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Winter Break: A Time For Academic Productivity or Utmost Relaxation?

Photo+by+Enaya+Bokhari
Photo by Enaya Bokhari

During winter break, many students found themselves not taking a full rest from school, with some studying for exams, catching up on late work or trying to get ahead in classes. 

“I did utilize the break for academic purposes. I worked on a study guide for AP Environmental Science and a project for AP Statistics, as well as catching up on any classwork I missed because I wasn’t in class,” junior Eleanor Waldschuetz said. 

Waldschuetz’s AP classes added a lot to her workload before and during break in contrast to her sophomore. 

“I always have a project or essay to do in each class,” Waldschuetz said. “There’s more stuff to do and less time to do it.” 

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Keira Thompson, another junior taking AP courses, believes break time shouldn’t be about academics at all, and should instead allow the student to relax and take an actual break from the stresses of school.

“Honestly, teachers should — and thankfully did — know that we aren’t going to do anything over break. I mean it’s a break from school, after all.”

Thompson spent winter break relaxing. While she did have reading for her history class, she focused on making gifts for her friends and family instead. 

“I think it can be smarter to catch up on work, but I also know I likely won’t use that time because I’d rather do something fun over my break than constant work,” Thompson said. 

Sophomore Abby Landes, who used to do a hybrid of homeschooling and public schooling her freshman year, noted the challenge posed by transitioning into this year with new time constraints and workloads. 

“There was a lot more work last year, but I did things on my own time,” Landes said. “But now I have to get stuff done in short amounts of time, so it’s a little more pressure than last year.” 

Landes takes honors biology, chorus and theater, and devoted some of her break to finishing up assignments to balance her workload.

When describing her overall workload as a sophomore, Landes says it can be overwhelming at times, and getting sick always meant more work over the break. 

“I definitely feel winter break’s sole purpose should be for relaxation. What you want to use that time for after that is up to you,” junior Tori Filbey said. 

Filbey’s schedule consists of three APs: Biology, Calculus, US History, and an additional honors English to give herself a bit of a break from her usual course load. She spent the majority of her break with family, leaving the last three days for studying to get back into routine.

 “I went over some study materials to get my mindset back in school,” Filbey said. 

Freshman Arianna Dobbins, who also dedicated part of her winter break to finishing up assignments, believes this respite serves as a good opportunity for students to catch up or get ahead. While Dobbins’ freshman year course load isn’t all too bad, her first AP class, AP World History, is difficult.

“AP World History has much more work than all my other classes. This has impacted my overall winter break plan because it caused me to have more work to complete during the beginning of the break,” she said. 

Senior Kylie Odom gave her mind a total break from school, as she believes, similarly to Thompson, that winter break shouldn’t bring more assignments to students than they already have. 

“I didn’t really feel that much pressure because I wanted to treat myself to the break,” she said. 

Although there was some looming pressure over her to turn in an essay, Odom felt more comfortable procrastinating and getting it done right before school started. 

“I am not too productive over winter break. I just stay in my room,” Odom said. 

“If you keep on making students work on their break, they’re going to mentally not want to do any more,” Odom said. “It’s a break for a reason, I’d like to be able to relax and not have to stress as should the rest of us.”

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Enaya Bokhari, Staff Reporter
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