Dec 142003
Authors: Erin Frustaci


Only one more week is left of studying, getting up early, test

taking and trekking to class. Finals will soon be over and it will

be time for a break.

For some students, Winter Break is a time of relaxation,

spending time with family and friends and pushing school far from

their minds.

This can make getting back into the school routine a little


“On topics like math, I completely forget everything I’ve

learned and it’s like I have to completely re-teach myself simple

things like basic algebra,” said Rachel Pember, a sophomore

psychology major.

Joe Champ, assistant professor from the Department of Journalism

and Technical Communication, admits that he does notice a

difference in students after break.

“The first thing I notice after an extended break is the length

of time it takes to get my students’ attention,” Champ said.

“Usually after my fourth attempt to quiet everybody, they finally

get the idea and settle down.”

Champ said this is a short-term problem though and that he

believes in the long run the break really is an advantage for


Anne Wilcox, director of Academic Advancement Center, believes

keeping the mind fresh over break can be beneficial. She said there

are many things students can do so they can make the transition

back to school go more smoothly.

“Get lots of sleep over break, I don’t think I need to tell

students that. I would recommend using the mind in fun ways such as

crossword puzzles, card games or any game where you use your mind

to think or strategize,” Wilcox said.

She also encourages students to find out what textbooks they

will be using for the next semester and to try to get them


“If nothing else, a few days before classes start, glance

through the textbooks to get an idea of what topics will be covered

and to get your minds revved up a little bit,” she said.

Alonso Garcia, a junior business major, reads books and

magazines over break. He thinks this might be what helps him.

“For me, it’s not too hard to get my mind back on track. It’s

just the way I am,” Garcia said. “I have trouble after summer

because it is so long, but a month doesn’t really affect me.”

Lissa Fischer, a senior finance major, doesn’t think it is easy

to come back to school after break.

“Sometimes I feel like it is hard to get back into studying

after a long break. It’s definitely hard to concentrate and to pay

attention in class when you have been doing whatever you want for

the last month,” Fischer said.

For many students, doing something fun that keeps their mind off

school for a little bit is just as useful. Such things include

hanging out with friends, going to a movie or going out for ice


Champ agreed it is important to recognize the benefit of taking

a break. He said he tries to leave work behind every once in a

while, just to relax.

“I think it is important for students to give themselves a true

break, cleanse the old brain and maybe they’ll come back more


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