A Vacation from School—Why you Need One

Time off is important, not just from work, but from school too.  Just like work, students need to have time off to refresh themselves and increase their performance for the next set of courses.  School time is busy, and usually there isn’t much time to do any fun or relaxing stuff.  For a vacation, summertime seems like the right time to me.  Starting back up in the fall and stopping in June can give you a nice full summer of focusing in on other important aspects of your life.  There is just a great feeling of waking up with a beautiful day and having nothing to do.  Without a vacation, its all work and no play, which can make you feel bad, but it can also affect your health.

There are short- and long-term benefits to recharging yourself by going on a vacation.  It doesn’t even have to be to someplace only reachable by plane,  though that would be nice.  Having time off school to relax, enjoy family and friendships, practice a hobby, or just reflect on your future plans is important.  That time allows your brain to relax and reflect on what you have learned over past semesters.  Spending time with an old friend, taking a family vacation together, or catching up on your favourite TV show all sound like a good idea once and a while.

Some people, though, take semester after semester without summers off.  I used to do that, but you just can’t relax at all.  Doing that for year after year can really drain you and it could also have a negative impact on your health, relationships, and overall happiness.  Getting enough sleep is especially important for learning too.  For example, one research article states, “sleep–particularly rapid eye movement (REM) sleep–is a way for the brain to store new information into long-term memory … through a process called sleep spindles”.  This research also shows that getting less than six hours of sleep will stop sleep spindles and hinder new information from being stored into long-term memory.

Taking a vacation sounds like a thing for the rich, some may say, but you don’t even have to have a lot of money to do it because you can just take it easy at home and catch up on all the things you love doing.  Even just taking a week off completely (if you have any vacation days at work) could make a huge difference in your health and mood.  So really, vacation time is for everyone.

Yes, you may still have a job either part-time or full time, but just removing that responsibility of having to do schoolwork through the summer can really make a difference. If vacations relieve stress, that in turn would improve our health by reducing heart disease risk, improving our immune system (to keep illnesses away), and might even improve our sleep quality.  All these benefits would have long-term effects too.  So, I know I wont neglect to take a vacation this year, and probably every year.

Greer, Mark.  (2004) Strengthen your brain by resting it.  American Psychological Association. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/strengthen