After an exhausting first semester filled with uncertainty, students are enjoying a month-long break from school and homework. However, this break is different, as it’s extended to the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend instead of the week before, which is the normal end of break. This is because JMU canceled spring break this year, opting for three day-long breaks throughout the semester instead.
With there not being a spring break, students are wondering if the need for a longer winter break is necessary rather than having a week in the middle of the semester off. After fall break was given and taken away because of COVID-19, the need for a longer winter break should be beneficial for many.
Since school starts at the end of August, many students go from that starting point up until Thanksgiving break, which is about three months of school, without a break. A fall break was implemented for this year during October to give students a long weekend off. However, as courses went online, that fall break was eliminated, thus the first break for students this semester was Thanksgiving.
After 13 weeks of online classes and homework before Thanksgiving, and then three more weeks that include finals before winter breaks, students are due for a long break to relax and prepare for the next semester. This is a break to be around family and friends, return to a job and get some rest after a long semester. Without it, students would be jumping into a whole new semester within just a few weeks of finishing the previous one.
Although having a spring break is much needed during the middle of the second semester, a longer winter break has students coming back in the middle of January, a normally long and busy month for many. With students going back this late, that only gives students all of February, March, April and a few days of May for the second semester, which is about the same time as fall semester.
Winter break also comes after the long week of finals, which can be a stressful time for students based on the amount of time spent studying and finishing up exams. A long break right after this is necessary for students to give their brain a break, as well as enjoy a feeling of accomplishment for finishing up a long semester.
Some people may not like a long winter break because they don’t want to stay at home too long. However, for students, they’re able to return to their apartments whenever they please, giving them time with both their family and their friends at school during the break.
Having a longer winter break is necessary for students, even though it may seem drawn out and boring. Without it, students would be drained from the previous semester at the beginning of another busy semester. Although this means that spring break won’t happen, it’s important to recognize how much winter break has a beneficial impact on the student body.
Kylee Toland is junior media arts and design major. Contact Kylee at email@example.com.