“Ski week” in the sunshine capital of the world

Why a week off in February is a great investment

Picture this: It’s the end of February, we’re almost done with third quarter. Classes have started again in full swing and we’re already overwhelmed. Second semester is notorious for flying by, but at the moment, it sure seems like it’s taking forever.

But there’s no real end in sight — Spring Break is way off in the horizon, another month and a half away. With the trauma that semester one caused us coupled with the seemingly increased workload that the spring semester often brings, there’s no other way to say it; we’re tired.

Our proposal? Ski week. And no, we haven’t forgotten that we live in Southern California. Ski week is a common tradition in public schools all around California. Students are given the week of Presidents’ Day off, and many head up to the slopes to “catch up on work;” or in other words, take a break. 

We know what you may be thinking — taking off a whole week of school? It’s unprecedented! Actually, it’s not — you may remember WAY back when in our elementary school days, when first semester ended in January and dinosaurs roamed the Earth, that Thanksgiving break was only a four-day weekend, in which we had the last Thursday and Friday of November off. 

That’s all we want here — to add three days to the Presidents’ Day long weekend, giving us a week to breathe before coming back in full. These days can be taken from summer (because in 10-ish weeks of summer break, who among us would really miss those three days?), or any of the random Mondays off that we get throughout the year. We’re not saying we don’t enjoy those Mondays (because we absolutely do), but they may be better off consolidated into one week where (in a non-pandemic year) we might even be able to go out of town.

The four months between Winter and Spring Break feel like an eternity — at this point, we tend to feel drained as we try (hopelessly) to catch up with schoolwork. Oftentimes, we shift to autopilot as we try to get through the work to no avail — it never really ends. Every time we finish an assignment, a new one replaces it, and with no end in sight, many of us try to take it one day at a time — and make no mistake, it gets to be overwhelming. 

When we traverse through the intense school year and barely survive the massive workload, many of us take to our calendars for a sense of relief and anxiously count down the weeks until Spring Break. We hope for the weight to be lifted off our shoulders — a bleak endeavor in February, with the idea of “late April” taunting us. 

The point of our plea is not to complain about how challenging and rigorous school is, or how teenagers are being endlessly overworked — that’s a story for another editorial. We’re not here to tell you (the administration) how to budget our days and run our school. Instead, we want to use this as an opportunity to share our views with you. 

It may seem silly to give us a week just two months into the term, but we promise you it’s not. We’re sure you’ll find that those three days out of summer vacation will prove to be a worthwhile investment in the mental health (and, by extension, the productivity) of your student body (not to mention teachers, too). Frankly, we can’t explain why we get a little extra burned out second semester, but it is what it is. 

What we can tell you is that this idea gives us so much more than just three days; it’s a new landmark in the calendar, a new checkpoint for students to work towards. While it may seem like a radical change to our academic calendar, it’s a step worth taking. We can’t quantify the expected results for you yet — but we hope you’ll read this article and take a leap of faith. Give it a try, and you (probably) won’t regret it.