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Commentary: Students and staff need a longer spring break

Spring break is something that is very important for those who have it. It allows for students to have a break, which is something that can be utilized in several different ways. Students do a variety of things with their time off, such as vacationing, playing catch up, relaxing and much more. 

However, many students feel like only a week is not enough of a break. After one of the most stressful weeks of the college experience — midterms — only a week to relax and take a break feels short. There needs to be more time given to students to have a real break to push us through the rest of the semester. Students feel burnout very quickly, and just having a week as a period to rejuvenate is something that does not feel full.

Primarily, students need a break from traveling back to campus. I know that the five-hour drive from my home town to Des Moines is not a pleasant one, and I would rather not have to spend my last day of break making that drive. While I would like to make the drive a day early, there is no way for me to do that. I know that as a religious person, my mother wants me to come to mass with her on Sunday (hence why I am unable to come back Saturday night). This means I have to stay at home until Sunday afternoon at the very least. I was unable to get a full break on Sunday due to the fact that I also had other on-campus responsibilities I had to go to that night. This is something that is making the week after break feel dreadful. This is just considering a drive back, however. Flights back are not the most stable system for students on a tight schedule. Flights get canceled, moved and changed more often than not. These changes are not determined by the students’ schedules. These things should not be the big stressor for students coming back to campus. Some extra buffer time would be a good solution to avoid this dilemma.

Another thing is that students and professors deserve a longer break. We do so much all at once, and with a campus culture that encourages everyone to do everything, a week’s pause is not enough. For some students, spring break is not a break. Break is time for some students to play catchup on their assignments or deal with family issues. Only giving these busy and stressed students a week to calm down and see their families is not sufficient. While I am not a professor myself, I can understand the struggle that they have when it comes to spring break. It is supposed to be a break for them as well, but they have to grade tens of hundreds of papers and/or tests. This is something that does not take a short amount of time, and the fact that they only have a short amount of time to grade it all is insane. Professors deserve a break just as much as students do, and the paperwork they have to do does not allow them to have this break. However, this is not to say that we need another full week (even though that would be nice). At the very least, I think that students need two extra days. This can allow for students to get back into the swing of things without jeopardizing their perfect attendance in their classes. It is something that is good for all those who are affected by it — professors included.

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