up work, and exams are all students think about during the final stretch of the semester. The reality of the seemingly never-ending stream of work creates an unhealthy mental state for many students.
And in response to that reality, Rowan allows only one day for students to reacclimate before finals. The day is called “Reading and Review.”
Not even a day of rest, Reading and Review day is reserved for students to catch up and finish their work before finals begin. Classes are not permitted to take place and students can use this time to work. There are two Reading and Review days throughout the year: one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester.
The Whit Staff believes Rowan needs to extend the Reading and Review period to at least three days. This allows students to better strategize how they are going to complete all their work, and more importantly, students can prioritize their mental health.
Finals week is notoriously stressful. One day is not enough time for students to collect themselves, complete all their work, and prepare for finals.
As a “top 100 national research university,” Rowan prides themselves on representing diverse communities and making college accessible. According to their website, 36% of students who attend Rowan come from “underrepresented” communities. These communities can range from BIPOC, ROTC, to nontraditional students. Not all students have the time or money to only focus on school and Rowan recognizes that by providing scholarships and emergency funding. Financially, these opportunities are great for students but money can only go so far.
If you are a single parent going to school, one day to catch up on your work, study for finals, take care of your family, and focus on your mental health is unrealistic. Scholarships and funding help immensely but money can’t buy time.
According to the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, “The combination of raising a family on their own, going to class, completing coursework, and holding a job can place serious constraints on single mothers’ time that can force them to make hard choices about their pursuit of higher education.”
Luckily, Rowan has child-care options for students who are parents but one day to catch up on work, study, and focus on mental health still isn’t enough. Rowan has “The Family-Friendly Campus Initiative [that] aims to keep college students who are parents in school.” In lieu of the Reading and Review day, the childcare center at Rowan extends their hours so students who are parents can focus on their work. These options are truly amazing but they don’t address the issue of limited time.
Students who are parents are only one example of why Rowan needs to extend their Reading and Review day.
It doesn’t matter what kind of student you are, time and mental health affects everyone. Finals are tiring enough and by extending the Reading and Review period, students have the opportunity to flourish.
According to a blog on the College of Graduate Studies at Tennessee Tech, “It is crucial that you take rest seriously during this time of year because a well-rested body will tackle the day so much better than a sleepy one will. You will get more done, be more quick-witted throughout the day, and be able to think more critically about tests you are taking.”
The Whit Staff recognizes all Rowan does for its student body but also recognizes where Rowan needs to aim its focus.
By extending the Reading and Review period to at least three days, students, no matter their situations, will be able to better take care of their mental health while also simultaneously tackling their school work.
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