Thanksgiving break should begin earlier

By Jordan Radloff

The end of November marks the beginning of the holiday season and a time to be thankful for the good things in life. However, students may not be thankful for having to go to class for two days before Thanksgiving break begins on Wednesday.

The university should extend this fall break to cancel classes on Monday and Tuesday on the week of Thanksgiving in order to be more similar to the breaks of other state schools and make traveling home easier for students.

If NIU were to adopt a longer Thanksgiving vacation by not making classes required on Monday and Tuesday, students would essentially be getting an 8 day break from Saturday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Dec. 1. There are many other state universities that use this fall break schedule, according to their academic calendars.

{{tncms-inline content=”<ul> <li>University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign</li> <li>Illinois State University</li> <li>Eastern Illinois University</li> <li>Western Illinois University</li> <li>Southern Illinois University Carbondale</li> <li>Southern Illinois University Edwardsville</li> </ul>” id=”133c6a0c-d1fe-44ed-9874-547a73e0f17f” style-type=”bio” title=”Illinois public universities whose Thanksgiving Break begins on Saturday Nov. 23″ type=”relcontent”}}

Since many of the main Illinois universities have a longer break, NIU seems like an outlier. Our Thanksgiving break should be extended in order to make students’ lives easier. Students may want to visit friends from their hometown who go to other state schools whose breaks begin on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Another issue that a longer break could solve is making traveling home easier for students who have a far distance to go to see their families.

In fall 2018, there were 382 students at NIU who were from a different state, according to the 2018-2019 NIU Data Book. These students, along with students from the southern part of Illinois, may have an especially difficult time traveling home for Thanksgiving when they only have one day to do so.

“I have to leave really late Tuesday night to get home after performing with the marching band at the football game,” Alex Moore, first-year music education major, said. “On Wednesday morning my family has to begin driving to Ohio to deal with traffic and make it in a timely manner for Thanksgiving.”

The busiest flight travel day for Thanksgiving will be Nov. 27, according to data from travel guide Hipmunk. It is expected that 45% of all departure bookings for the holiday week will be on that Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and the day that NIU fall break begins.

Hipmunk recommends Monday, Nov. 25 as the best day to fly because many airlines will offer the best fares on this day and there will be smaller crowds. Students at NIU who are hoping to have a peaceful travel experience to visit family across the country for Thanksgiving will get nothing but stress because break doesn’t begin until one day before turkey day.

The university should reconsider the length of Thanksgiving break on the Academic Calendar because of the many benefits that extra days off could provide for students who need to recharge before returning to school to prepare for the end of the semester and finals.