Take the Break


Fatima Qureshi, Opinions Editor

It is truly a sight to behold–walking-in for Early Bird PE and seeing the tired faces of students going through the motions at 7:00 am. 

In my 3+ years at South, I have heard many complaints about long, grueling school days that only precede more hours hunched over a computer working tirelessly on assignments afterschool. 

“I think students would really benefit from the inclusion of even more early dismissal days,” Junior Abigail Lu said.

In light of the feedback given by students, last year’s flex learning days were implemented on Wednesdays, the idea being that students would spend less time in school with 25 minute classes and get to enjoy the day ahead. Also, there was the addition of late start Mondays when students arrived at 8:50. The feedback from the students was critical though. 

“Flex learning days were shorter and sometimes didn’t even feel like school days,” senior Katarina Petrovic said.

This year, though, the school implemented a new half day structure with early dismissals instead of flex learning days. Every other Wednesday students arrive at 8:00 and leave at 12:35. This means students have sufficient time in class, yet are able to leave at an earlier time. Wednesdays offer a nice mid-week break when school gets overly stressful with tests and other obligations. 

Lu shared her thoughts on the new schedule: “Early dismissals allow us to have a reset, a rewind where we can relieve ourselves temporarily of the stressors associated with school, whether it means catching up on work or definitely not touching it.”

This short day of relaxation also improve students’ mental health. 

“The early dismissals impact my mental health in a positive way because I come home earlier, which allows me to finish up the work left from class and still have time left over to go out,” Petrovic said. 

Breaks should be normalized in school with the heavy workload that comes with it. After the short day, most students are able to grab a snack with their friends, do some self care, or just finish their work early.