the need for breaks

The decision NOT to have mid term breaks this year at college was always going to be an unpopular one. We were one of the first colleges to start back – in early september. I won’t finish up until Christmas exams end which could be as late as 23rd December.

Creative Commons License photo credit: margolove

So that’s a pretty huge block of education – almost 16 weeks non stop (We’ve also had a study week before christmas exams taken away too). I could have done with this week off to catch up on things and not necessarily study, but just organise, relax and absorb everything i’ve covered so far.

I’m used to mid terms at this stage, so not having a break to look forward to is pretty tough going. Whilst i technically only have about 23 class hours per week, a lot more than that is required (if you want to pass exams).For various reasons i’m in college for about 38 hours per week anyway (and chuck in 10 hours in a car too spent going to / from college).

I learn more outside college than i do inside it, but i’ll be the first to admit that i need to be in class and getting assignments / projects for motivation. But not having time off will do some damage in that i’ll probably burn out before Christmas and lose interest in some subjects once i’ve done the bare minimum to pass them.

During the same period last year (sep – dec) i had two full weeks off which was great. I ended up genuinely needing one off to stay in bed all week in a bid to recover from pneumonia.

Anyway, like everything else, the reason for this lack of a mid-term break is blamed on the recession (see posts here and here). Not enough money to pay for staff development weeks which would normally take place on our weeks off. Plus of course having us thousands of students turn up for an extra week or two means more cash spent on campus.

I’d link to an official source or quote from an email or letter us students got about the reason why our breaks were cancelled, only we’re not kept informed about these things so i can’t…

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