College Life: ‘Break’ not a break at all with assignments, holiday plans

By Toni Ann Pennello - [email protected] | November 25th, 2017 6:00 am

Thanksgiving break has me thinking; I’m not sure why I always think “break” actually means a break.

Every time one comes around, the work gets serious. I mean, like, three exams on the same day serious (that might be an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

It gets to the point where everyone needs the break.

They don’t want the break. They need it.

It’s all anyone talks about. It is all consuming.

“Hi, how are you?”

“Just looking forward to break.”

At the same time that everyone is getting riled up for time off, every professor, one by one, starts assigning things, saying, “you can work on this over break.”

I’m not faulting professors for this. It seems like a pretty nice thing to do, and since it’s nearing the end of the semester, it’s crunch time. That stuff needs to get done. Sure.

In addition, I’m still incredibly naive every time.

“Wow! I get to work on this over break! There’s no way it won’t get finished, I have all the time in the world.”

I do not have all the time in the world. But this is always my reaction. I’ve never learned my lesson.

I finish my last class before break. I go home. I start to relax.

And then it hits me — I have work to do for almost every class I’m taking. And these aren’t five-page readings. These are serious, scary things, like big papers and presentations.

Suddenly the break seems a lot shorter, especially when one of those days is a holiday and I don’t exactly plan to write a paper at the dinner table.

Add on a job, and there’s really no break at all.

Don’t get me wrong, extra time to finish up work is great. But what about getting some time to regroup?

I wonder if this is how the break was intended. It seems to be that it just happened that way. Professors seem hesitant to give exams after break. Maybe it’s because they want the break to grade them. Maybe they are concerned students will forget the material after eating too much turkey.

Regardless, I am thankful that I get a break at all, and that I can spend time with my family before taking the last plunge leading up to winter break.


By Toni Ann Pennello

[email protected]

Toni Pennello is a Wilkes University senior who works in the Times Leader newsroom.