Ever since pre-school, where we first started learning the ropes of going to school, we always looked forward to summer and holiday breaks.
As we got older, we knew that summertime not only meant nice weather, swimming and cookouts, it also meant not waking up to go to school every day. Not only did we get three whole months off, we also stopped doing homework for that entire time.
From elementary school through high school, everything a student learns builds off the previous topic learned. This can become tricky when the student isn’t thinking about school for the entire summer. Then, they are expected to come back ready and full of knowledge from everything they were supposed to have retained from the previous year.
Some teachers will accommodate for this depending on the level of learning for the majority of the class. Other teachers, however, may just assume that the students will have remembered the material previously learned. This can be a hard spot for students to be in.
College is a little different, and by a little I mean a lot. Each semester we schedule classes, take them, get a grade and are done with that specific class for the summer. When we return to campus in the fall, we have a completely new set of courses. Though the information we learn still builds off each another because of prerequisites and some majors’ class requirements, we are not building on one subject as much as we did in elementary and high school.
Although summer break puts younger students in a tricky spot, I still believe they should be included in the academic year. Not only do I believe that students become burnt out after a while, I think they also need something to look forward to. If students were to be attending classes all year round they would get through schooling quicker, but I believe there would be more drop outs.
To fix the problem of the ineffectiveness of summer break, more assignments should be given to students; nothing too heavy, but maybe some type of online work that can keep students engaged and refreshed on the material. Maybe three short assignments for each month the student is on break would be a possible solution.
Students need this time to themselves, not only to relax for once but to really think about what they want to do. It takes time for students to process what they are doing in life and discover their passions.
Another point I would like to make is that many students, especially at the college level, need the time off from attending school so that they can work to pay for their education. Some students are fortunate enough to get help paying for school, whether it be from a family member or grants. Unfortunately, many students have to put themselves through school by working. The winter and summer breaks give them the time they need to do this.
Even though many question why we give students long breaks for winter and summer, I believe they are necessary for students. They give students the chance to really find themselves and figure out what is best for them.
Breanna Connell is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at BC810217@wcupa.edu.