Cooke: It won’t hurt you to do schoolwork over spring break

Cody Cooke

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

It’s finally here — spring break for Colorado State University is only days away. Students are probably thinking of what they should pack for vacation or what they want to bring with them on their trip back home. Some may be staying in Fort Collins for the week, either earning money or just taking it easy with no thought of classes or deadlines. Whatever the case may be, students of all years and majors probably can’t wait to ditch the homework.


But a week of uninterrupted partying or disregard for school might not be in our best interests, especially if you’re like me and have at least one exam within the first few days back. Forgetting entirely about academic obligations could do more harm than good. It may sound cruel, but students should keep their schoolwork in mind over spring break.

For one thing, keeping ourselves familiar with the material can never hurt. Just refreshing yourself with a glimpse at your notes could save you from forgetting the information entirely, especially if your classes contain technical terms or complex concepts.

Harvard Medical School explains that keeping information fresh can help it stay with us. According to their website, “Memory has a use-it-or-lose-it quality: Memories that are called up and used frequently are least likely to be forgotten.” Plus, if you do have assignments over break, pushing everything off to the day before classes start again could cause unneeded stress.

Just some engagement — literally any at all — is better than none.”

Of course, this should be done in moderation. Spring break is a break for a reason. No one needs to explain the benefits of seeing our old friends again or spending a week not having to worry about papers and quizzes. The research doesn’t lie. Taking a break from the things we spend all semester doing (reading, analyzing, problem-solving, etc.) is good for us. 

But just some engagement — literally any at all — is better than none. I’m not talking about finishing a novel in a week, but a page or two here and there could benefit us. It’s like stretching our muscles instead of doing a full-blown workout. We can stay flexible and in shape, but we don’t have to exert all of our effort.

That being said, don’t hate your professors for assigning work over break (unless they assign an entire research project — that’s just mean). They probably just don’t want you to forget about their class, which is understandable. Instead of dreading the work, try to get a head start before break. Even just starting the assignment will do you more good than forgetting about it until next week.

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Can someone’s parents please pay for my spring break vacation too?

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Overall, just staying engaged any way you can will help. For example, I plan on bringing a book back home with me so that I can read a few pages in the morning with my cup of coffee. Nothing serious is necessary, just something to keep our brains from getting used to too much relaxation. There will be plenty of time for catharsis and celebration, but we should still make sure our education doesn’t get lost in all of it.

Cody Cooke can be reached at or on Twitter @CodyCooke17.