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Taking A Break: Why Students Need Time Off

1.Design Sweet 16 invitations
2.Learn how to use iMovie
3.Clean junk off the computer
4.Spend an entire day ravaging magazines at Barnes and Noble

You’ve just been given a taste of the many at-home activities I have planned over my winter break. Thankfully, my high school was kind enough to not take away our break time, even as Long Island was devastated by Hurricane Sandy (we have already made up seven days out of nine total). At my volunteer center this weekend, I met a boy who told me that his school had taken away their entire winter break! I sympathized with him. Though I deeply care about my education, there’s nothing more spiriting than having time off from school. Taking breaks helps students to de-stress, reflect on the past, and even get ahead on future projects.

Last week, I was extremely overwhelmed, bored, and dissatisfied with the monotony of my daily school life; I was excited for the upcoming week-long break. Every day, I sat in the exact same chair, overanalyzing the same civilizations, eating the exact same type of apple for lunch, and having to endure the overlong bus ride home. I needed a change in my life. That Friday night, I accomplished many of the little things on my bucket list: watching Helvetica, a fascinating little documentary on the titular font, garnering international cookbooks from the local library, and purchasing a dainty new pair of earrings from the new shopping plaza. After all, there’s nothing more uplifting than the feeling of getting things done.

The following day, I also visited the Museum at F.I.T. and the Museum of the City of New York, two marvelous institutions—hey, who said breaks can’t be edutational? On Sunday, the highlight of my day was acquiring much-needed new cosmetics from the drugstore! Among those three days, I didn’t open a single book. And it felt great, knowing that I had the entire week ahead of me to complete my (future) homework. I finally feel as if I have extra time to accomplish my goals, both inside and outside of the classroom, with the February break. I feel Zen; I feel rejuvenated. I just needed a few days of a lull to calm myself down, to variegate my daily life.

At first, I was jealous of my fellow peers exciting trips to the Sunshine State, where they would be soaking up the hot sun on Palm Beach. But I was completely unaware of all the local activities, chores, and museum visits that needed to be eliminated from my bucket list. With great thought and planning, I made my weekend something to look forward to. Students need break time off to recover, to accomplish their own goals, to savor the latest issue of Seventeen, to sleep for more than six hours a night. February break serves as a luxurious time to escape the ennui of school life.



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