Amid the stress of midterm season comes a moment to relax for University of Miami students: fall break.
During the four-day weekend, classes are suspended starting today and will resume on Monday, students say they will decompress from eight weeks of classes and stress with quick trips home, journeys around Miami and some much-needed downtime.
Nate Raisner, a sophomore political science major at UM, bought a ticket home to Portsmouth, R.I., where he says he will spend his break catching up with family and friends. Raisner says that he is most excited to embrace the crisp air and browning leaves of autumn in New England.
“I am very much a fall person,” Raisner said. “I really like the fall weather and I haven’t seen it in two years.”
However, not all students are able to make the long journey home for the short four-day break. Roy Carrillo Zamora, a freshman undeclared business major and international student from Costa Rica, says that while he cannot make it home for the weekend, he is thankful to have several international friends staying on campus with him.
“I think it’s nice, because I am planning on studying and working on two projects that I have, so it gives me time to do the work,” Carrillo Zamora said.
While many students are thankful for the break, some students say that four days off is not enough time to really relax in the middle of a long semester.
“I think that having an actual week after midterms would make more sense for people, because a lot of people don’t know whether to go home or stay on campus,” said Charlie Francis, a freshman studying political science. “You’re getting two days off, which to call that a fall break, feels disingenuous.”
Though he will spend the four days off enjoying his hometown’s weather, Raisner agrees that a long weekend is not much of a break at all.
“It definitely should be longer,” Raisner said. “Fall break is technically only two days, you get Thursday and Friday off. If someone has a late class on Wednesday or early classes on Monday, it could be really difficult for someone to actually take time off.”
Francis says that with the stress of upcoming midterms, it can be hard for students to get their minds off of schoolwork. The solution, she says, could be to schedule all exams for before fall break to allow students to genuinely unwind instead of stressing over tests and studying.
Due to the short time off, Francis says she decided against flying home to Milwaukee, and has chosen instead to have her boyfriend come to her.
“We are planning to spend the break together, maybe going to Key Biscyane and some other spots around Miami that I would like to show him,” Francis said.
Whether fall break offers time to reset or time to fall behind, however, is something some students disagree on. Raisner says he hopes to feel rested and ready to push through until Thanksgiving break.
“I don’t think it will throw me off too much. I think it will actually help me get more motivated, because it’s a quick little break to just relax and chill,” Raisner said.
Francis, however, says she wishes the whole semester could have been fit into the first eight weeks and is not feeling confident about her return from fall break.
“Objects in rest tend to stay in rest,” Francis said.