Christmas break should end semester, not be study time

Everybody enjoys Christmas break; it’s a time to spend with your family, relax, use your new gifts, sleep in, and wake up to a cup of hot chocolate. Of course, all that relaxation and free time is quickly thwarted by the tedious studying that is expected of students, especially with finals hitting students right when they return to school.

The placement of finals not only makes for a painfully stressful Christmas break, but a difficult time readjusting after two weeks of no school. An entire committee decides the schedule for the school year, and deciding where breaks go and semesters end is tricky; in fact, these schedules are established two years before the school year. At this point, a small window (approximately a week) of in-class time is offered to students after break, and some teachers may utilize this as time to help their students review. Others, however, may still have a subject or two to wrap up before finals week, rendering review time out of the question.

Face it: nobody wants to spend their Christmas break with their face buried in reviews for each class that piled up while they were away at their Aunt’s funeral. Though students are given plenty of time in advance to know when these finals are going to be thrown at them, life can be a bit less forgiving.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the simple fact that students aren’t going to study over Christmas break for finals. The holidays are meant for spending time with family and relaxing, and while it’s perfectly possible for kids to squeeze time into their schedule for some review, they’re not very likely to do it. They’ve already spent months going to school and studying every single day, and these vacations are meant to give students time away from school– that’s exactly why they’re there. It needs to be remembered that high school students are teenagers; they aren’t incapable of the responsibilities that involve studying, but when given two weeks off of school, they’re going to want to go skiing and hang out with their friends, not review science labs. Some kids forget that they even have to study. Other kids might not remember to pack their lab worksheet in their suitcase before they head out of the country for vacation.

So, when these kids neglect to keep their minds jogged for finals, they’re thrown back into the school system with no review, expected to take the finals and do relatively well. Almost any student can vouch that returning to school after a long absence isn’t easy; sleep cycles are messed up, schedules are all moved around, and mentally, nobody is quite like he or she was when he or she left two weeks before.

The last thing that I’m saying is “by no means, students, should you ever study over Christmas break.” If you have the time and motivation, it’s probably better that you do; it doesn’t seem like finals are going to be moved to a more convenient place anytime soon. If all else fails, a forgiving teacher may offer some review days before handing out the test. Just remember: finals are coming, and if you relax too much, they’ll show up faster than you ever wanted.