Thanksgiving break should be a week long

Sophie Lesman

Image by Liam Killian

Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity to recuperate over turkey and pumpkin pie after long months of hard work before enduring the stress of finals. This year’s Thanksgiving break spans from Tuesday, Nov. 24 after classes to Sunday Nov. 28, only giving students a mere full five days at home to enjoy all things Thanksgiving. University of Illinois and Illinois State University offer their students a full week, so why not Illinois Wesleyan? 

With midterms finally coming to a close, Wesleyan students have worked harder than ever to stay afloat amidst learning in a pandemic, coping with mental health, and balancing a social life. Illinois Wesleyan prides itself in offering accelerated curriculum from esteemed professors that include a stimulating, yet oftentimes tolling course load requiring many hours spent at Ames Library. The stress that this causes, in combination with the struggle of returning full-time to the classroom, has made this semester especially difficult. 

The immense amount of anxiety that a majority of students have felt from returning to in-person instruction is highly underestimated as well. The psychologists at Counseling Services are seeing an immense increase in student visits, with appointments being booked over two weeks out. It is assumed that the impact of returning to in-person learning is one of the reasons for the sudden increase in interest. While the relief that fall break provided us was appreciated, it was also short-lived. With all things considered, Thanksgiving break this year is especially anticipated and a full week of it is highly deserved.

I am not an out of state student, but I cannot help but take into consideration those that have to travel for hours just to return home. Eighteen percent of Fall 2020 enrollment was composed of out of state students from all over the country, and even the globe. Classmates of mine have voiced their concerns to professors about having to miss class due to possible delays and fluctuations in airfare, trying to find a flight that won’t cost a month’s worth of tuition. Due to smaller flights and newly implemented security measures, this is an issue more than ever. To give a full week of a Thanksgiving break would provide more wiggle room which would prevent issues with traveling from interfering with school. This would also allow students that don’t have the convenience of only living an hour away from home the opportunity to enjoy the extent of their break without having to sacrifice a day for travel to and from IWU.

 For many, Thanksgiving break is the first time they are able to go home the entire semester, so spending time with loved ones is long overdue. Especially as we get older, the opportunities to see grandparents and older relatives are more valuable than ever, and the memories made at the holidays are most precious. Allowing a full week’s break can allow for more time to be spent with such relatives.

With finals right around the corner a week after we return from break, students are already scrambling to finish final touches on projects and essays prior to exams. While it is a time to take part in much-needed family time, Thanksgiving break is also time to catch-up, or get ahead in the last couple of assignments before the stress of finals ensues. If we received a full week off, this could be the perfect opportunity to both indulge in R&R and get necessary tasks done to end the semester successfully. Only having a five day break makes it unlikely that students will have the opportunity to do both. 

In making Thanksgiving break an entire week like other universities, I can guarantee that the entire student body would list IWU at the top of their list of what they are thankful for at the dinner table.