Is winter break too short?

Mateya McCord, Reporter

Winter break is a break for students to relax and enjoy a couple weeks off before starting the next semester of school. There have been many complaints about winter break being too short from the NHS student body in particular. For the 2021-2022 school year, winter break lasted from Dec. 17 to Jan. 3. Winter break was too short and should be longer for students to relax their brains after working hard during the first semester. The 2020-2021 school year consisted of 16 days of winter break and the 2019-2020 year included 17 days. 

I believe that students should have enough time to get good rest and recover from a possibly stressful and emotionally taxing first semester before returning back to school from winter break. 17 days, just over two weeks, is clearly not enough time. According to a survey conducted by PrincetonReview, over 50% of students reported feeling stressed, 25% reported that homework was their biggest source of stress and on average teens are spending one-third of their study time feeling stressed, anxious or stuck.

Some people, mostly parents and teachers, believe that winter break should be even shorter than it already is because of financial and work-related issues. It is totally understandable for parents to have that opinion when they have kids who are 13 and under but students over 15 should be able to fend for themselves and enjoy a longer break. Most high school students can drive and if they can drive or walk somewhere they can typically take care of themselves. 

Many students at NHS state that school gets more tiring and stressful each year and when students are stressed from school they need a big break to feel refreshed and if students do not get that, then school is going to be even harder and stressful for them when they come back from winter break. As previously stated, winter break should act as a refresh for students’ brains and students are not going to get that when having to worry about going back to school in just a short couple days. 

When coming back to school after break, multiple NHS students state the second semester is a slump for most people, since they already had to go through one whole semester which is approximately 80 days. 80 days is a really long time when going to school almost everyday and this drains all students. 

A survey of the NHS student body says that over 70% of NHS students feel drained after school and the COVID-19 pandemic has made them even more tired by the end of the day. In fact, according to KSTP some schools around the U.S. are extending winter breaks due to pandemic exhaustion. According to Quora, a discussion board type website, some school students are tired because it is not easy to learn new things. Learning takes mental effort and dedication and physically burns many calories making people tired and drained at the end of the school day. Since learning already takes a toll on students, having to come to school during the pandemic has proved to make it worse, therefore students need a big break because there is so much pressure on students and their brains. 

It is unjust that most colleges have a longer winter break than high schoolers. College students, while it varies, get just shy of a month of school off. Bethel College has winter break from Dec. 16 to Jan. 11 which is 26 days. College students are properly rested before going back to courses and highschool students are unable to as they have a shorter break. High school should be a place where students can enjoy learning new things without feeling ill by the end of the day. To do so, winter break should be longer for students to get a good rest before starting the second semester.