Extending Winter Break: Maximizing Student Potential

By Tabitha R Harris, Assistant Opinion Editor

Often millennials are shoved aside as nothing more than spoiled individuals with an irritating tendency toward self-entitlement. While it is true that many of our peers suffer from the disillusion that their existence entitles them to any and all rights, a large number of millennials present legitimate reasons to back up their claims.

Unfortunately, in any group of people, the louder voices typically represent the crowd and do not necessarily reflect the true feelings of the majority. My present concern may very well be seen as nothing more than a whiny complaint, or a sorry attempt to sanction laziness. However, I intend to give compelling reasons as to why winter break at Seton Hall ought to be lengthened to approximately a month once again.

It is now common knowledge that the 2015 winter break was reduced to two weeks instead of the more than three weeks of break which it had been in previous years. Talking with my friends and classmates, I heard a variety of responses to the change.

Some were outraged simply because they felt the university was infringing on their freedom. Others were legitimately concerned and when I heard why, I sympathized with them. Several individuals explained that the month-long winter break helped them pay their way through college.

While summer work was crucial for them, working over winter break gave them income to help cover the Spring semester’s tuition. It struck me that few employers would be willing to hire college students for the break only to have them leave after two weeks. That being said, it is also true that a month is likely not enough time for students interested in an internship, which would give them field experience.

As Penny Loretto admits in her article in The Balance about winter internships, “many employers feel that there’s not much a student can accomplish in…a three to four-week span… to make it worthwhile for either the employer or the student.” However, for those students looking to simply make some money, a month is certainly a helpful gift.

Additionally, many students attending Seton Hall hail from other states and even other countries.

As a college which prides itself on diversity, Seton Hall ought not to forget about its foreign and out-of-state students. In addition, two of my friends who were RAs in the fall semester of last year expressed their own frustration with the short nature of winter break. As RAs, they were responsible for closing up and shutting down the dorms after the residents had left. As a result, they left on the morning of Christmas Eve to fly home since both lived out of state.

Not only did they barely make it home in time for the actual holiday itself, but they were required to be back on campus rather shortly after New Years’ to prepare affairs for the coming semester. winter break proved to be even shorter for them than for non-RA students. One of my friends voiced her disappointment by reminding us that her time with family and friends would be signficantly reduced. By the time she arrived home, she would have to turn around and return to Seton Hall.

Breaks are wonderful things. I am positive everyone agrees that time to recharge and reset is crucial to success. The Christmas holiday in conjunction with New Years’ qualifies as one of those critical periods of rejuvenation.

By extending the winter break or even ensuring that RAs are not saddled with such a short turnaround time, Seton Hall can contribute to increased enjoyment of the holiday season. Instead of a hurried interaction with friends and family, students can relax and strengthen familial bonds and ties of friendship.

For those who see winter break as a source of necessary income, the proposed extension would aid them as they seek to pay their way through college. While it is true that some time will inevitably be “wasted” over winter break, relaxation and rejuvenation are necessary parts of life. What better way to spur an individual on to success in life than to grant them periods of rest and refueling so they are ready to face the challenges and demands which lie ahead?

                         

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 8th print edition.

Contact Tabitha at

tabitha.harris@student.shu.edu

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