What Christmas Break?

By: Kara Haselton

In North Carolina, there is no real “Christmas break.”

Sure, there are about two weeks in December that we don’t go to school, but it’s not really a break.

But why is that?


Sometime ago, North Carolina decided to implement a law that forbids public school from starting before the 25th of August. An updated version of this law was established in 2012 in Senate Bill 187 stating that “State date of schools may not be earlier than the Monday closest to August 26,” exemptions being only for those who are in private, charter, or year-round schools.

This is in the favor of tourism, since, you know, everyone comes to North Carolina to vacate.

Although it is nice that we have a couple extra weeks of summer as compared to our friends, at say, charter and private schools such as Franklin Academy or NRCA. However, what’s the major downside that subtracts from our annual holiday spirit?

We have to take exams after Christmas break.

We become poor, sullen children, watching from outside the candy store as all our private and charter schooled friends get to eat chocolate bars, gummy worms, licorice and gumballs, otherwise known as relaxation over their Christmas break. They’re done with their semester and we’re not. We spend all of Christmas break working on infinite amounts of projects and makeup work, partaking in some early studying for the exams looming in our wake, worrying about whether or not you’ll get that D up to an A.

While that is certainly an exaggeration, (we sure do love the holiday season so we definitely make sure we have time to spread Christmas cheer and watch Christmas movies for only the 47th time), it sure would be nice to not have that voice in the back of your head reminding you of what is soon to come.

The “new year, new me” mentality is stifled by the fact the new year is started with the continuation of the same old semester. It’s kinda hard to start afresh and new when you still are finishing up the same classes you’re wanting to get away from. You’re still up to your neck with half-finished projects due the week before exams, the anticipation of those last minute test grades, and that refreshing sense of unmanageable stress that hasn’t gone away because classes haven’t ended yet.

In a perfect world, we would finish our exams and our semester would end before Christmas break. We would be able to just sit back with everyone else and say, “Man. It feels so good to be done.”

Oh, wait.

You mean that actually happens everywhere except for NC public schools?