The Middle School can live up to its reputation as a stressful environment, but a lot of that is due to students not taking advantage of breaks from academics during the school year. The beginning of the first semester is filled with no homework holidays and exciting school events, such as retreat and spirit week. However, many students get swept up in the anxiety of the year and choose to opt out, focus on stressing over their school work instead of enjoying events or time off. Extracurriculars and new friendships can be exciting for students and help create a focus and joy for the new year. Students are on the middle school campus for three years, and although it can be nice to prepare for the future, it is also important to find a good balance between school-work and fun.
Since schedules are fixed, students interact with the same people daily. This is why retreat is a crucial time to bond with classmates and meet new people. This is especially true for seventh graders who are now all going on the same retreat. Retreat also allows students to engage with each other in a work-free and unplugged environment, allowing them to focus more on enjoying each other’s company. This stress-free time should be taken advantage of because students rarely interact in groups with peers they do not know well out of school.
Rest and Recharge weekends, or R&R weekends, are also important for students to find balance because they allow students to focus on their extracurriculars and friendships. School can be overwhelming because there are so many tasks to balance and different pressures, and R&R weekends take one of those larger pressures away. Although it is always good to be ahead of the work schedule, students oftentimes worry more about the work they have, instead of actually getting their work done. Students can take time to study individually but should also make sure to take breaks to do other activities as they are also vital to learning and staying focused. These times can also be a great time to catch up on extracurricular and do other enjoyable activities. People also tend to worry too much about work over the weekends, which can be detrimental to the fun parts of life. The weekends are great for fixing the exhaustion of a week’s worth of hard work, and they are also a good time to sleep in and catch up on television. Students should not feel ashamed of being unproductive because relaxation helps productivity later on and R&R weekends are planned for relaxation.
Homecoming and Spirit Week are other important events to bond with peers. Homecoming is one of the few events all year with students from both campuses. This allows students to get used to the high school campus, see older friends and acts as another important reminder that we are part of a larger community, not just an isolated campus. Rides and sports games can be an enjoyable break from school. Seeing the whole community support a sports team or cheer at our Friday prep rally shows school unity and the support for one another. Even other days of Spirit Week show excitement and energy, and planning your outfits and seeing other dress up can be fun.The fall student council event happens at the end of the month and is a great chance to balance student schedules.
All of these breaks and events are all created to help balance out the stress of the school year with some fun activities, and students should take advantage of them before they fade away.