OPINION: Spring break is better than fall break, and that’s a fact

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Do you hear that? The sound of college students sighing with relief? The sound of your rich friends all booking flights to South Padre Island? The sound of old people jumping for joy as they get Manhattan all to themselves for a week?

All of it can only mean one thing: spring break is practically here.

While I would never turn down a chance to stop doing school work and focus on correcting my abysmal sleep schedule, every spring break I’m left with a peculiar feeling.

No, it’s not the feeling that it warmed up too fast and we needed more snow days this winter — although that’s certainly true.

Rather, it’s the feeling that our fantastic spring break comes at the expense of something else: fall break.

Why is fall break so terrible? While spring break provides much needed relief about halfway through the spring semester, fall break is an absolute scheduling disaster.

Fall break usually takes place the week of Thanksgiving Day to give students more time to travel and see their families for a turkey-induced sleepover. This would seem like a lovely concession if it wasn’t for the fact that the fall semester usually ends about three weeks after fall break is over.

What does this mean for students, then? A total lack of motivation in the last week of regular classes, followed by the so-called “dead week” and then finals week.

Most projects don’t carry over into the last few weeks of class because of fall break, and nothing new can start after fall break because it’s so close to the end of the semester. It’s a lose-lose logistical atrocity where nothing productive happens beyond final exams for three weeks of the semester.

In an ideal world, I think fall break would be more like spring break, situated in the middle of the semester to give students and faculty time to take care of business both before and after the weeklong chill session.

“But what about Thanksgiving Day?” the attentive reader may ask. My view is that most students only need three days off for good old Turkey Day: the holiday itself and the days before and after. It’s plenty of time for most people to get home for the feast and back to Manhattan in one piece.

Until the Kansas State administration does something about making fall break more conducive to learning, spring break will stand as a perfect example of how to handle things.

I don’t think K-State is going to change anytime soon, though. After all, KU has a fall break in mid-October, and we don’t want to be like the Jayhawks, do we?

Kyle Hampel is the reviews and opinion editor for the Collegian and a junior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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Those words you just read were written by me, Kyle Hampel. I am a 2019 graduate in English. I have strong feelings about barbeque pizza and the Oxford comma. I am a former copy chief, community editor, feature editor, designer and deputy multimedia editor. Beloit, Kansas, is proud to call me their own, along with several other towns I've lived in that aren't as special to me.