Counterpoint: Don’t be a turkey by not studying

By Sujay Kumar

With only two days left before Thanksgiving break officially gets rolling, many students at the University of Illinois are getting ready for 10 days of academic hibernation.

You all know who you are. Some of you are busy stowing away backpacks and pencils in places you won’t see or remember, and loading suitcases with everything needed to survive a week away from school: a pair of semi-clean underwear and a smile. You others are making five-page to-do lists of readings, homework assignments, projects and internship applications, along with lofty plans of reviving dying grades.

Somewhere between putting on your underwear and stapling your list together, all of your minds wander to a blissful time of turkey, hours of sleep and friends. Before you know it, 10 days have passed and whether you like it or not, you’ve done absolutely nothing.

STOP. Unfortunately, it’s not hammer time. I’m here to tell you that if you do nothing over Thanksgiving break, you are in danger of putting yourself in a compromising position. This is an attempt to save you from being screwed.

Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to run the gauntlet and finish all of your homework while simultaneously studying for finals. That’s a sure-shot way of wasting your break and having no fun. Instead, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to spend a few hours a day with a book cracked open.

I know that last sentence seems shocking and blasphemous, and if you haven’t stopped reading this yet, you’re probably thinking of doing so now. But, is there a benefit to picking up a pencil this Thanksgiving break?

Let’s take a closer look and break it down. Think of the hours you devote to your class work every week. There’s the chunk of time you kill trying to understand your homework, and also the time spent actually doing it. Tack on to that the minutes set aside to meet for projects and study for tests. Hmmmm, are we forgetting something? Oh yes, there’s also the time you’re in classes.

It’s no wonder that by the time you’re supposed to be listening to a lecture and taking notes, you’re so fed up with learning that you let the period pass with the newspaper, and trying to figure out what’s growing on the neck of the student in front of you. And then before you know it you’re behind again, and the cycle repeats.

But when it’s all said and done, somehow you still manage to have fun.

Now imagine a perfect week where there are no classes, no tests, no homework due, no pressure and infinitely more time to do anything to catch up, get ahead or just stay on track. And this is Thanksgiving.

It always sneaks up on you. It’s when you just realize that your grades aren’t that hot, and you muster up enough motivation to work harder that you’re suddenly given a week off. So this Thanksgiving, be safe and pack a pencil along with your underwear.