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Opinion

Four-day school weeks lessen stress, save energy

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February 5, 2009

Bankruptcies, foreclosures, unemployment….we have all heard the mantra on the news lately. 

In fact, that’s all that the news stories seem to consist of now. People and finance experts are coming up with more and more ways to help people save money in this time of financial hardship.

Some colleges have even come up with a way to save money: downsizing the five-day school week to a four-day week.

Brevard Community College (Fla.), MacMurray College (Ill.), Missouri State University and a few other universities across the U.S. have experimented with four-day weeks.

The result? Each saved thousands of dollars in operating costs, not to mention the personal benefits for the students and staff. Just think of what wonders it would do for our own students and staff here at UW-River Falls.

Besides the obvious fact of saving the University money in energy costs, it would save gas for those who commute, lower our daily expenses, as well as our stress levels. By getting an extra day off, students and staff would have more time to get homework, studying or other work done that’s usually done in a pinch.

Students and staff would be less stressed, as the extra day off could also be used for some much needed relax time or hang time with friends. By being less stressed, we can be more prepared for school, which leads to better grades and a better well-being overall.

Some are concerned that this will lead students to become lazy or that we will spend less time on our studies, but I disagree.

This semester, I have a three-day week, only having classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and so far I absolutely love it.

Even though those three days are somewhat longer, having those extra two days off makes a big difference. I picked up an extra day at work, so the extra money is definitely a perk, and I usually spend the other day catching up on homework, doing various errands, relaxing or going out with friends when I can.

Although the semester is only beginning, I have been less stressed and get more done than I did when I had a five-day week. I feel better prepared for my classes, as I have more time to prepare and get homework done.

Extra errands that don’t ordinarily get done until the last minute now get done without the hurried rush. I now have more time to spend on hobbies than I did last semester, which wasn’t much at all. Some of that other time is spent with friends here or with friends from back home. 

The extra time helps me focus more on school and has helped me relax a bit more. Just think of the wonders it could do for you.

Christie Lauer is a student at UW-River Falls.