New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Opinion: Spring break couldn’t have come at a worse time

The university’s spring break comes amid a heavy study period, making what is meant to be a relaxing time a stressful one.
Daniel Yee
(Illustration by Daniel Yee)

Breaks at NYU are usually welcomed by students, who are craving a pause in the never ending cycle of assignments, exams, work and classes they go through for weeks on end. But the university’s spring break period, which is set for March 18–22, clouds this much-anticipated pause with added stress. The break’s timing means students are not relaxing during their time off; they are studying for midterms or working on class projects due in the middle of the semester. 

Above all, having spring break in the middle of midterms makes having a real break impossible. Students are put in a position where they have to choose between rest and academic success, which undermines the point of having a break at all.

Since most other colleges have spring break scheduled a week or two ahead of NYU, students also have to deal with the influx of spring break tourists in New York City while they’re still in classes. If NYU’s spring break was a little earlier, students could escape the city during peak travel times, or at least not have to deal with classes while New York City is more crowded — and therefore stressful — than usual. 

On the other hand, students who are traveling over the break  miss out on the chance to socialize with students from other universities due to the mismatched scheduling. Part of the fun of going to the beach or a new city over the break is meeting new people there, but if everyone else has already had their spring break, there are fewer opportunities to make new connections while traveling.

The psychological and emotional strain of managing midterms is already hard enough to deal with, but students are now being asked to study during one of the only times they have to rest during the semester. With the current schedule, students are either sacrificing time with friends and family to study over the break, or losing needed study time to get to relax for a few days. 

Students who choose to prioritize their academics — and let’s be honest, that’s probably most students — are dealing with one of the most stressful periods of study in the semester instead of recharging. Unsurprisingly, exams and academic pressure were ranked among the top-three sources of stress for college students according to a 2022 American Addiction Center survey. Exam stress was reported by over 89% of respondents, and study stress was reported by approximately 74% of respondents. If students are experiencing this kind of stress over the break due to midterms, it might be time for NYU to reconsider its schedule.

NYU’s spring break schedule is clearly not ideal, but it also wouldn’t be that hard to fix. Moving spring break up by a week or two would help most students avoid the overlap between midterms and vacation time, allowing them to get the most out of their week-long break. A change would only have a minimal impact on university operations, while having a huge positive impact on students’ stress.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Molly Koch at [email protected].

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Molly Koch
Molly Koch, Opinion Editor
Molly Koch is a junior in Gallatin concentrating in journalism as an art form. They’re fascinated by classical literature and its influence on the power of the written word. When they are not writing, you can find them reading their way through their endless TBR, running along the Hudson or Facetiming their dog.

Comments (0)

Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *