The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: Give me a break

Photo by Photo courtesy of Daniel Ramirez

Opinion editor Caleb Powell discusses whether or not students should work over Spring Break.

It’s 6:30 a.m., and I’m up and at ‘em, ready to BTHO my next assignment. Now that Spring Break (Woo-hoo!) is over, students are back to waking up at the butt crack of dawn and passing out far after twilight. But, despite a nine-day respite, many of my peers still feel burnt out. Why? Assignments aren’t ever due during Spring Break.
Well, look no further than the infamous subreddit, r/aggies. You’ll find a myriad of students complaining about exams the Monday and Tuesday after the break ends. They whine about lab reports and being overworked.
As a fellow student and engineer, I know the problem. My generation simply doesn’t have the work ethic to keep up with college, let alone the real world. Because Aggies don’t work hard during the semester, they shouldn’t spend Spring Break relaxing or decompressing — they ought to spend their time at a job or studying.
The average student takes 12-15 credit hours per semester, but let’s take a look at my classes for an easy reference. I’m enrolled in three, three-hour courses, two one-hour classes and a one-hour lab for a total of 12 credit hours.
Organic chemistry requires six to nine hours of studying every week, but that isn’t much until you include homework on top of it. My differential equations assignments and studies add a mere six hours to the mix. And while I’m only getting one credit for my biomaterials lab, I get to spend two to three hours per week in Zachry and another 10 doing in-lab reports, extra credit and post-lab write-ups. All the other classes only add about four hours of work per week in total.
So, I’m spending 14 hours in class every week, and I only have — at most — 29 hours of studying and homework afterward! If other students taking the same course load as me whine this much, imagine how much people who take 15-18 hours complain about their work. There’s no way anyone could get burnt out of their classes!
Of course, let’s not forget the two jobs I also work to feed myself, keep the lights on and treat my girlfriend well. Between both my workplaces, I average 30-40 hours per week.
According to a 2018 study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, a measly 70% of college students have a job. It stands to reason that many at Texas A&M also work long hours. As such, they would be lazy if they didn’t keep working those mind-numbing, tear-inducing jobs during Spring Break (which on-campus workers totally didn’t do already).
Lastly, students spend so much time on frivolous activities with student organizations. Many Aggies are obsessed with organizing the largest single-day service project in the nation, planning some of A&M’s longstanding traditions or building their resumes for careers.
These activities meant to serve the Bryan-College Station community, build race cars and continue traditions like Muster or Silver Taps are optional. If students wanted rest or more time to work on their classes, they could simply quit and not partake in organizations that represent A&M’s Core Values, rather than use Spring Break as a time to catch up.
Spring Break should be used for students to get ahead on their work, not go down to Florida for some wet t-shirt contest. Every minute of every day should be spent making money for rent and utilities, studying for three upcoming exams or finishing every homework assignment due between March and April.
I’m so not burned out after Spring Break, unlike my peers. I don’t come home and pass out from exhaustion. However, I think I’ll just hit snooze one or two more times before heading off to class.
Caleb Powell is a biomedical engineering junior and opinion editor for The Battalion.

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