14 August 2009

Vacation is for Relaxing!

Ninety Mile Beach in Australia.

It seems that vacation gets shorter and shorter every year. In addition to this, holidays are being taken away and summer is getting cut in half for many students. Long gone is Columbus Day; other holidays are also becoming shorter. Not only that, but schools now give homework over vacation. It is very rare to find a "good" school that does not give summer homework, Christmas homework, Thanksgiving homework, and Easter homework. Even worse, there is ALWAYS homework over the weekends when taking difficult classes such as AP (Advanced Placement). This is odd because AP and honors classes that give weekend and holiday homework are typically the ones that are the most tiring and difficult, requiring more time to recover after each. Instead of letting students rest, these classes just pile on the work. The only escape from homework is graduation.

Summer homework is becoming especially popular. Not only is it used to start off a class, but it is also used to get ahead. Common AP history homework is reading the first 5 or so chapters of the history books, to gain "an understanding" of the text. The first 5 chapters usually cover a larger time period than the rest of the book! Then of course there are always standardized tests to study for as well. Many incoming Juniors in high school spend their entire summer memorizing SAT review books. What kind of a vacation is that? So a student ends a very difficult year (it is generally agreed upon that sophomore year is the hardest in high school) to be met with a summer of more stressful studying. After a 2-3 month long headache, the now junior has to actually take the tests and keep up with everything else that happens in a 17 year old's life. These years in a young adult's life are when they need vacation the most, due to added stress of school, work, and growing up. Vacation is turning into an extension of the year; the only difference is that a student can sleep in past 8 am during vacation.

People seem to forget the importance of rest and relaxation. Vacation is meant to be a time to enjoy oneself and not feel an obligation to do anything. It really is a necessary state of mind, one that occurs less and less frequently. Society as a whole is scared of falling behind during vacation and does everything possible advance itself. There is always some sort of work that needs to be done during vacation. How unfortunate.

Image via Wikipedia


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