Students need legitimate breaks of five or more days

Zach Blair

This upcoming week, the week of Thanksgiving, holds in store a five-day break for Augustana students, providing adequate time for them to blow off some steam and relax from demanding classes. But the five-day break isn’t always the case for students.

In October, Augustana students were given fall break. However, that break was not very lengthy, as students only had one day off. Thanksgiving break, on the other hand, supplies students with five days off.

Should there be longer fall breaks in the following years? It’s important for students at any school to have more than a few days off. Plus, when I hear the word “break,” I think of being able to calm down from rigorous class assignments and schedules.

But that’s not what fall break gave any of us. Around that time, I remember all of my peers on campus complaining about how that wasn’t enough time for a break. And I agree.

My sister, who attends another university, had a much longer break than what was given to Augustana’s students — a break of seven days, almost like Thanksgiving break. So why can’t that be the case for me and my fellow students?

I think it’s fair to say that, like Thanksgiving break, more than three days should be supplied to students at any school, not just Augustana. All of us often become buried in our schoolwork, and the stress sometimes creeps up on even the best of us, affecting mental health and the will to strive for success in classes and other activities.

When fall break occurred, I remember going home for the weekend, as most students did. But the days passed like nothing, and I had to rush back to campus on Monday night, still stressed and feeling as if I did not have enough time away from school.

When I think of a “break” from school, I usually think of the days that are not Saturday and Sunday. And fall break was only Saturday, Sunday and then Monday. To me, that’s just one sad day off. How is that similar to Thanksgiving break?

For fall break, I was picked out of the loop of school for three days — two of those days already provided with every weekend — and then thrown right back into the grind on Tuesday. On top of that, I also had to work that Monday night during what was considered a “break.”

Breaks are supposed to be a time where students can free themselves from schoolwork and feel comfortable spending time in leisure activities that they enjoy. No one should come back from a “break” feeling as if not enough time was given off.

A break, by definition, is a time to be away from something — usually that means taking a few days off to recuperate with no additional stressors. In every sort of job-like environment, school included, breaks are necessary and healthy for all who work.

I think stress and other worries would be wholly alleviated and wiped out completely if students were given the satisfactory amount of time of five days or longer off. There may even come some more productivity from supplying longer breaks, as students may be eager to get back into the swing of classes and start working hard once again, benefiting themselves and their long-term accomplishment in the process.