- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 07 December 2016
- Written by MIRANDA HALPERN | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
A break from school is a sweet pocket of time where stressors are put on hold and time is used to catch up with friends, family, and sleep.
What exactly is a school break? Is it fifteen minutes between classes or the hour and 20-minute block when you don’t have a class? Could it be the weekends, days off from class, and time between semesters? A break can be any amount of time students deem fit for their own schedules. Each break, whatever the length of time, can allow for different things to be done.
School breaks are usually highly anticipated and counted upon to help students recharge. Being given a chance to participate in non-school related activities is, for many, a much-needed break. Breaks allow students to travel, go to concerts, work, and take part in so many other things. These experiences are important to help a student grow and enjoy what they’re doing, and they also help to foster interests in non-academic areas.
School breaks are also good to use as a time to relax and reset your mind for the next stretch of classes. As assignment lists lengthen with the progression of the semester, stress can build up too. A break from school provides a chance to unwind, and catch up or get ahead of schoolwork can help to alleviate the possibility of stress in weeks to come. Doing schoolwork during breaks can give students more free time when they get back to school. A drawback of this way to spend a break is that it won’t be a complete break from school as attention will still be on school assignments.
Shorter breaks from school, such as time between classes, can be used for meditation, recreational reading, catching up on social media, or even getting a coffee. Longer breaks can allow students to visit friends on campus or even take a quick trip home. They also can be used to provide a change of scenery for students.
Having the opportunity to visit friends or go home for a day or two allows for the exploration of nearby restaurants, parks, and shops are benefits of breaks. Also local activities, such as harvest festivals, holiday extravaganzas, and fairs, provide fun alternatives to the traditional activities such as movie nights, athletic events, and game nights that students are provided with at school. It can also give the opportunity to do the same activities done at school, but with different people, which can result in a different experience.
For those studying during the week, these breaks are deserved because of all of the hard work students put in while being in class. Some students may find that their schedule is filled with studying, going to class/work, as well as participating in extracurricular activities, which can take up a lot of time throughout each day. When studying for an exam or doing a paper before a break, there can be excitement that once the paper is turned in, students will be able to relax and be on break.
This momentum for the school year is important. When that momentum is ceased, it can be difficult to build it back up. The longer the break is, the longer it may take to get back in a routine for school. When on a break, students may become so relaxed that they are lethargic when it’s time to return to their routine at school. One way to avoid fully losing momentum is to learn during break. Learning can be done outside of a classroom setting. Museums are a good way to do this. Whether it’s a local museum, such as the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft, New Jersey which offers exhibits which will appeal to people with multiple interests, or a museum further away like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, or the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., there is a museum for almost all interests.
Another way to learn during breaks is by taking classes. The classes can be fitness classes, craft classes, or even music classes. Yoga, Zumba, and CrossFit are popular classes to take and can help students to learn about fitness and nutrition. Craft classes such as scrapbooking, knitting, and cake decorating can allow students to learn about color schemes, proper techniques in crafting as well as patience. Music classes can help students to learn about different genres of music and teach them about key signatures, time signatures, as well as the various types of notes and rests.
Overall, school breaks can provide the opportunity for students to catch up with friends or family if they choose to, or learn a new skill. Breaks are beneficial and can be well deserved for students who work hard during the semester. Although they can cause a temporary stop in momentum, steps can be taken to minimize this such as doing some minimal learning during breaks.