Starting April 2, our week-long observance of the last period of Lent has commenced, colloquially termed the Holy Week. As Christians, the next few days will hold significance to our spiritual solemnity and gratitude to Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins. Many interpret this time of the year as a way to revitalize one’s values and lean into the holiness of the word of God, but for a Viscan, the next few days will be a week-long rest from the grueling early months of 2023. 

Being a Viscan myself, the excitement embedded in the thought of “Muoli na jud ko” or “Hay salamat makauli na bitaw ko” when classes have ended is telling us how we miss the comfort of the familiar setting of our homes. This is a sentiment greatly shared by all students who just came back to the normalcy of face-to-face classes after being held online for two years. What is even better is that the usual three-day break has been extended to Monday (April 10) and is even prompted with an afternoon suspension this Wednesday (April 5) to allow government employees to buy some time to travel back home to their respective families.  

But inevitably, there is apprehension. Students are greatly prone to feeling guilt or shame when they eventually rest too much. As I prepare for my long-awaited travel in almost two months, the abundance of schoolwork trails my way back home. The problem is that we are all mentally conditioned to always work and have little to no play. Even on days wherein we are supposed to put our foot down and use it as our day of replenishment, we are set up to the long list of deadlines and tasks that are due as soon as classes resume, and when we eventually work on these, we feel burnt out. After all, college is no walk in the park. 

This toxic work culture and mindset has penetrated everyone in the academe - from students to teachers. If you do not work hard, you earn less; if you do not study hard, you fail miserably. But, is there any way to ease this kind of anxiety? Besides, studying and working hard is non-negotiable, and it is only less than a full week, so prioritizing the grind to pay the bills is of utmost priority. 

I believe there is only very little that we could promise ourselves this holy week. With the excellent standards we uphold as Viscans, it would be hard to unlearn overworking oneself, but I believe that that is the challenge of this year’s lent: to abstain from overly doing things and taking a step back to assess other parts of our lives. It is totally okay to slow down and take things one step at a time, yet with this comes major self-awareness. This article is not made to instigate the idea that we should totally let go of our work during the holy week. Rather, it is to amplify the point that it is okay to put our rest as one of our main priorities. We have been in a constant cycle of cramming and overworking that we are forgetting our well-being: may it be spiritual, mental, or physical. We have to spend time with our families, our loved ones, and even ourselves. Hence, we have to find ‘rest’ in our restlessness. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. We all come from different courses that require units that test our morale and tenacity to succeed, but we have to remember the real essence of the holy week: forgiveness, and it is imperative that we not just forgive those who sinned against us; but also ourselves. It is so easy to blame oneself when things go wrong, and we tend to be too hard on ourselves when we fail a test, forget to submit an activity, and when couldn't learn this lesson. We owe it to ourselves to believe that we are doing great and that we have done enough. 

College students in general get a very little number of days to rest and get back to the feral world of the collegiate academe, but this is the price we pay for the dreams we are bound to accomplish. This entire week may have a multiplicity of meanings to every Viscan, but I think it is agreeable that we all deserve this rest, and it is okay to put the pen down for some quality time with the people you chose to be with because even God rested on Sabbath. With the midterm examinations being right around the corner; it is safe to say that taking a break would mentally recalibrate the energy we need to keep going, and what better time to do it than now—take it as your very own resurrection perhaps.

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