Dear Professors, Fall Break is not for homework

Harley Marks, Opinions Editor

“Have a nice Fall Break!” your professor exclaims as everyone eagerly exits their last class before break, raring to head home. Fast forward to day two of Fall Break: you’ve finished your skincare routine and it’s finally time to make a snack and assemble in front of the TV. 

Out of nowhere, you get that dreaded email titled: Modification to Sunday’s Assignment. 

Sunday’s assignment? I thought we were supposed to be on break! Feelings of betrayal and frustration arise, as you think back to your professor’s well wishes and realize none of it was real. How can I “have a nice Fall Break,” if I am still burdened by three different due dates?

Fall Break: the long weekend that all Bucknellians yearn for the second the leaves begin to turn. Whether we choose to head home, travel, or luxuriate on campus at its quietest, there is no denying that Fall Break provides the recharge every student deserves at this point in the semester (or so it’s supposed to). 

I have never been one to travel around during Fall Break. This isn’t because the break only lasts a measly four days, but because I like returning home and basking in every possible homely comfort. After being at school for a while, home-cooked meals and showering without shoes become a luxury. 

After experiencing four Fall Breaks at Bucknell, I can confidently say that the same frustration has plagued me every time: the workload. Is the idea of a “break” really such a hard concept to grab?

My excitement to finally relish in relaxation at home is always immediately tarnished by the dreaded email reminder from my professors to complete a Moodle assignment. As a procrastinator I push off the work I need to complete for as long as possible, and am then burdened by it for the entirety of my break. 

Being proactive and finishing the assignments early isn’t even an option most of the time, considering the assignments are posted the Friday before break when people are traveling and off their emails. The root of the issue lies in the fact that professors don’t respect their students’ time. 

The purpose of Fall Break is for students to recover from the rigorous Bucknell workload by spending time with their friends and families. For First-Years especially, Fall Break gives them the time they need to process their college experience and regain the motivation to return to school and put their best foot forward. 

Nothing kills family dinners and movie nights quite like remembering you have to submit something to Moodle by midnight. This may be extreme to say, but I would argue that the audacity to assign homework over Fall Break is a breach of students’ privacy and personal time. 

For the future, I urge all professors to reconsider whether assigning their students work is worth sacrificing their students’ coveted Fall Break, which is already such a limited amount of time. As for the students, what I beg of all of you is to speak up when you feel that your boundaries have been crossed. Maybe this is the senioritis in me, but don’t be afraid to push back on assignments and prioritize your own well-being.

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