Altered semester testing plans effect Christmas spirit

Ava Martinez

Illustration: Natalie Garnett
Illustration: Natalie Garnett

Walking into the Main Hall to admire the Christmas decorations and hearing Christmas music drifting throughout the building is the highlight of the year for many students. However, this year students may be too busy or under too much stress to notice the decorations.

The week before Christmas break has traditionally been filled with holiday celebrations. Kris Kringle gift bags were stuffed, Christmas music played in the Center, and the student body was in an excited buzz in anticipation for Christmas and the upcoming vacation.
This year all of this changed. While there is still a palpable feeling of pre-Christmas excitement, the typical atmosphere of holiday cheer has been replaced by the stress of finals.

To be fair, Christmas is not going completely uncelebrated. Kris Kringles were moved to last week, Christmas decorations are starting to appear around campus, and the sophomore holiday celebration is still scheduled to take place this Friday.
However, it still is not the same. It is hard to really get into the spirit of the holiday while focusing on doing well on finals and ending the semester as well as possible.

Christmas celebrations aside, having finals moved four weeks earlier than normal means the same amount of homework assignments and tests are being crammed into a shorter period of time. Students hoping to pull up their grades before finals now had less time to do so. Students already are under a lot of stress and the last thing a stressed-out student needs is less time.
This change in schedule also has an impact on teachers. Teachers now have the choice of spending their winter holiday grading finals or enduring the inevitable pestering from students eager to know how they did on their exams via e-mail over the break or once classes resume.

For years students have been complaining about having finals after break and many students have been begging for this change to happen. However, after battling the tests and work teachers assigned at the last minute during the weeks leading up to finals, it is clear why the finals schedule was the way it was for so long. Shortening the semester has added unnecessary stress and taken away some much-needed celebration.