University's fall schedule brings back breaks, new normal

Valparaiso University’s 2021-2022 schedule looks slightly different from previous years.

One big difference is that the semester began approximately one week later than normal. While I think it was nice to have an extra week of summer break, it felt weird to start the semester closer to the end of August.

Another change was having Labor Day off, when typically Valpo students would still have classes. I think it was nice to have a three day weekend close to the start of the school year to give people time to relax and get caught up if they needed to. The beginning of a new school year can be a bit stressful so having the extra day off might help to mitigate the early semester stress.

It is definitely a relief to see that Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break and Spring Break have been reinstated this semester, after having them removed during the 2020-2021 academic year due to COVID-19 precautions. Last year felt very rushed without these breaks so it will be nice to get some time off throughout the year. 

One part of the schedule that I am not a fan of is the first semester ending on Dec. 17, with three weeks of school left after we return from Thanksgiving Break instead of two. While I know that we had no breaks last year, it was nice to end the semester right before Thanksgiving so that the holidays could be spent relaxing rather than worrying about projects, homework and finals. It also feels like we are getting out later than normal this year which makes it seem like the winter holidays will be more rushed this year. 

However, we do get until Jan. 12, 2022 to enjoy our Winter Break which gives us approximately three and a half weeks to relax from the fall semester and get ready for the spring semester. With COVID still posing a risk due to the Delta variant, I feel like still having break time after holiday gatherings will help to prevent there from being any COVID risks as a result of those gatherings once students return to campus. 

I was happy to see that there was still a two week Spring Break scheduled in March as I thought that Valpo was looking to move it to one week, as many other colleges have done. Having two weeks instead of one gives people a chance to participate in two week service or volunteer trips or simply just relax and unwind during that time. 

While we do still have Good Friday off in April, I liked having the slightly longer Easter Break that we had in the spring of 2021. This is because it allowed more time to enjoy the holiday with family instead of worrying about all of our homework being done for classes the next day or more time to travel back to campus for students that return home. It would be nice to have that Monday off in the future for that reason. 

The ending of the semester on May 13, is pretty typical for a normal school year at Valpo. After the chaos of last year, it is nice to see normalcy return to the academic calendar. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.  

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