To acquire wisdom, one must observe

This just in: two is still greater than one

If you look at the Brandeis academic calendar for any of the spring semesters you may notice something that just seems off—no March break. It is the stereotypical “spring break” shown in so many movies, tv shows and even written about in books that is filled with trips to tropical locations and massive parties. It is the kind of thing that parents who went to college remember fondly and, perhaps, make a concerted effort to censor when talking to their kids about it.

But here at Brandeis we do not have a March break as so many other colleges and universities across the United States do. Instead, we are given two breaks in our spring semester: one in February and one in April. It is almost as if the academic calander is stuck in high school, much like most of the men here, but on this point and this point alone—I don’t think it’s all too bad.

Having a February and an April break simply offers more to individuals than a single March break ever could. Now, to show this, I first want to review March breaks and show what they provide and lack before going into those same features of February and April breaks.

March: do I need a winter jacket or a pair of shorts? March is a fun month if you are capable enough to carry around your entire wardrobe with you on any given day. It can go from snowing and sleeting to sunny and 75 in a moment’s notice, and if you are not prepared you are either going to be left sweating through your peacoat or freezing till you are stiff in your t-shirt. I will share the secret to making it through March—layering; but layering and other methods of being well dressed for the inbetween season can be a lot and are never perfect.

So where do most students look if they want to be somewhere with a more consistent climate to enjoy? If you said wallets you would be correct! Students immediately look to their wallets to see how far away a plane can take them. And to March’s credit, March is not a high demand travel month among families, so airfare is mostly reasonable. It is a very accessible month for cheap young travelers who are willing to play double or nothing with their life and a Spirit Airlines jet. So while March break is not easy to love if you are not going anywhere, it certainly can make going somewhere else a whole lot easier.

But why have a break at all if you cannot enjoy being where you are? March likes to play a funny game with most homeowners of “should I open the windows and turn the heat off or just bake inside?” but February and April are so much more direct. With both months you know exactly what you are going to get: snow and cold in February and warm and sunny in April without needing to go anywhere.

If you want the chilly mountain experience you can take a short drive out west or north and find a lodge to take day hikes in and enjoy the snow in February. Or, you can stay home and relax on the couch without feeling guilty that if a nice day comes by that you did not capitalize on it because most likely there won’t be one! If you want a warm beach day or simply to spend time in a sunny park then April vacation has got your back. Enjoy the spring blooms in New England by walking through local conservation land and parks or even go to a nearby lake to enjoy the water. February gives you all the cold you could ask for and April gives you the warmth of spring without the overbearing heat of summer. When it comes to temperature, you cannot argue with the fact that having two breaks gives you the ability to have a constant climate to enjoy, rather than having to parse through the ever-changing climate and temperatures of March.

And beyond having the constant climate that the February and April combo gives it is also two breaks! I am not necessarily saying here that size matters but last time I checked the math on this, two was still greater than one. Unless, as Mr. Incredible put it, they changed math! But why not have two breaks in a semester rather than one? Have two opportunities to go home if needed and see family? Have two breaks to divide the semester even further? Sure, the trudge through all of March sucks with midterms, but at least it is only one month of trudging and not forcing yourself through February and April without ample time to relax.

February and April can get a bad reputation as times for breaks, but as someone who has had them his whole life I gotta admit that when it comes to vacations—size matters.

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