How Summer Break Can Affect Your Ability to Learn in September
As a student myself, I completely understand the struggle behind summer break. Despite the fact that most everyone loves it; the heat, hanging out with friends, the freedom. There are downsides to it as well, especially when it comes to getting back into the routine in September. When students go from constantly learning, focusing and being in a productive environment to suddenly sleeping through the day, constantly on electronics, and not learning, what effect does this have on their mindset and their ability to learn in September?
A main struggle I have noticed throughout teens at my school face entering school in September is getting back into the swing of things; mainly with sleep schedules. Most teens have a tendency to stay up late talking to friends, and then start their days at around 10am the following day. However, when school begins again, they are forced to start waking up around 8am, depending on their routines. In addition to waking up earlier, most students are used to going to bed late, thus throwing off their entire sleep schedules. After a long day at school, sports and activities, they’re exhausted. However, due to summer break altering students’ schedules, they find it difficult to fall asleep, and therefore lack getting the sleep that they need to function and focus at school.
In addition to the sleep and energy deprivation teens experience following back-to-school, they also experience a downfall of motivation along with mindsets becoming slightly altered from the fact that they haven’t been learning for 2 months. Our brains tend to stick to routine; it’s what it understands. School is almost like a habit for brains; from going to school everyday at a certain time, learning specific subjects during parts of the day, and then going home and giving their brains a chance to relax. However, in the summer, teens’ brains lose touch with our routines since they change every day. In some ways, summer break and the effects it has on student’s learning skills can relate to a very unique style of teaching music. Every day, the student would practice all of the songs they knew. It begins with a few simple songs. Students play those songs daily, then gradually add more songs as continuing to learn them. Your hands and brain absorb the constant routine of playing those songs every day, and students can feel as though they are engraved in your mind and will remember them; but that’s not necessarily the truth. I used this technique of learning piano once, but I quickly got annoyed with the repetitiveness of the songs and gave up. A few months later, I had completely forgotten how to play those songs that I once knew so well. To teenagers, those simple songs are like their version of school. They go to school every day and repeat the same routine over and over. Just as I forgot how to play those songs, teenagers lose their focusness and their determined mindsets, along with a lot of the knowledge that they had recently learned, solely because they are no longer putting their minds and knowledge to use.
Therefore, summer break causes challenges for teens when it’s time for back to school because our brains become re-wired to a different routine, and a different reality.