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Thursday, Dec 2, 2021

OPINION: College students need and deserve longer breaks

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When we were ten years old, week-long breaks felt like month-long breaks. When we got two whole weeks for Christmas, it felt to us like a second summer break. 

Throughout elementary school and even through high school, breaks felt constant and plentiful. As we have transitioned into the college setting, the week-long breaks get fewer and fewer, and we feel more drained as the school weeks drag on.   

A break from school is needed at any age, but my college load is far more stressful than when I was in kindergarten learning the alphabet. Fall break was the first real break students got at Mercer, and many agreed that the two-day break did not feel like one at all. 

Bibb County schools had a week-long fall break this year, which I felt was needed, along with many other students at Mercer.  

Mercer’s Thanksgiving break lasts from the 24th of November to the 26th, whereas the schools in Bibb County are once again getting a full week.

I understand that many K-12 schools have the same seven or eight classes all year, so they can model the curriculum around those breaks. In college, however, professors only have 16 weeks to cram in as much curriculum as they can, not allowing as much time for these extended breaks.

It still feels unfair that the 6-year-old learning their shapes and colors gets a longer break than a college student gets when they are working tirelessly for their degree. 

Because many students were taking online courses last year, in-person classes feel even more draining than we remember them to be.

After living in a COVID-19 world for three full semesters, having to take classes and learn remotely, students have adjusted to being home and taking classes from their beds.

Although I do not think that way of learning was beneficial for any student or professor, we still have to acknowledge that it happened, and students may need more breaks in order to ease back into life post-COVID. 

By giving a week off for Thanksgiving and a day or two more for fall break, students might be able to get the motivation they need to thrive this semester.  

Winter break being three full weeks is a good time for students to unwind and take a breath after a long semester. 

When we get back, however, the new semester will bring on the same stress and worries as the last. Although we get a week for spring break, it will be a long two months before the break arrives.  

The stress that comes with being a college student is immense and extending breaks and making them more frequent could allow students to properly de-stress. 

Students would perform better in classes, and they would not be as burnt out by the end of each semester. 


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