The downside of Spring Break
The semester is more than half way over and midterms have come and gone. This is a period in the semester when most students are sorely in need of some time off. Spring Break offers them the opportunity to put their “to do” lists in a drawer and get back to doing whatever it is that they enjoy. Although the much needed break may provide some time to relax, perhaps too much time off can be a bad thing.
“I totally forgot about a number of assignments I was supposed to get done over the break,” Mass Communications Major Chad Fredrickson said. “I just totally spaced out.”
Going to college can be a very stressful endeavor, especially for those who are ambitious and take on extracurricular activities. Attending college may not require very much physical labor but the mental workload can be just as exhausting. Mental exhaustion, coupled with other responsibilities of day to day life, can leave some students with what may seem like an inability to think.
“I have used my brain so much over the last few weeks that it just sort of got fried,” Frederickson explained. “I really had a difficult time thinking while I was on break.”
For those students who don’t experience this mental fatigue, Spring Break is still a time when they would rather switch off their brains and just unwind. Psychology Major Ellen Spencer explained that her idea of a Spring Break well spent is lying on a beach far away from home.
“I really enjoy lying in the sun. I also like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two,” Spencer explained. “The last thing on my mind is what I have to get done or what I should be doing.”
The fact that some students may become “rusty” over the break is not an issue that instructors are oblivious to. According to Professor Tom Schmidt, that is the very reason why many of them assign homework for their students to complete during their time off.
“Homework assignments are a good way to ensure that students stay sharp,” Schmidt explained.
Even though these assignments affect their grades, students don’t seem to put in the time necessary to get them done. Schmidt has heard almost every excuse when it comes to why students didn’t get their assignments completed.
“I have heard everything from a there was a death in the family to my house burned down,” Schmidt said. “I suppose any excuse is better than simply saying ‘I forgot’. Nothing is more irritating than students forgetting that they are attending college in hopes of getting a degree. I mean, they actually pay money to be here.”
Although the excuse of forgetfulness may be not be a good one, many students confess that they do in fact forget about their responsibilities when it comes to school work.
“I had a lot going on,” Frederickson added. “I had to make sure my cat was fed, wash the dishes and take out the garbage. I also had to make some time to hang out with my girlfriend, as we don’t really get the chance to when I’m in school.”
Spencer expressed her frustration about the expectation that some instructors have of their students over break. She refuses to do any school work on her time off.
“My Spanish instructor handed out homework assignments on the last day of class and I straight up told him that I wasn’t going to it,” Spencer added. “I mean, the point of having Spring Break is so that students can actually take a break, right?”
There is no denying the fact that Spring Break can distract students from their obligations and perhaps the best way to resolve this issue is to do away with the break altogether. Whether students spend their time off studying or simply laying around the house the return to classes after a break is the best way to get back on task. That is, if they don’t forget.