As Spring Break rapidly approaches, some of the more joyless voices in the media find themselves wondering why it still exists. After all, they reason, it's not as if we do anything productive with it. Most of us just laze around the house or go on vacation with our families, which according to respected columnists like this one doesn't serve any purpose at all. The assertions made by these people reinforce my belief that a higher than average percentage of social journalists weren't loved as children.
It never ceases to amaze me how some people seem to regard any sort of break from the perpetual grind of student life as some sort of assault on productivity. Yes, Spring Break is a period of unproductive time that could be used to narrow the ever widening gap in test scores between us and our future Chinese overlords, but you know what advantage we will have over them? Infinitely fewer stress-induced heart attacks. I don't know about anyone else, but I need that one week of downtime between third and fourth quarter to rest, reflect, and not do schoolwork. Spring Break gives students an opportunity to alleviate the often crippling stress that accumulates over the course of third quarter, and to prepare for the stresses of fourth quarter and finals. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to catch up on the sleep our ludicrously busy schedules don't allow for. In a society that encourages us to take pride in the number of activities and social commitments we can juggle without losing our minds, an occasional enforced rest period is essential. Without it, most of us would probably self-destruct spectacularly. So, I'm rather firmly in favor of Spring Break.
What do you think of Spring Break? Is it absolutely essential, or just unnecessary? Do you need that period of rest between third and fourth quarters too, or is it just me? Please comment, even if it's hate mail.