Humber students dream of longer winter break after difficult semester

Dec 17, 2021 | News

As the fall semester ends, Humber College students are excited about the winter break, but many wish it was longer.

“Winter break doesn’t help put school off of my mind because I’m already thinking about the stress I’m going to face next semester,” June Roselio, a second-year Community and Justice Services student said. She also works to support herself during the school year.

“I’m excited for the winter break, but I wish students were allowed more time to mentally prepare themselves for the second semester,” Roselio said. “Those three weeks really just end up feeling like three days.”

Winter break begins Dec. 17 and school resumes Jan. 10.

With the new Omicron variant sending COVID-19 numbers soaring as the semester ends, one stressor rolls into another for post-secondary students.

Hannah Heard, an Interior Decorating student, said she had to shelve a great part of her personal life to focus on school during the past four months and was lucky to get six hours of sleep a night.

“Three weeks is simply not enough time to make up for what I missed,” Heard said.

“I wake up early and go to class. I’m expected to get a bunch of work done for the next day, stay up late to finishing those assignments, just to repeat the process the next day,” she said.

A study by The Public Health Agency of Canada found seven out of 10 college students get less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep.

Indeed, young adults aged 20 to 30 report the highest rate of mood and anxiety disorder, all linked to poor sleeping habits.

Anna Savchenko, a student in the Paralegal Studies program, is in her final year and found the past semester very difficult.

“This semester has been the toughest by far,” Savchenko said. “It has definitely affected my mental health, and I just want it to be over. I look forward to the break a lot, don’t get me wrong.

“But with work and also a lot of family obligations I have due to the holidays, I’m not going to get any more than a week to myself,” she said.

Post-secondary institutes are allowed to give students five weeks off during the school year, three at winter break and one each for reading week in the fall and winter semesters.

A few Ontario universities — including Western and Waterloo — have extended their winter breaks. Colleges, however, have stuck to their schedule.

While their break may not be extended, Humber students will experience at-home classes for at least the first two weeks of the winter 2022 semester because of the quick spread of the COVID-19 variant Omicron.