After much consideration, conversations with peers, and comparisons to other colleges’ vacation schedules, I have come to the conclusion that something needs to be done about winter break. Here are three reasons why U of I needs to start winter break sooner.
1. We are exhausted.
Yes, we did just have a week-long break for Thanksgiving, but a good portion of it was spent working on final essays or fretting about the exams to come. Don’t get me wrong, it was a really nice break, and very much needed. However, it needs to be understood that upon returning back to campus, every student buckled down for some of the most stressful, laborious few weeks of the entire year. This is a taxing time, both mentally and physically. If we could shorten this time, and get more done before Thanksgiving break, then that would help lessen the strain of finals week.
2. We need time to get into the holiday spirit.
The time between Thanksgiving and winter break is full of stressful tests, and the only thing we have the capacity to think about is academics. There is no time to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate the coming winter festivities. Once finals finally end, we get back with only a couple days to spare before Christmas. This leaves little time to go gift shopping, set up decorations and participate in holiday activities, like walking along a decorated Michigan Avenue, seeing holiday plays or any other tradition your family might have.
3. That awkward lull after New Year's.
Yeah, everyone knows what I’m talking about. The holidays have passed in a hectic, enjoyable whirlwind, and it was so much fun! Yet, now, with nothing to do or look forward to, you are stuck sitting around, trying to find something to do to occupy your time. And quite honestly, you really start to wish you were back at school. You may have to take classes, but your friends are there, and you know you will always have something to keep you busy. So instead of having zero time before the holidays to get ready and enjoy the holiday cheer that dissipates immediately after the holidays pass, we should take one of those extra, boring weeks tacked on to the vacation calendar in January and move it to before Christmas.