School Weekends: 3 Days Off, Not 2


Image by Piyapong Saydaung from Pixabay

Lack of sleep and high stress levels can cause students to have horrible and unfocused days at school.

Weekends are known for being a time of relaxation and peace knowing that you have a break from waking up early, writing essays, completing tests/quizzes, etc. But, are the two days really enough?

Cons of 2 Days Off
Having two days off is not enough time for students’ mental health. School is five days a week in the United States. But, not a lot of people take time to study the damage of having two days off while returning to complete five days of learning. According to freshman Sarah Flynn, in an interview with the Lancer Ledger, “Being in school for five days a week is honestly exhausting.”

One issue that arises as a student with a short weekend and long week is the relatable panic that comes with being assigned multiple assignments for homework. The University News states that “having a three-day weekend lets students break up their work” more significantly while also obtaining a larger amount of free time.

When following your school’s schedule, your routine might be shaped differently than what it originally was. Waking up early to arrive at school for five days causes your body to form a pattern. Then, during weekends that pattern quickly falls out of order. This sleep is highly significant since you need enough energy to get yourself ready so early in the morning. Your body will not have a positive reaction to the change since it’s drastic. However, a minor change going from four days off school to three days of not timed sleep won’t negatively affect your body as much. Even if the problem is still occurring, having a three day weekend is the best option that has a fair amount of school days with weekend days. This system you have created does damage to your body. For example, your body’s circadian rhythms shift. According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the circadian rhythms are “mental, physical, and behavioral changes that deal with a 24-hour cycle.” If not following the 24- hour cycle your body definitely suffers the consequences.

Benefits of 3 Days Off
The best solution for the harm to students’ mental health is to increase the weekend by one more day. The break would start on Friday and continue until Sunday every week. Students will find ease going back to school knowing that instead of five days they have four. As a result, the students will be more active in the classroom and be more willing to learn. The students can have a better chance of fully understanding the material being taught in the classrooms since they know they don’t have such a long week. From The University News it is shown that “feeling well-rested also helps students stay motivated and helps them actually comprehend and understand what they are learning.”

With the extra day off, you are given the opportunity to fall back into the sleeping schedule for school. The first two days of the new weekend provide a fair amount of time to fall asleep without stressing about having enough energy to get out of bed early the next day. The third day can be used as a method of regaining energy. According to The University News, “sleeping in” can help you “regain some of the lost sleep from the earlier week.”

With school everyday of the week there leaves no time for students to pursue certain activities and hobbies that they wish to participate in. Some hobbies/activities include reading for fun, hiking, working out, photography, etc. Learning is an important part of one’s education but so are personal interests. Without personal interests students won’t be able to express themselves. With that being said, there needs to be given time for these interests/activities to happen.

Not only will this change be for the students’ benefits but the teachers as well. With the extra day teachers are given a chance to grade papers and assignments without being overwhelmed and pressured to get the grades back to students. They can additionally have more time to prepare lesson plans.

How Mental Health is Affected
Attending school with high anxiety, depression, and stress levels will lead to many problems in classes. It is not an easy task to deal with these issues. In an interview with freshman Ava Morero for the Lancer Ledger, she explains, “[The] three day weekends [could] help with poor mental health that could be caused by things going on in school, such as bullying, too much homework, or stressful classes.”

Stress is a very common issue within schools. Most students feel pressured to receive good grades, have good relationships, etc. One of the main stress causers in school can be known as the pressure of passing a difficult class. BNI Treatment Center states how “without tutoring help” some teens “will stress about how they can pass the class.” Another example is parents. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, when parents have “high expectations” of their kids it can be a main “school-induced” stress factor. Having the extra day off would ease the tension for students when they come to school. Just the relief and comfort of knowing they get to have that one less day of showing up will make their week more bearable.

Depression comes from many things but one major common reason can be known as school. Unfortunately, bullying is something that is occurring more frequently as the years go on. As stated by New Port Academy, “research shows that bullying was a main factor in the increase [of] teen suicides.” This research was gathered “when students returned to in-person school after online learning” during the pandemic.

The Need to Reset and Recharge
Intense emotions, such as stress and depression, can certainly affect the students’ lives in school. In an interview with the Lancer Ledger, freshman Sarah Flynn stated how “whenever [she has] extended weekends, due to holidays, teacher meetings, etc [she returns] back on Monday feeling refreshed and actually prepared for a new week.” The three days could help students have time to reset and recharge.