Kennesaw State should consider two smaller breaks throughout the semester instead of a single, ill-timed week off to increase student health and success.
We’ve had nearly three months of uninterrupted classes, and many students are counting down the days until fall break. But with finals quickly approaching, our week-long rest will be more of a study hall than a vacation.
Projects and essays are often piled on top of the mountain of stress that accompanies the weeks before finals. Students’ minds will be overwhelmed by their assignments rather than spending time with their families and resting as they should.
American University of Washington registrar Doug McKenna defended student’s need for breaks in an interview with the Washington Post, saying students have done a lot in the early half of the semester, so having a break will leave them coming back refreshed for the second half, and they really appreciate a day off.
KSU needs to reconsider when they allow students time off because we are severely denied adequate time off during the fall semester.
Not to mention, the toll on a student’s academic health when expected to perform well for so long without any rest is high. Personally, I feel completely burnt-out after a semester of studying without any opportunity to relax my mind for more than a day at a time ― and I fear my grades reflect that.
If students were given more frequent breaks, our motivation and academic success would improve.
With shorter, more frequent breaks, it’s scientifically proven that students are more successful in their academic pursuits. An article by the American Psychological Association states that shutting down from the “endless and insistent tasks” associated with student life provides great opportunity to re-energize for the start of a new term.
The timing of fall break really could not be worse. Students endure an unforgiving semester with no rest until they are 122 days in ― a “rest” that is more work than relaxation ― just one week before finals and two weeks from an entire month off surrounding the holiday season. This creates an extremely unbalanced semester.
Little academic benefit comes from squeezing so much time off in such a close timeframe. Instead, KSU should shorten the break over Thanksgiving, which would allow students an additional break earlier in the semester.
With the addition of a small break during September or October, students would have greater opportunities to travel, spend time with their families and even pick up more hours at work to fill financial needs between rent and tuition.
More frequent breaks throughout the semester would also relieve stress among students, allowing them time to relax their minds from their textbooks and focus more on their health ― both mentally and physically.
With the current break schedule, students carry an enormous weight from their classes without relent. The timing and length of the current fall break inspire too much academic anxiety, and the dispersion of multiple, shorter breaks is all it would take to cure that.