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OP-ED: Penn Needs Shorter Breaks


Edited by Amanda Nart, Original Photo from Pixabay / CC0

This may be "hot take," an "unpopular opinion," or even a "stupid idea" or whatnot, but I believe very strongly that Penn should shorten our breaks. I, Kyle F. Riddle (C '21) of nimble mind and of slender body, think that the University of Pennsylvania should, nay, needs to make Thanksgiving break begin at 4pm on Thursday and Winter Break a crisp five days. Fall break shouldn't exist at all. As I write this, I am preparing myself for an avalanche of the snowflakes who go to this school coming out of the woodworks to say things like, "I want to spend some time with my family and my new pup." Or "I need to recover from the semester's overwhelming workload and decompress." Maybe even, "I don't appreciate that mixed metaphor, Kyle." To all that I say: What is this, daycare? 

As a freshman (major still undecided lol), being home for two weeks with my family was objectively too much. I might never know how many opportunities to sweat in random frats drinking natty light I missed, or what incredible things I could have learned about writing and seminars in those days. Instead, I got full nights of sleep, went to a couple of doctor's appointments, and talked with my meemaw or whatever, I don't even know. 

If I can't fill this time with productive activity, what am I supposed to be gaining? These devil-may-care breaks send the wrong message about our student body. It says that we as Penn students are weak, that we're human and need to sleep eight hours nightly and eat regularly and maintain meaningful relationships with others. Rest and relaxation are not values that Penn as an institution should be promoting. Just because almost all similar institutions have longer breaks for their undergraduates does not mean that Penn should. Talk to your mom on your own time, babies.