Relax, Andover

After the first three-day weekend of the term, students and faculty look refreshed and caught up on work and sleep. With just a day off, everyone seemed ready to face the remaining five academic weeks of the term. If three-day weekends are so beneficial to students, why are there so few three-day weekends in each term? The five-day weeks are so stressful and taxing on students, so why don’t we make more three-day weekends to help the students and faculty live normally? Three-day weekends are beneficial because they allow for an extra day to study and sleep. But they also take away a day of work. They create four day weeks, which are much easier on students and faculty than the typical five day week. A full day of Monday classes is inevitably a day of little sleep, large amounts of homework, and hours of tiring sports. When a three-day weekend rolls around and induces a four day school week, an extra day of relaxation is added while a day of energy-draining classes, homework, and sports is subtracted. Five-day school weeks are particularly draining because most students have two nights of homework for five classes and another two nights of partial homework for two or three classes. The full nights of homework for five classes, usually on Monday and Thursday nights, create the majority of the school week’s academic pressure. Students keep irregular sleep schedules because there is much more work on certain nights than others. When three day weekends occur, they make only one full night of homework. That allows the students a break from their sleep-deprived, pressure-filled academic schedule. But, this feeling only rolls around three times annually. The only other breaks from the grueling five day school week are Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which still includes programming made mandatory by the school, and classes beginning on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and Winter breaks. These are certainly not enough. Breaking the weekly grind that is the Phillips Academy curriculum, including three-day weekends and other breaks in schedule, are good for the health and happiness of the students and faculty. Faculty can also be included because whenever the student has loads of homework and tests, the teacher also has a workload of grading that is similar, and invokes similar irregular sleep patterns. Three-day weekends allow for regular sleep schedules and some relaxation, because students know that they have more than enough time to complete assignments. There are two college visiting days, one in the fall and one in the spring, and a day giving off as a winter holiday in February. Why don’t we add three more days at the end of the school year and have a couple more three-day weekends? Although the logistics of the academic schedule would have to accommodate such a change, I believe that the addition of more three day weekends would be welcomed by the students and faculty alike. Students look forward to three-day weekends, and savor them while they last. And if there were more three-day weekends added into the school year, the health and happiness of the students and faculty would benefit greatly. Ben Manuel is a three-year Upper from Mt. Pleasant, SC.