A call for more long weekends
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 23:04
And so we’ve come full circle. With finals week looming before us, we bid farewell to blissful Saturdays and say hello to long days in the library. It’s about this time of year that I start dreaming of long weekends and sleeping in.
Here’s a thought: What if there was a way to include more long weekends in the spring semester?
It is time to give the UVM calendar a new structure, one that is generous with three-day weekends.
This is not a call to arms to slash the number of academic school days. Indeed, it is more of a practical idea to reallocate the number of days we already have off.
Let’s start with winter break.
We all know that winter break is ridiculously long. The first week is glorious, catching up with friends and family and enjoying the comforts of home. Then the second week rolls in, bringing other tidbits of excitement here and there.
It is not until the third or fourth week of winter break that things start looking bleak. Instead of going out and rediscovering our hometowns, we shamelessly troll the Internet for something, anything, interesting to distract us from the crippling boredom.
There is a low point in the fourth week when the books have been read, the video games have been exhausted and the holiday treats have been consumed.
It is at this point that I propose we end this madness and head back to campus one week early.
“What,” you sputter, “End break a week early? But why?”
Simply put, three weeks off is plenty of time to regain the sanity that was lost during the fall semester.
If we had started on Jan. 9, instead of resuming classes on Jan. 17, we could have taken the five academic days normally designated for winter break and sprinkled them throughout the spring semester in the form of long weekends.
In other words, we would still have the same number of days off, and the same number of days for classes. It’s a win-win scenario.
With five days, that is five three-day weekends for the spring semester. Imagine the adventures you could have, the glorious days of sleeping in and, of course, the extra time to study and get caught up.
As Organic Soul, a website that posts information about natural and holistic living, explains, three-day weekends give more time to improve our health by sleeping, exercising and devoting time to hobbies.
These actions are beneficial to mind and body: “Mentally, this can mean better attitude, a boost to confidence and more psychic energy to spend on other things than worrying about your problems. Physically, this means lower heart rate, blood pressure and tension, as well as better control of your breathing.”
A three-day weekend here and there would mean so much to students. That one extra day to get over a cold, finish a term paper or go for a hike would be a huge moral booster as well.
With this proposal, winter break would be shorter but it would be worth it. It’s time to shake the calendar tradition and try something new. Any takers?