How Students Get Through the Three Weeks Between Breaks


As Williston students arrive back on campus following Thanksgiving Break the community gears up for what some argue will be the hardest three weeks of the years.

Returning back to campus after breaks is a tough task; many come back reminiscing on their time spent with family, friends, participating in fun activities, and eating good food. This short time back at Willison between Thanksgiving and winter break poses even greater challenges for many students and teachers.

Historically, Williston’s schedule allows students to have a two week break at the end of the first trimester during Thanksgiving. Following this students come back to campus for a rigorous 15 school day stretch of work ending with a three-week winter break.

As a way to welcome the community back, an all school assembly was held on Tuesday, November 29. During this assembly many of the deans put a large emphasis on the importance of the next three weeks. During this time it is common to slack off or still be in the “break mindset,” although their plea to Williston students was well received.

Kimberly Polin, Williston’s Academic Dean, suggested that students stick to the productive strategies they used in trimester one in order to start off the new trimester strong.

“Rely on the structures that worked for you when you were felling good,” she said. “For everyone this is different. For some it might be using your frees to get work while others might find it more helpful to meet with teachers during this time.”

Additionally, Williston’s Dean of Students, David Koritkoski, acknowledged that this can be a tough time for students.

“It is an interesting time of the year. With the start of a new season, it has a very high intensity feeling to it. The beauty of this, is that you go about a month and then get a break,” he admitted. “We made it through the hardest stretch of the year.”

As we enter a new trimester, many Williston students are taking new classes and participating in new afternoon programs. This can cause many to become easily stressed or overwhelmed by their unfamiliar schedule.

First year sophomore Beckett Collins revealed that the addition of new classes to his schedule has been a strange adjustment.

“This trimester CORE got added to my schedule. This class is only once a week every green and blue week,” he said. “Although two classes does not seem like a crazy addition, it makes a big difference for someone who usually rests or does work in-between classes”.

CORE is a student life program that began with the freshman but was introduced to the sophomore class this year. In the following years these classes plan to be introduced to juniors and seniors. CORE teaches students about a variety of things including student wellness, healthy relationships, and sex education.

Although September and November are usually known as crunch time for seniors submitting applications, many seem to disregard that many still are submitting regular decision applications into the new year.

Senior Pippa Berry, from Longmeadow, Mass., is struggling to find time to complete all the things she needs to do.

“Its a lot because I have quizzes and tests in every subject,” she said. “For seniors that are applying regular to places, it was already hard coming back from last trimester trying to apply to places. Now it is just a nightmare.”

Additionally, many teachers are trying to fit in a whole unit before we head off for break again.

Zah Ewen, a junior from Baldwin, N.Y., explained how the current material seems very crammed.

“Teachers tend to take this opportunity to teach a whole unit and then have a test on it,” she said. “It almost feels like a mini assessment week”.

Second year psychology teacher Tyla Taylor sympathizes with students during this time.

“As a teacher I am also feeling very rushed,” she agreed. “It puts students and teachers in a hard spot because we have to balance the content and leaving for break at a good end point.”

“During this time,” she added, “I think it is very important to recognize and proceed with awareness that it is a lot of work for both students and teachers.”