As midterm exams are in full swing, Baylor rewards its students at the finish line with a much-needed fall break, a Friday off in October to enjoy the cooler weather and perhaps some family time.
This semester, the mini-break falls on the weekend of Halloween, giving students a jumpstart on their harmless — or debaucherous — fall fun.
But let’s be honest: Fall break is an absolute hoax.
While a day off is never unwelcome, this one-day-only respite isn’t as spectacular as it looks on the academic calendar.
To remedy this, Baylor should either add an extra day — the following Monday — for fall break, or give a full week off for the Thanksgiving holidays.
Many Bears have no classes at all on Fridays, so having a one-day break scheduled for that day of the week isn’t much to them. It’s also not unheard of for students to make an early break for the weekend and ditch a full Friday’s worth of classes.
At Baylor during the spring and fall semesters, we have at least one break about each month, but the shorter, one-day breaks such as Labor Day and MLK Day are always on Mondays when the majority of students have class. Thus, it gives students an actual break from going to school.
Unfortunately, many students here and at other schools aren’t able to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday, either for financial reasons or because it’s simply not enough time off to make a trip home worth the money. This fall, the holiday is Wednesday through Sunday Thanksgiving week. But reallocating the fall schedule to allow more time off during Thanksgiving break would better serve students.
At the very least, fall break should include the following Monday off, also, to make the break worthwhile. A longer fall break isn’t impractical; in fact, our fellow private institution, Dallas Baptist University, grants its students a full week for this break each fall to enjoy time off or take off-season vacations.
Fall break, albeit later in the semester this year, is a mid-semester time of rest, and Thanksgiving break is a national holiday to reflect on God’s blessings. But the reality is just one Friday off in October is no more of a break than taking a Friday off at will.
A break well spent needs ample time to go home to family and enjoy a little relaxation, but neither fall break nor Thanksgiving break is long enough. Either the day off in October needs the boot for more time for thankfulness in November, or that following Monday after fall break should be added.
We all love a few days off from school, and we’re grateful Baylor justifies giving students a much-needed break after midterms. But without an extra day or two added onto either break, it’s just not worth it.