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Not enough time

The struggle to balance winter break and midterms due to the district’s scheduling
Isaac Brenner ’26

Winter break: a time to celebrate, see your friends and family and release the stress school brings. Being the first major time off in the year, students can let back and relax, not worrying about homework and tests. It really is “the most wonderful time of the year,” until it ends, and reality hits you fast. Coming off the break, there is only one week until midterms at South—one of, if not the most mentally draining part of the entire year. Why must these be scheduled consecutively?

School is not a priority over winter break. Students are not worrying about their grades and assignments; rather, they are enjoying their 10 days of freedom. Naturally, content is forgotten as students are not actively learning over an extended period. The semester ending is practically a reset button for all classes in terms of grades and information taught, so forgetting some subjects would not be an issue. However, with midterms being shortly after our time off, the struggle to remember topics that were covered in class comes to hurt during exam time.

Lack of focus carries into the first few days back from break. Being away for so long makes it tougher to get back into the routine of showing up and being actively ready to learn every day at school. There is undoubtedly about a two-day hangover period for students to get out of their Christmas funk, but there is no time for this. They have just eight days of school before exams, so not being 100 percent engaged for any of them puts you at a disadvantage for midterms.

Especially for students who take multiple AP and honors classes, one week is simply not enough time to prepare for seven exams. Midterms can be over 100 questions covering content taught over four months of school, so expecting us to be prepared after just a few days of studying is unreasonable. The only solution to this problem would be studying over winter break, which also is unfair to pressure students to do as that is our first full week of having no school this far in the year. To receive the best score we possibly can, students need more time to get themselves ready for midterms.

Redistributing the number of weeks in the first and second semesters can be done to align midterms directly before the break. There are currently two more weeks in the first semester than the second, so shifting those weeks into quarters three and four would make it so exams would be finished the week before school is out for winter break. Another solution would be starting earlier, in August, and finishing by the last week of May. In comparison to many school districts in Michigan, South’s first day is considerably later than most. Though it is nice having all of August off, starting earlier like many others would make more sense come exam time in January. All in all, having midterms done and out of the way going into winter break would be beneficial to students.

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About the Contributor
Isaac Brenner ’26
Isaac Brenner ’26, Copy Editor
Issac Brenner ’26, first year copy editor, is a member of both the Junior Varsity football and baseball team.“I’m really excited to write actual news stories for a newspaper and things that are happening and really interested in learning more about Journalism as a whole,” Brenner said. Outside of journalism, Brenner likes to spend the majority of his time playing baseball. This year will be his second year on South’s baseball team as well as his eighth year participating in baseball. Outside of his high school season Brenner is on a travel time called the Grosse Pointe Redbirds.“I love the mental aspect of the game,” Brenner said. “Most sports are about physical dominance but baseball is about being mentally tougher. Every pitch is a constant competition with yourself and I love winning those battles,” Brenner said.Brenner describes himself as driven. Driven to succeed in tower, and driven to succeed in baseball. “ I describe myself as driven because I am ready to do whatever it takes for Tower”.

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