Onward Debates: Fall Or Thanksgiving Break?

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

As we reach the middle of the semester, many students are feeling the wear and tear of having no days off since Labor Day. While Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, seeing our friends at other schools enjoy their fall breaks is certainly a bummer.

However, while we may not have a fall break, we do have a full week off for Thanksgiving, while many other universities don’t.

No matter what side you ~fall~ on, everyone itches for a break at some point. Two of our staffers debated which break they’d prefer.

Emily Grill: Fall Break

Five weeks of school is hard. Doing 12 straight weeks out of a semester’s 15 is even worse. Students are not superhuman, and we need a break. It’s not fair to us mentally to be expected to go to class every day for that long and expect to perform our best. Additionally, a majority of the student population is also involved in other organizations and activities that require a lot of effort. And, let’s not forget: we’re college students. We like to go out and have fun from time to time. 

So how is it reasonable that Penn State gives us no days off from the day we start in August until the week of Thanksgiving? The simple answer: it’s not.

People are wondering why everyone all of a sudden starts to get sick in the middle of the fall semester, and I can almost guarantee this is why. We’re tired, overworked, and need to relax. If we skip class cause we catch the “PSFlu,” we fall behind, forcing us to work twice as much when we feel better, which may cause us to fall back into that same cycle over again. It seems to be get sick, recover, repeat for many students these days. 

Many may argue that the week of Thanksgiving off is equivalent to spring break during the second semester. However, when you think about it, it’s not. Spring break falls closer to the middle of the semester than Thanksgiving break does.

Many may argue that bringing back wellness days would solve this problem. While a day off here and there was nice, let’s face it — wellness days didn’t do much for a lot of us. It was either an excuse to catch up on assignments or go out and grab a drink. 

Having a fall break at the beginning of October would be ideal for all students mentally and physically. Period. 

Joe Lister: Thanksgiving Break

Don’t get me wrong — I understand the frustrations of having no fall break. I’m tired too; I could use a week off. It would be really nice to have a few days right now to relax and reset.

Here’s the kicker — a full fall break means a shorter Thanksgiving. Academically, a Thanksgiving reset means so much more.

I can use a fall break to take a breather, but what happens going into finals week? I’m exhausted all over again, this time with final grades on the line.

I can push through a few extra weeks without a break. I’ll try to sleep better, take a day off on the weekend, and do what I need to do. A Thanksgiving break after that push lets me go home, take a deep breath, and come back to school ready to put my head down and study for finals.

For my grades (and for my mom, who says that she’d rather see me at Thanksgiving), I’d like to keep the current full Thanksgiving break.

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About the Author


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