Students miss autumn break
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
With roughly five weeks left in the semester, UMHB students are spending weekends and evenings deep in books or enveloped in projects, while other students all across the country are enjoying a couple of days of freedom and relaxation to refuel for school.
UMHB did not take a fall break this year, so students were stuck in their studies instead of enjoying time off.
The school usually has good ideas, but this is a bad one.
Students have been working nonstop, often finding themselves with little or no time to sleep due to the amount of work required for classes. This is an acceptable scenario for a few weeks at a time, but after a while, the goal of learning becomes replaced with the goal of simply getting it done.
With fall break gone, students have no time to recharge their batteries, breathe for a moment, reorganize and re-strategize. Was the break dropped simply so that we can get out for Christmas a day or two earlier?
The university seems to be growing less keen on taking days off. Last semester, finals were scheduled to start the day after regular classes finished. How were students supposed to find the time to study for finals between getting out of their Wednesday night class at 9 p.m. and their first final at 8 a.m. the next day?
Fall break, like dead days before finals, is a time for both students and faculty to enjoy life a little more, put aside the books and papers for more than a few hours and enjoy the company of the people around them.
Not only is it a time of refreshment and a time of regaining interest in chosen areas of study, but it’s a time to go home for a visit. For some students, such as freshmen, fall break is one of the first opportunities to return to their parents’ house to indulge in home-cooked meals and missed hugs.
Taking away that chance to spend time with family from freshmen who have lived away from home for the first time ever is not good for these studious young minds.
Students need to be reminded that life is about more than books, essays, labs and tests. More than diplomas, internships and grades. It’s about actually living life here and now and not preparing to live it eventually.
Fall break is a helpful reminder of the reality of the world outside the college campus. Taking it away runs the risk of creating a false world where success is determined only by a letter and days are run on schedules of 50-minute increments.
Not only is the lack of a break detrimental to the mental health of students, but it also causes them to have an increased desire to skip class, something no teacher wants.
Whatever the reason, students and faculty are feeling the pinch of pressing forward with classes on lack of sleep and free time to enjoy recreational activity, a pinch that could easily be relinquished.