Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Cornellians load their suitcases onto a coach bus at the bottom of the Libe Slope, heading home for break.

November 22, 2022

Students Express Discontent Over Short Thanksgiving Break

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As Thanksgiving approaches, students shared mixed feelings about the length of Cornell’s Thanksgiving break. Though the break officially begins on Wednesday, many students have said that it does not give them enough time to travel home and celebrate with their families.

Although the University offers students a five-day break for the holiday, some believe the University should extend it to include Monday and Tuesday. 

“I honestly think that Cornell’s Thanksgiving break should be one full week, and I don’t like how it currently only starts on Wednesday,” said Brandon Lin ’24. “Thanksgiving time is a really necessary break for students who have been overwhelmed by the semester, and I think most people would be willing to sacrifice two days of spring or winter break for a full week of Thanksgiving off.”

Other universities have longer Thanksgiving breaks, such as Yale, which is from Nov. 19 to Nov. 27, and Stanford, which began its break Nov. 21 and resumes classes Nov. 28. 

To secure a longer break, some students have chosen to leave over the weekend, missing their Monday and Tuesday classes. Jane Fang ’24 said that she thinks students feel pressured to miss classes to have enough time to travel back home.

“We get penalized for skipping class to go back home, and I don’t think we should,” Fang said.  “We have to consider that traveling home is a day, coming back is a day. So, I feel like people are skipping classes not because they want to but because they have to.”

While many students have remained on campus Monday and Tuesday, the decision came because they had too many assignments they could not afford to miss. 

“I don’t think [I could skip class] because I have too much homework, so there’s no chance for me to skip class and leave campus,” said Scarlett Tu, grad. “But, I know some of my friends left early on Thursday and already went to Boston and Chicago.”

Some students were allowed to participate in their classes virtually since their professors moved their classes online. Even though students were not on campus, the special accommodation allowed students to still be able receive credit for participation in those classes.

“I am skipping Monday and Tuesday classes — I went home the Friday the week before [break]. Most of my professors decided to move their classes to online formats anyway, citing people’s travel plans,” Lin said. “If professors are willing to accommodate this, then the school should.”

However, even if his classes didn’t move to an online format, Lin said he would have still left early in order to be home for a full week. 

“Even in classes that didn’t move to an online format for Monday and Tuesday, being home for a full week seemed worth the absence,” Lin said.

Traveling during a shorter break is hardest for students who live far away from campus, especially for international students, who have to skip class to have time to make longer journeys home.

“October break is short, and Thanksgiving break is supposed to be a mental and physical break from school. The fact that it’s only four to five days — that’s like two school days and a weekend — is not very considerate of people that are from other parts of the world,” Fang said. “We don’t even want to skip classes, but we have to.”

Aimée Eicher ’24 contributed reporting.