Should Hamilton consider winter programming?

By Deasia Hawkins ’18

After the onslaught of exams and papers during finals, the best remedy is a month filled with relaxation and reunions.  We prepare for this nirvana by packing enormous bags that we can barely lift and hugging our friends goodbye. We are not exactly happy about leaving our newfound friendships behind for an entire month, but our excitement to return home is great.

We then go to our respective hometowns; the lucky ones bathe in sunlight and the unlucky ones still don their winter jackets. There are a few who stay on campus and others who travel the nation or visit other countries. We choose to spend our break in different ways when we are worry-free. We zealously binge Netflix while functioning on new sleep schedules. There are some of us who work over break, desperate to earn back the money we spent first semester. Personally, I enjoy the reprieve from the all-nighters spent writing essays or studying for cumulative exams. However, Netflix seems to run out of funny movies, and I get tired of sleeping in before the month is up. My family does not seem to understand the concept of privacy, and I am pretty sure I gain weight from the lack of exercise and increase in sugar consumption. Suddenly, I am ready—eager, actually—to start the spring semester.

I know that breaks are exactly that; a chance to regain our confidence and sense of self, to reenergize, to go exploring and to possibly recreate oneself. I feel like winter break stops time. We are all stuck in one long moment that does not really contribute anything to what we want to achieve in life. I am not saying we should shorten winter break. For one, doing that will outrage majority of the student body (as well as some faculty). More so, everyone needs a break from the unstable, extremely stressful experience we know as higher education. However, students who do not necessarily enjoy winter break should be able to participate in classes or other recreational programs on campus over that time period. One should be able to choose to spend their break however they please, even if that means study sessions and rough drafts.

Winter programming should be available on campus. Of course, the main problem is getting the funds and convincing faculty and staff to stay on campus. However, offering classes and programs on campus during break is just a proposal. Winter break is a bittersweet time filled with the accustomed embrace of familial love and the restlessness of future-bound young adults. So for now, the “tradition” of leaving Hamilton—a place some call home—remains intact.

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