Fake Patty’s Day is easily Manhattan’s favorite fake holiday. On the outside, it looks like it is an excuse for wild parties and excessive drinking. But there is something most don’t consider when they are hanging out with friends, going down to the bars or hiding out in their secret underground bunker waiting for the party to end.
The week before spring break is usually one of the worst of the semester, and it is by design.
In the fall semesters, Thanksgiving break is usually three weeks before the term ends. By that time, many midterms have already been taken and Thanksgiving break is just a week off. In the spring semester, spring break is right in the middle of the semester, meaning students have done just enough coursework to be tested on.
Some students say that wrapping up a chapter of their schooling before break is better than having a massive review when they come back. Let’s face it, very few students actually do their homework over break.
The bottom line: Fake Patty’s Day gets mixed reviews. But a holiday before the onslaught of midterms is generally well received.
According to Hale Library Help Desk statistics for questions asked during March 2013, the build up to spring break begins in February. While the service averages 475 questions in a normal week, the two weeks before break had 530 students using Library Help. It dropped to 457 the week before spring break, maintaining a high turnout early in the week and a lower turnout on Thursday and Friday.
Many tests are the week before break, so many students would be studying the week before their exams, rather than the days and nights before them. Once done with classes before spring break, some leave early, meaning fewer students are in Manhattan or on campus to utilize library services.
But even with exams often the week before spring break, many students from all over the state and even country indulge in the Fake Patty’s Day festivities.
Jonathan Butler, sophomore in journalism and mass communications, is one of many students who looks forward to Fake Patty’s Day.
“Everyone is friends on Fake Patty’s Day,” Butler said. ” I understand people who are against drinking like that. I just like having one day where I can relax and have fun.”
Drinking, however, isn’t the only concern for those who aren’t so fond of the holiday.
“I’m just not a fan of that kind of drinking,” Zachary Percival, freshman in geography, said. “More likely than not, I will be doing nothing that day [or] maybe studying.”
However, the ability to do nothing is quite appreciated due to people planning around both Fake Patty’s Day and spring break.
“Student life is kinda stressful,” Percival said. “What goes on that day is up to everyone else, but it’s good to have a holiday before spring break. The expense is probably the worst thing about college, but homework and tests don’t help. Professors in certain classes will put their midterms right there during the week running up to break. That just makes it worse for everyone.”
Though Percival did not feel like his major was particularly hard, Austin Boerger, sophomore in computer science, said his major is more difficult than others. Boerger mentioned how much fun he would be having after Fake Patty’s Day.
“I have two or three exams, on top of two essays and two projects that are all due that week right before break,” Boerger said. “That week is not going to be fun. It is a definitive incentive for me to relax as much as possible on Fake Patty’s. I like Fake Patty’s Day. It brings people here, and it brings people together.”
So no matter where students stand on the matter of drinking, the day or perhaps that weekend, it is often seen in a somewhat positive light due to the amount of coursework due the week after Fake Patty’s Day before spring break.