WHS freshman and faculty make the most of this unique February Break

Results+of+survey+conducted+by+staff+writer+Divya+Rajan%0A

Divya Rajan

Results of survey conducted by staff writer Divya Rajan

Divya Rajan, Staff Writer

As the third week of February approaches, it poses an excellent question of how students and faculty plan to spend their time during this unique break. In the past, students and faculty have used this time to relax and perhaps explore new places and activities while away from the daily routine of school. How will the second winter recess be different this year due to the pandemic? 

Music teacher Claire Nalven shared how her excitement towards February Break still remains high. 

“On a scale from one to excited, I am extremely excited,” Nalven exclaimed. 

A survey comparing last year’s to this year’s February Break for the freshman class, conducted by staff writer Divya Rajan, found that the excitement levels remain similar compared to last year.

There was a 2% increase in freshmen’s highest excitement level, which was the most selected level for both years of break, though there was a 12.2% decrease in the second highest excitement level.

The survey also showed that the most popular activity students plan to do is to relax at home (91.8% of the students who participated in the survey). Other popular activities include sleeping in (87.8%), watching movies and TV shows (79.6%), and spending time with family and friends (75.5%). Additionally, travel was not as popular this year due to the pandemic. 

History teacher Kim Young will experience this change as she will not travel for this year’s break. Also, Young will spend her break with a new addition to her family. 

“I am planning to spend a lot of time with my newborn son Rex! Normally I would be traveling to an international location to adventure and learn something new. On my last break, my husband and I went to Egypt. I hope to return to that next year with a new adventure buddy and bring Rex along,” Young mentioned.

Freshman Caleb Graupera also plans to make the best of his break. 

One important thing is I’m planning to clean my room. Maybe even do a makeover. Another thing I want to do is spend some time with my family, spend some time with some friends. And then also practice some music because I have a bunch of auditions in the future,” Graupera stated.  

Freshman Mariam Toure described her thoughts about the upcoming break and what activities she plans to do. 

“I’m very excited! Skiing, sleeping, watching shows, seeing family and friends virtually, and spending time with my bunny” are all activities Toure plans to do. “I would probably go to South Carolina,” Toure expressed in response to her plans for a normal year’s break.

Similar to others, Nalven changed her plans to accommodate the pandemic. 

“We’re going to do some cross country skiing. I really enjoy cross country skiing because you get to enjoy nature and you get good exercise. My dad’s birthday is coming up and he really likes to cook so I found an online cooking class. His birthday is right in the middle of February Break every year so normally we’d go to a restaurant, but this year we’re bringing the restaurant home,” Nalven stated.

Although changes in activities were made to account for the pandemic, teachers agree that having February Break this year will help to make students and faculty refreshed and ready to work hard when they return to school.

“I think even in this different year and learning style, it’s still really important to take breaks and give our brains time to engage in new and different activities that we might not have time for in the normal school schedule. It opens up time to spend with family and to actually be curious about things that aren’t part of the school curriculum. If we didn’t have a break, we wouldn’t be able to learn regular stuff when we get back to school,” Young explained.

Nalven agrees with Young about break being beneficial for students. 

“It’s very important and good for students to feel that they have control over some things like knowing that they’re going to get that break, knowing that they have that extra week to catch up on sleep,” Nalven said. “From the learning perspective, I wish we could keep going, but I also think there’s a lot of value in resting and using that time to recharge. I think about it like an athlete. If you tried to run a marathon every day, I don’t think it would go so well by the 10th marathon, but if you do a marathon and you wait a few months to do your next one, you may actually do better on the second one because you’ve trained and then rested.”

While this year’s second winter recess during a pandemic is different from last year’s break, WHS freshman and faculty still look forward to the upcoming break and making the best use of this time.