June 25, 2024

College is tough. Exams, midterms, essays, projects and finals all are inescapable realities of higher education. 

Students at institutions across the country and around the world all share in the pressures and grind to graduate. College can make the often-heard quip “Cs get degrees” evolve from the occasional joke after a tough exam to an unexpected reality when transcripts are released. 

While some students may have better access to resources, study materials, professors and finances than others, time is one thing essentially all students have asked for more of during their academic career.

Longer breaks have been a tenet of college schedules for decades, and that is not changing anytime soon. In fact, college culture has made the longer breaks a necessity.

 Students need time to unwind, but when the academic environment is broken up by long breaks that are too long during winter and summer months, it is unwinding much of the information from classes for which students often go into debt to pay.

Defining what it means to have a semester break that is too long is not an objective metric. It sounds harsh and even insensitive. Students use breaks to travel and visit family — how would keeping students in school for a few extra days actually change anything?

For instance, during winter break this year, California Baptist University gives students five weeks of break.  

Universities operate on schedules that have been proven to work, but they need to work both for students and faculty. Within many majors, having an extra week of academics for both semesters would give time for review and preparation for finals.

Class material cannot be covered in its entirety with the shortened time period. In-class lectures are forced to move to video lectures to ensure the material is covered, and if not they are cut. 

Breaks, namely winter and summer, should be shortened to accommodate the academic environment of students. It has been proven that incorporating repeated in-class review sessions directly improves exam scores.

More time in each semester with additional time to review material would give more opportunity for students to succeed at CBU and beyond graduation.

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