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Case Culture: Summer break shouldn't break your back

Alex Cooke

Issue date: 4/24/09 Section: Opinion
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Summer's coming. Soon we will be frolicking carefree in fields of flowers, sipping lemonade and playing sandlot baseball while hot dogs sizzle on the grill.

Or maybe not. But seriously, summer is on the way. Are you prepared? Did you get your internship? Set up that hot job? No? Are you stressing about it now? I know people that are flipping out. And yes, I do mean flipping out. Have we forgotten what summer break is all about, why this period of time is so named? We need to take our time back and reclaim what's rightfully ours.

Few would argue against the idea that Case students run themselves down both mentally and physically through the course of the year. The punishing workload and over committed extracurriculars tend to turn students into somewhat bitter, always tired, shells of their former selves.

And yet, as summer rolls around, they scramble to fill that hundred days with more punishment, whether through jobs, additional classes, or internships. They forgo the very thing summer could be - a break - and end up returning in the fall no more rejuvenated than they were when they left. The question is, are you finding the right balance?

Many people take jobs over the summer to pay for school or the like. You'll find no argument from me here. If you need money, there's really no way around that. The situation gets a bit more complicated when we look at summer internships, and even more so when we examine classes. Many people are convinced that if they do not take advantage of internships at every possible juncture, they will not stand out from other candidates. However, what few fail to consider is the impact this has on one's mental reserves. If you can't come back in peak form come fall, what's the point? College is about academics first.

Even more interesting are summer classes. People take these for many different reasons. Some take them because they failed the class, some to make their school year lighter, some to get ahead, and a few ostensibly for pure enjoyment. If you enjoy a class and it doesn't run you down, by all means, take it. However, if you're piling on classes to get ahead for the years to come, think it through. Do the math on how many credits you need to take each semester. The mental break you could get out of your summer might far outweigh the benefits of being a class or two ahead.

Really, the point is that we sometimes forget that it's called summer break for a reason. As we approach the end of the academic year, think carefully about whether that extra résumé padding is really worth marching through without any rest. This isn't to say that you shouldn't take advantage of opportunities if they're worth it to you. But if you're stressed, consider a break.
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    George Patsourakos

    posted 5/01/09 @ 6:33 PM EST

    I agree with the Case Western Reserve student that summer break should be a time when students relax from everyday stress. Unfortunately, many students need to work in the summer to help pay for their tuition in September. (Continued…)

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    In This Issue


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    • Forgotten legends: the blockade of Euclid Avenue
    • Hudson Relays
    • Planning ahead with life insurance
    • Second annual Relay For Life raises over $88,000
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    • Source of success: fifth annual SOURCE Symposium celebrates students' research

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    • Top 10 Spartan sports stories of 2008 - 2009
    • What to watch for this summer

    Fun Page

    • Crossword Answers
    • Jumble Answers
    • Sudoku Solutions


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    • Editorial: Semester grades
    • Global Scorning: Earth Day: Don't assume it's only about "flower power"
    • Red, White, and Skewed: So many crises, so little time


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