With the changes made to BJU’s fall semester allowing students to complete their work before Thanksgiving, students are finding ways to cope with fewer breaks along the way.
Dr. Matthew Weathers, director of Student Leadership & Organizations, said due to the threat of COVID-19, the University did not want students going home for Thanksgiving, interacting with thousands of people and coming back to campus for finals.
“We’d rather have one semester together and then have a long break,” Weathers said. “It was purely for COVID-related reasons.”
By beginning two weeks earlier than normal and foregoing the Labor Day holiday as well as the highly anticipated first-ever fall break originally scheduled for October, students will still complete the standard 14 weeks of class.
BJU students are used to having breaks within the semester to rejuvenate. This semester, students will have two days of rest, Oct. 15 and Nov. 18, but will also have to adapt to find time to rest throughout the semester. Daniel Conn, senior class representative, said, “I think this is something new to adapt to for students who have been here for years.”
Conn advises students to stay close to God, spend time with friends and find time to get their studies done. “The biggest thing that helps me get through a busy semester is having a good schedule,” Conn said.
Some students are unhappy about this decision while others do not mind the change. Weathers said a big concern for students is missing out on Christmas at BJU. “Some students have made requests that we have Christmas before leaving campus for Thanksgiving break,” Weathers said. “Some are happy because they get to go home and have more time with their family.”
Aline Zimmer, women’s student body president, said students should be intentional with their time and get homework done early. “Pray for strength and have consistent time in the Word,” Zimmer said. “Find encouragement from the church and allow your church family to build you up.”
Philip Adams, a freshmen adviser, said students should prioritize their assignments as well as their health and social life. “Time management is something students need to focus on because it is easy to lose motivation over time,” Adams said. “It requires a lot of self-discipline, and you have to have a mindset to keep going and not give up.”
Weathers said when it comes to students’ time, they should invest rather than spend. “Invest in whatever helps you to be refreshed,” Weathers said. With a busy semester with few breaks, Weathers said it is crucial to focus on one day at the time. He advises all students to take a break by participating in Bruins Spirit Week in October.
Weathers’ advice for students is an anonymous quote, “There’s daily grace for the daily grind.” “It is essential to have faith in God and remember that his mercy is new every morning,” Weathers said. “God knows that students need daily grace.”