During this time of the year, students at colleges and universities all across the country get to participate in homecoming (which we all know where that goes) but here at St. Cloud State University, we have fall break. At this time of the year, students get to go home to their families, go on vacation, or stay on campus and catch up on missed work from the previous months.
Since I have attended the University, fall break has always landed on a Thursday and Friday, making for a short week and giving students time to kick back, relax, and enjoy themselves for a few days before they get smacked in the face with midterm exams and projects.
This year, the University decided it would be a logical idea to start fall break on Saturday and end it on Tuesday, causing for an awkward gap that seems to have left many students confused and stressed, as some (including myself) are being thrown into midterm exams during a short week in which we had to take out of our recreational time and act as if we don’t have a break from school.
Personally, I think it was a terrible idea; why they did it this way—don’t ask me. However, I want to weigh the pros and cons of having fall break Saturday through Tuesday instead of Wednesday through Sunday.
Pro: Students can’t skip classes the day before break
This is more for the University’s advantage than the students; over the past few years, morning and afternoon classes the Wednesday of fall break always resulted in a number of students skipping to start their festivities early—evening courses got the benefit because campus shuts down its facilities at 5 p.m. This way, the University can keep its attendance records up and professors can ensure students won’t skip a minute of valuable higher education—in their words.
Con: Creates an awkward gap in the week
During the original fall break, students came back for a full week of school after their four days off. With the fall break we just had, there is now an ungraceful three days of class (two if you refuse to take Friday courses) which leaves no room for recovery productivity, considering not many have time to fully adjust from vacation to education mode.
Pro: Students have a short week
While the bold heading might seem to contradict the previous prompt, there are different strokes for different folks, I have talked to some students who have actually enjoyed that we only have three days of school and then the weekend. For them, it is a time to get caught up on work and prepare for the exams they have the following week if their professors planned accordingly.
Con: Crammed with midterms
Taking a personal anecdote for this one, I had a math midterm the day we got back from fall break—on that same note, I wanted to ENJOY myself and take time off from any kind of school work in order to boost my creativity and regain my focus for the rest of the semester by going on holiday with a few friends to Madison, Wisconsin. I did enjoy myself, HOWEVER… I still had to slightly panic about it while I was on vacation and then spent the night I got back making up for lost time by going over basic algebra problems. Not a fun time, FOR ANYONE.
It still perplexes me as to why we have to do it this way. A lot of other Universities have homecoming. In order for SCSU to get back on the right path, I personally think that they should bring back homecoming and so do a lot of other students at SCSU. We then don’t have this awkward gap in which some students are stuck panicking during their R&R. Bring homecoming back or turn fall break back to what it was before.