Thanksgiving break should offer rest, not stress

Thanksgiving+break+should+offer+rest%2C+not+stress

Joseph Living

Holiday breaks are a welcomed component at any level of schooling, but have a particularly important impact on the lives of college students. Here at NMU, we have the privilege of living in the breathtaking Upper Peninsula of Michigan and enjoying all that has to offer. From powerful Lake Superior to the deep woods of the Hiawatha National Forest, NMU is without a doubt located near some of the most naturally beautiful places on Earth.

This means for most students, living in the splendor of the outdoors comes with the unfortunate side effect of being far away from their hometowns. Breaks can be synonymous with long car rides.

Due in part to the rise of modern logistics and transportation technologies, Marquette has grown into a thriving city over the last century and a half. Regardless, it remains quite a journey away from the places most of us call “home.” Marquette, being located close to three hours away from the Mackinac Bridge and more than six hours away from the state capitol, leaves Michigan as one of the few states that you can find yourself nowhere near civilization in.

Many students that attend NMU come from all over Michigan, and with the university’s large size, students are fortunate to have a full week off for Thanksgiving break, allowing for travel back home. Without the worry of having to come back anytime soon, the journeys seem much more reasonable. Leaving Marquette in your rearview mirror, however, does not necessarily mean you are leaving behind your schooling.

Some classes end out the weeks before major breaks with tests and due dates, but others just pile onto the seemingly endless mountains of homework reluctantly dragged home by tired students. For some, breaks offer a much-needed rest from the grind of college life, and with Thanksgiving break being so close to the end of the semester, a chance to recharge before finals. Unfortunately, not everyone is
so lucky.

Assignments, papers and other various projects forced upon break require large amounts of attention that distract from what an educational break is supposed to be. A break should mean just that: a break. But rather than getting some time to relax and be with family, many students are followed home by the stress they hoped to leave behind.

When students are assigned homework over break, it doesn’t allow them to actually wind down from the stress of school. This is specifically important in college, where some classes’ attendance is not required and the classes focus on outside work heavily, leaving very few differences between a regular week and an
academic break.

Although with many classes, tests and major projects that round out the end of semesters were clearly outlined in syllabi, it doesn’t change the fact that they must be done during a time when school shouldn’t be a priority. Working on things like end-of-the-year projects and presentations over Thanksgiving break is relatively unavoidable, and even when they are not assigned over break specifically, they still have a huge effect on students.

Professors should actively avoid assigning large projects that require extensive work over Thanksgiving break because of assigned due dates. One of the most unique things about college courses is the level of autonomy that departments, or even specific professors, have from the university when they design their course plans. If professors care about their students, academic breaks ought to be honored by not
assigning school work.