Gator Day was created in order to prepare students for their future. According to the Allegheny website, Gator Days are a chance for the Gator community to explore interests they may not have had the opportunity to otherwise examine.
The website states Gator Day is “one day each semester [that] was set aside as a day with no scheduled classes, athletic practices or extracurricular activities so that students would be free to take advantage of this opportunity to explore what Allegheny has to offer.”
Now I’m going to be honest and say that I’ve never been to any of the programs offered on Gator Day. I don’t know many people that have, but I would never in a million years ask that Gator Days be removed from our year. What student in their right mind would?
As a stressed out, social- hungry college student I’m not going to complain about a day off of classes midweek. I understand the intentions of administration and I believe their hearts were in the right place but a majority of the students that talk about Gator Day don’t talk about the programs happening that day but rather the infamous “Gator Day Eve.”
Gator Day Eve consists of what you may imagine happens on a college campus the day before classes are cancelled. It’s an opportunity for students to get the break we all desperately need every now and then. While Gator Day’s purpose is to allow students easy access to great opportunities in the future, it is not being used for such purposes. I believe Gator Day is more what keeps Allegheny students sane.
We receive a long weekend for fall break and a couple days off for Thanksgiving but other than that we are chained to our schoolwork from August until December. While the whole point of college is to learn and expose ourselves to what we may encounter in the real world, breaks here and there are something many of us need, but just don’t have the time to take.
I, for one, spent my fall break writing papers and preparing for a debate I had the week we returned to campus, not much of a break if you ask me. Gator Day provides that break, even for just a day.
It is a known pattern to students everywhere that by mid-October classes seem to get exponentially more challenging. Out of nowhere, I seem to have three papers due in the same week and an exam coming up the next.
While I know this is a burden every college student, past or present, has to bear, a break from staring at a computer screen during the week for five days straight is something I feel is healthy.
For one day I was allowed to close all my textbooks, turn off my laptop and be carefree. While I do regret not making it a point to attend some of the speakers that visited campus for this semester’s Gator Day or going to programs that went more in depth about our options for traveling, that mental health day I took on Gator Day essentially kept me from throwing my books out my dorm room window.
So, Gator Day, you are loved by all Allegheny students whether programs were attended or not. Do I think Gator Day turned into what administration anticipated? Probably not. But it is certainly a day that a majority of the Allegheny population not only wants, but a day the Allegheny population needs.