Webbies share their thoughts on the shortened Thanksgiving break


Photo from season five, episode eight, “The One with All the Thanksgivings” from the television show FRIENDS.

Webb’s decision to shorten this year’s Thanksgiving Break from five days to only two days has resulted in some skepticism and uncertainty among students.  

This year Webb made the decision to swap the allotted time for our October and Thanksgiving breaks. Although the five-day long October break was appreciated by the students of Webb, most students assumed this five-day break was in addition to Thanksgiving, rather than isubstitution. This leaves students wondering if this swap was due to the pandemic, which then exposes the question of if this swap will remain the same for future years?   

As the global pandemic continues, many are not able to celebrate with extended family and friends. However, spending time with immediate family is a welcome break from endless Canvas notifications and taxing Zoom meetings. Spending time celebrating with family and community, regardless of how small the celebration is, is what students need right now.  

Students are hoping to spend their time with family and not on schoolwork during this break. However, students are worried teachers will pile on more work at the beginning of the week, leaving students little time to enjoy the holiday.  

In a recent survey sent to STAS, 21 students expressed how they already feel overwhelmed and stressed with the existing workload.  

“With only 45-minute classes, one extra period right before the break will do virtually nothing for our education and I think people would be much more willing to just teach that material to themselves (as we are already required to do for an overwhelming majority of the material contained in each course),” Richard Alrachid (‘22) wrote. 

“Because students feel stressed, overworked, and ultimately exhausted by the time the break hits, and those that do celebrate Thanksgiving may not be doing that much resting either,” Joanna Yap (‘22) wrote. “Students understand and I am sure are thankful for the break we had so far, but it is important to realize that we are still super busy and need a bit more than a shortened break, especially with the conditions that we are now put in.” 

In a time where school seems more arduous than before, with constant screen time and a learning medium that is challenging for most, we need the break to recoup and rest our eyes. The family time that is synonymous with Thanksgiving break is also something many students miss as a result of the short break. 

“I never spend enough time with my dad during the school week,” Theadora Do (‘24) wrote. “I have actually never celebrated Thanksgiving when I was in Vietnam, but coming here with just me and my dad, I think it would be fun.” 

As summative assignments approach, students from all grades are rushing to finish their work before break. Specifically, seniors’ anxiety grows as college application deadlines begin to encroach upon their lives. Seniors are already feeling behind when it comes to the college application process because of the inordinate amount of work mixed with a lack of face-to-face time with college guidance. Having a week off would help reduce the weight that the applications place on seniors and allow them to focus on their futures.  

“The extra time would have allowed seniors to better space out their work, while also giving us more opportunities to dedicate time towards mental health,” Shannon Uppal (‘21) wrote. “It is likely that I will be doing college applications on Thanksgiving, which is a direct result of not having those extra days off.”  

Now more than ever, giving students the time to recuperate is necessary. Many students understand and empathize with administrators, as they realize planning breaks during a pandemic is difficult. However, students express that in a time where normalcy is needed, time with family is just what students may need to achieve this normalcy.