We all love vacation, right? For most, it is a time to unwind from school or work, and we get to ease our minds off all the important tasks we have to complete when we return to reality. Breaks are crucial for our mental health. Parents have begun to allow their kids to have one or two days of the year as "mental health" days, which they use when everything seems to become too much at once. I think students and even adults let themselves get so stressed out that they do not even take in consideration the fact that we're allowed to need a breath. School breaks are a great way for students to decompress without having to take their own time off.
For our school system, we get a fall break (a week at the end of September), a Thanksgiving break (week off during Thanksgiving), Christmas break (two weeks at the end of December), five-day weekend in February and spring break (a week off at the beginning of April). That seems like a lot, but when looking at a calendar, most of it is just clustered in the first semester of the school year. Our sanity tends to start leaving us in mid-February, due to approaching AP exams and finals; we only get two real breaks in the second semester. Although I know it is hard to add in some extra days off in the second half of the year, it is vital that we should try to even just insert a few extra-long weekends. They are a great way to have the time off without establishing a full week off from school.
Students and teachers get really antsy right before a break because the amount of work keeps piling on without stops. Teachers want to have relaxation time just as much as us. It's unfortunate how excited we become when a break is around the corner. Of course it is amazing to have a week of not thinking about calculus or essays, but have we really become a society that dreads academics and learning so much? School has evolved into a system that feels like we are working. If we fail, the teachers look bad. If the teachers look bad, the administration looks bad. If the administration looks bad, the school district looks bad. This food chain is continuous, and the workload passed down from the board of education onto each level adds on. Students should strive to get good grades, but we should not have to feel the pressure to do well in order to make our teachers look better.
Breaks are generally seen as times to destress and do absolutely nothing, especially Thanksgiving break. The truth about that is we really do need a week of doing nothing. Of course, some productivity is necessary. Maybe you need to clean your room or go get some new winter clothes. Black Friday is a great way to get things done as well. Have we let ourselves become so tired over the course of the previous school days that we need a whole week to clear our mind and prepare to return to the books? That is ridiculous because my friends and I really do need a whole week off to remind one another just how much of a break we really needed.
On a positive note, breaks are great for bringing us back to reality for ourselves. Some people get so stressed during school that they begin to lose sight of who they are, and this time can really allow them to remember how lucky they are to have the life they have. School is definitely crazy for me at times, but it is breaks like this where I get to sit down and think about my amazing life. I have wonderful people surrounding me and so many blessings and opportunities that help me grow as a performer and person. The school year can jumble up all my thoughts, but it is so great to have the time to stop and smell the roses.