Spring break—we all love that week off from school after midterms to take a trip down to Mexico, head out to Palm Springs or just sleep in and relax.
That break is the one time in the semester where schools close and students, faculty and administrators alike take time off.
The fall semester works differently. There is one week of class then Labor Day break. The next break is in November: Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving.
What good does that do? It seems as though students without a mid-semester break begin to be absent from class from exhaustion, which results in being sick or just too tired.
Many colleges on the east coast have a fall break. Some of these schools range from large and well-known schools to smaller liberal arts colleges such as University of Maryland, Boston University and McDaniel College.
Pierce College needs a change. A fall break needs to be implemented into the class schedule.
Allowing this change in the semester calendar can improve attendance rates and testing scores.
According to an article done by USA Today, students sleep patterns affect their academic performances.
USAToday.com says, “Sleep experts say the amount of sleep each person needs is largely dependent on the individual: Some people can get by with only five or six hours. The National Sleep Foundation says adults need seven to nine hours a night.”
The article continues to state that the lack of sleep in students also affects their health. It says that the adults who had little sleep at night had a high heart rate, which is a sign of unhealthy interaction between the heart and brain.
This semester, Pierce went nine weeks with no breaks. From Labor Day to Veteran’s Day there is no pause for students.
In the spring semester, the students at Pierce will have their long break six weeks in.
If the average student is taking 12 units, the minimum amount to be considered a full time student, that requires longer studying hours during the week leading to midterms.
We need a break. Give us a chance to catch our breath. You, the administrators and professors, probably want and need it too.