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Opinion: Why Colleges Should Keep Students Home After Thanksgiving Break

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Three weeks. That is the length of time between Thanksgiving and the end of the fall semester for most colleges, for others it’s an even shorter time. Students feel the most stressed during this time because of upcoming exams and projects. So why do we force students to enter a high-stress environment for such a short period of time? There should be more consideration by universities to have students stay at home after Thanksgiving and there is multiple reasons why they should:

  1. Health and Safety:

As the new Omicron variant enters the country, there is going to be a spike in cases, according to the CDC. This is in addition to entering flu season. By preventing in-person interactions between students, professors and other staff at universities, keeping students at home after Thanksgiving will decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19. A number of small universities such as Sierra Nevada University have changed their schedule to keep students home after Thanksgiving break to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Plus, there will be less exposure from traveling back and forth from home. 

  1. Finance:

Students spend between $1,050-$1,800 on traveling per year, according to Emit – a company that helps students decide where to attend college. That number could significantly decrease if colleges were to move to an online platform after Thanksgiving because students will not have to spend money on two trips home and back. In addition, if they are able to, international students can spend more time at home because of the longer break.

  1. Mental Health:

Having a completely online semester has been proven to cause negative impacts on students – such as a lower GPA, increased loneliness and lack of motivation. However, having only three weeks of an online semester could be less impactful than an entire semester online. Students will have more time to focus on studying and change the habits they adopted at school which allows them to perform better on finals, especially since students are burnt out by the end of the semester.

These last two weeks can feel as though they are the busiest of the semester because of club activities, regular assignments and finals. A number of students have been shown to withdraw from courses once returning to campus after Thanksgiving because they feel they cannot pass their course. More schools in the future should consider staying online after Thanksgiving for the sake of their students.

Ava Cowles

American '24

Ava is a sophomore at American University and is majoring in Legal Studies. She is passionate about social justice movements, women's rights, reality tv, and all things Taylor Swift. Ava is a contributing writer for HCAU and is excited to spend the next three years in DC.
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