Give me a break. Give me a break. (No, seriously professors, give me a break)

In contemplation of the last two years on campus, I was astounded by the amount of work that I’ve been assigned leading up to, during, and immediately after breaks.  One would expect, at least at UofM (slight pompous jab at all other schools who aren’t as academic as us), to be continuously assigned work during the semester leading up to school-sanctioned breaks.  And that immediately upon releasing that last final or essay to your instructor, the break would commence and one’s brain could essentially be turned off until classes resume.

Evidently this is not the case.  For example, the two weeks leading up this spring break (even though we all know it’s definitely not spring), my professors plagued me with seemingly endless readings, essays, and in class exams.  Prior to break, I accepted the fact that my life would suck for a week or two, but that it was worth it for I would soon be on break: my brain could be in a vegetated state, I would be able to normalize my sleeping habits as well as indulge in a luxury I had yearned for for many months – REAL FOOD!!!

Feb. 28th came and went, my final essay submitted with pride, yet I was unable to turn my brain off.  After driving home to New Jersey (and pumping my own gas on the way), within the first hour I had realized the amount of outstanding assignments and work that still remained.  Despite taking an exam a mere week prior, I had been assigned a Philosophy paper due the Monday classes resumed.  Fair enough, I can handle one 4-6 page paper over the entire break – I am minoring in writing after all.  So I mark that assignment down on my planner and continue through my other syllabi.  A few novels for a history class, a couple hundred pages of assigned astronomy readings, it kept adding up.

My “break” had quickly turned into another typical week of endless work.  I don’t really understand what possesses professors to assign work during breaks, as it seems fairly counterintuitive to me.  Perhaps they think that because it’s break, no other professor would ever dream of assigning work, and therefore the student could devote their free time to the one subject in particular.  However, seeing as just about all professors do this, “break” has become a foreign concept to me.  Regardless of the reason for assigning the work, I believe this injustice must be stopped.  Let us put an end to this madness and take back the breaks that we’ve earned!

2 thoughts to “Give me a break. Give me a break. (No, seriously professors, give me a break)”

  1. Andrew, dont’ we all agree ever too particularly? I’ve had friends with the exact same problems and it honestly makes one choose to rather be in school for the same week, than have time off to only be bombarded with more work. I think professors are being pompous and sarcastic by giving out work over breaks, and laugh in their minds as picturing us struggling to get sleep while completing a complex assignment. Even leading up to the break is pure hell. Everyone is in their niche of study caves trying to plan for the weeks ahead, and even after breaks, it’s like we don’t have as much freedom as the squirrels running around campus. At least people treat them with respect and give them free food! We, as students, are treated like frigging superheroes, with human bodies, and preschool emotions. Go university standards! I completely agree as I remember contemplating if running out into traffic would suffice because of all of the work I have to do, since back from ASB. Luckily I didn’t have to do any work over break, but it went by so fast, and I spent break in Alabama with my organization. Needless to say, thank God I don’t have classes on Mondays, because I can stay in my one-bedroom apartment and eat fruit and do squats as I distract myself from the reality of academia for the next month and a half. Summer, where are you?

  2. See, it’s a funny thing…I thought that this “fake break” would end after high school. Back in the day, I didn’t even allow myself to look forward to that special week of peace and relaxation: I was well aware of the deception behind what our school district called “break” (and this included both winter aaaand spring break). So instead, I anticipated sitting on the beach with, why of course, my history textbook or writing a ten page paper for the duration of the plane ride instead of taking a well-deserved nap.

    Well, I thought that this “fake break” which you speak about, Andrew, would come to an end for us mature, hard-working Michigan students, as well. Clearly we were all wrong. The only real time we get to clear our heads is after finals, when we are officially done with classes (a.k.a. winter break and summer break). But spring break, man, spring break is never a vacation. And then I wonder the same thing, “Does my professor believe that I haven’t been assigned work in any of my other classes? That it won’t be a big deal…that in the end I will barely be taking time out of my break?” So Andrew, I totally understand your pain and I am on the same page. A change is needed!

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