Breaking Winter Break

Staff Writer The end of the first semester is usually a stressful time for Latin students. Finals, projects, essays, all topped with miscellaneous extracurricular activities help build pressure. Just as quickly as all this strain is assembled, it vanishes into the long awaited winter break. For many Latin students, that first day out of school is a deep sigh of relief. They smile, because many are looking ahead to two weeks of laying on pristine beaches, hiking within beautiful mountain ranges, swimming in crystal clear waters, or just racking up hours filled with sleep and relaxation at home in Chicago. Whatever their endeavors over winter break may be, each has one thing in common: there is no weight of the stress of the school year sitting on their shoulders. Even if winter break is a hectic time for students, as they are constantly bombarded with family, friends, or shopping, most usually have at least a few days where they can sit around and do nothing. Days like that are scarce during the school year. During break, students regularly go to bed late, sleep late, and eat at inconsistent hours. By the time the second semester rolls around again, Latin students have just entered into that comfortable, easygoing winter break cycle. Somehow, in those two weeks (that feel like two days), the strains of school become as alien as when entering the new school year at the end of August. Unfortunately, early this past Tuesday morning, students were forced to arise at hours that felt foreign to them. Hours constantly spent sleeping for the past two weeks. Forced to shatter the relaxing cycle of winter break, many Latin students feel lost, not used to the idea of attending school. Instead of rolling out of bed to watch TV, eat a leisurely breakfast, or to bury their head in a book, students once again meet the rushed dressing and breakfast eating they were used to. For many, classes and schedules have switched around. On top of picking the cobwebs out of their brains, students must deal with new, unfamiliar teaching styles, while also trying to figure out if they have early or late lunch. There are two other sizable breaks during the year (spring break and summer break). Out of spring, winter, and summer break, winter break is the shortest, yet it is the most ferocious, taking the largest toll on students and teachers. Although summer break may be much longer than winter break, it is long enough that students and teachers have ample time to feel refreshed. They have been off long enough, and are ready to face the new school year. Spring break means that the end of school is only two months away, and both students and faculty, accompanied by warmer, more tolerable weather, are prepared to finish these last two months in good spirits. Coming back from winter break has always been, and always will be rough for students and faculty. If you can strike up a positive attitude, however, you will see that January and February are filled to the brim with shortened weeks. You will se that March isn’t all that far away. It may be too early to set your sights for the finish line, but keep your head up and don’t stop fighting until you reach project week!]]>