Students struggle to recharge over winter break


Andrew Burke-Stevenson

Students had hoped to use winter break as an opportunity to rest and catch up on classwork, but many returned to school feeling as if nothing had changed.

Grace Holleb, Features Editor

Traveling with family to relax in a warm destination, gathering with friends to celebrate the holidays or enjoying a time with no school work peacefully at home are ways U-High students would usually spend a two-week winter break.
After months of distance learning draining their energy and motivation, winter break was much more necessary than previous years, but when school resumed Jan. 4, many students didn’t feel recharged.
Junior Ardith Huner wasn’t assigned any homework over break but tried to use the time to work on SAT practice tests. Although she thought the time away from Zoom would allow her to feel relaxed, she said her break flew by much faster than expected.
“Even if you have more free time, it feels like you have no time at all because you don’t realize how all the time goes, just like that!” Ardith said.
According to Ardith, she desperately needed this break to divide her repetitive daily routine, and she longed for a complete break from school work.
“I really did need the break, and if I didn’t get it I would kind of crash,” Ardith said. “I think that’s kind of because we’re doing online school all the time now, and we’re at home all the time, so there’s not a different setting.”
Sophomore Ella Hultquist felt ready to return to school and conduct a productive routine again, but after the first day of school, she said the excitement left her immediately.
“I personally felt kind of recharged and was ready to get up early for school, but that was the morning of Monday,” Ella said. “After Monday, I started dreading going back to school and felt really exhausted.”
In December a few teachers told Ella about assignments that were due shortly after winter break. Although Ella technically didn’t have much work to complete, she felt compelled to study for an upcoming test and get a head start on a project.
“I felt like the break was full of me catching up on things,” Ella said, “when it should be a no-work time.”
Coming back in the new year, Ardith hasn’t felt much of a change. She is back to a mundane cycle of feeling increasingly behind on work and finds it difficult to feel refreshed.
“Usually, I see my friends and get back into the momentum of that and it’s like a refresh, but not this time,” Ardith said. “I’m astounded that I can’t actually get motivated again.”