Thank professors for homework over break

By Kimberly Ngoh, Columnist

I hate to admit it, but professors may be doing us a favor by assigning us homework over breaks. As much as I’d like to believe that everyone needs an occasional dose of schadenfreude, this course of action is actually a very wise proposition. Take it from me, initially guilty of carping over the break hardly being a break with homework thrown in, but now reaping the benefits of this scheme.

Returning from break usually results in my treating the following week as a break too especially when it feels so close to the end of the semester. With just two more problem sets, or a final project left per class, I can easily slip into the likes of senioritis, leaving me to deal with bouncing between the temptation of giving up or working to maintain my GPA.

Aside from that, I tend to disengage from learning when an exam is over, or when a break comes around. If allowed a whole nine days off, I am capable of forgetting the daily routine it took twelve weeks to program.

With the above-mentioned tendencies, and finals a mere three weeks after the break, letting completely loose can be detrimental to my grades. Twelve strenuous weeks can be easily wiped out by my lack of motivation post-holiday, with my mind pining for yet more time off. Eluding this trap is necessary and made possible with the assignment of homework over Thanksgiving.

With classes out of the way, there is definitely time available to work on the problem sets you diligently complete every week, on top of classes and other activities. Besides, if it wasn’t assigned over break, it does not equate to a mysterious disappearance off the syllabus. It’s either crammed in somewhere else in the semester or thrown in where you can attempt it sans the stress of classes, with a well-rested brain and happy tummy.

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That being said, doing homework over break keeps you on track, avoiding an interruption to the rhythm of your weekly schedule. Returning relaxed, as opposed to fretting over the incomplete work, or struggling to recollect where your professor last left off, will prepare you to confront the last stretch of the semester head-on. There will be no need for a recovery period after the break, having maintained your work flow over the holidays.

Furthermore, the syllabus is there to help one plan ahead for the semester, be it for weekend getaways, sports competitions, parties or events and Thanksgiving break. Planning ahead can be tedious, albeit its benefits outweigh the effort it takes to do so. To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

You’ll hardly ever find yourself mired in a situation of unnecessary stress prior to finals, allowing yourself to perform optimally and enjoy your winter break to the fullest there’s no way professors can assign you work then.

Kimberly is a junior in Engineering.

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