Opinion

Passover and the art of letting school go

Princess Ana, in reference to all the worries holding her back, once famously said, "Let it go." It's told, I think, that Moses also said, "Let my people go." Is this a coincidence? Or a mere opportunity for endless Passover/Frozen YouTube parodies?

Every year on Passover, Jews celebrate their freedom from the oppression of the Ancient Egyptians. In an effort to make it all more relatable, some Jews take Passover as an opportunity to free themselves from other stuff they're "enslaved" to.

One type of freedom I celebrate is the freedom from schoolwork. Allow me to add an "ish." The faculty has been extremely understanding, and some of my professors even cancelled class. But I still have a research paper due over Passover, tons of lab work, and a play to write. I'm not complaining---exceptions for religious observance can (and should) only go so far. But my family doesn't work or use electricity during designated days of holidays, which basically means I have three days to get my shit together. The idea of not working for so long then powering through that time crunch terrifies me.

Every time I get scared, I remind myself that I've done it before in past holidays. Then I take a step back: I barely have time to breathe during a normal week. How the hell did I do it?

Well, one thing I've tried to internalize this year is that we only have time for something if we make the time. Often during the weekend, I'll freak out that I have so much work and no time to do it, so I zone in on my computer and shove my FOMO into a deep, dark corner. Inevitably, I end up wasting 90 percent of the day catching up with friends on Facebook and convincing myself I "earned the right to watch one more episode." This system of "earning" a break is ridiculous. Breaks are not like junky jelly bracelets that one wins for racking up on points in Skeeball (Theoretically. I was more of a mood-ring kid).

My most productive days are spent when I take charge of my breaks and give my relaxation the same importance as my work. The same amount of work gets done at the end of the day whether I spend three hours watching a movie with friends or three hours finding out What Form of Potato, How Much of a Millennial, and How Bergen County BuzzFeed thinks I am. I do have time to breathe during the normal week, if I actively prioritize the oxygen over the extra credit project. When I actively choose not to work, my time becomes more valuable than an overpriced arcade prize.

So whenever I start to panic this week, I'll need to remind myself that I'll have time to do my work if I make the time. I’m choosing to spend the next week celebrating my freedom with family and friends. We all have the freedom to take a break from our school work, whether for religious observance or mental health. Only when we acknowledge that breaks are a privilege, not an allowance, do we have the power to let ourselves go.

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