Written by: Joseph Hadaway
From October 12 to October 15, 2013, International School Manila had the long-awaited four-day weekend. While extended weekends may be associated with activities such as studying, homework, and SAT prep, many still take the opportunity to spend the weekend on leisure activities, or activities that are not associated with school, such as simply relaxing or playing video games. Hence, this brings up a question: in general, are extended weekends used to catch up on studies, or for ‘leisure activities’?
When ten random high school students were asked about their activities over the long weekend, eight of them said that they did not study, and out of the eight students who did not study, over half of them referenced playing video games over the weekend, with recently released Pokémon X&Y and Grand Theft Auto Online as the most commonly cited. One of the interviewees, high school junior Jamie Campos, even stated that “[his] pre-order slip (for Pokémon X&Y) [had] been pinned to [his] wall for weeks”.
This focus on video games and other leisure activities over studying and other school related activities, shows that the majority of students view extended weekends as a ‘mini-break’ from schoolwork, as opposed to an actual weekend which is typically associated with studying and the completion of major assessments. This can be very useful for students, as a ‘mini-break’ can allow students to get some much needed relaxation. In support of this, high school junior Steve An, spoke in-favor of relaxing because “[he feels] tired” from all the school activities that lead up to the weekend.
However, it is undeniable that extended weekends may be used as an opportunity to catch up on studies, with both students who said that they did study over the four day weekend referencing studying for the PSATs or other upcoming tests for their respective classes. Studying over extended weekends can be used to the advantage of students, particularly those with assessments and projects. For example, sophomore Paul said that “[he had] a quiz” upon returning to school so he had to study over the long weekend.
Even though studying may be the idealistic – and often appropriate – option of how to spend time over a long weekend, inevitably, students will take advantage of the long weekend by distressing and taking their minds off of school work, for once. Conventionally, doing anything besides work, given the extra time, is often stigmatized as “slacking” or wasting time, but the truth is sometimes we do need that break, and for some students, ‘leisure activities’ are the best option. So ultimately, it is up to the individual student to do what he or she needs the most over the long weekend. But choose wisely!