Point/Counterpoint: Is summer a time for productivity?


Illustration by Sarah Lin

point: Elizabeth Finn

Ever since the first day of school, one question has been lingering in the back of our minds: how many days until it’s summer again? Whether it’s the nice weather, longer days, getting to spend more time with friends or just being away from school, summer brings so much joy to our lives. Being away from school for three months takes the stress away of constantly having assignments and quizzes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take away the idea of productivity.

One common misconception about being productive over the summer is that it is unenjoyable. What most people don’t realize is that getting ahead during the summer is beneficial because students are allowed to choose what they spend their time doing. Productive activities that many students do include work, internships, SAT/ACT prep courses and preparing for upcoming school work.

Summer jobs are a great experience for high schoolers not only because of the money that is earned but also because of the relationships that are built. Jobs allow for students to meet new people that they wouldn’t have otherwise connected with. Similarly internships are a way for students to get experience in fields that they are actually interested in. Unlike sitting through a boring, uninteresting class, internships allow students to participate in subjects they actually enjoy and gain experience that they will be able to use once they graduate high school.

Additionally, SAT/ACT prep courses are super popular during the summer among upcoming juniors. The stress of junior year is already a lot without these standardized tests so getting ahead without balancing school work is beneficial and easier to schedule for students.

Some classes have summer work for students to complete but outside of that students also prepare for the upcoming school year in other ways as well. Being able to get familiar with a certain course and the material allows students to feel more comfortable with topics before their grades depend on it.

Since we are not in school, productivity doesn’t have to last six hours a day. Do one thing valuable every day over the summer and your future self will thank you later.

counterpoint: Sarah Lin

Voices fill the air as students flood out the school doors for the last time that school year. Summer break has officially arrived, bringing a sense of joy and freedom. As students say goodbye to their friends, one anxious question crosses their minds: What should I do with my summer break?

Many students are unsure of what to do when school lets out in the middle of June. After living through a rigorous, academic-centered schedule for nine months, being given a near three-month break from school seems overwhelming.

One approach is to throw oneself into a busy summer schedule. There’s a lot that could be done — get a job, participate in extracurricular activities, earn SSL hours, prepare for the following school year — or all of them.

Indeed, having a summer break filled with productivity can be beneficial. “One of the biggest problems students face is staying productive during the summer break. You spend two months having fun and partying, but when you return to class in early September, you end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out,” Toshith Bhaumik from “WIN Times” said.

It is true that staying productive during the summer can prevent students from “brain rot” when they return to school. However, it is not necessarily a solution to feelings of anxiety and stress.

In fact, it can be harmful and add to the problem. “After a stressful year of nonstop work, students who do not kick back will find themselves burnt out and less motivated when school starts again,” college counselor Cheree Liebowitz said.

Having a stressful summer just to prevent a stressful start to the school year is ironic and damaging to students’ wellbeing. A better solution for reducing stress would be to use the summer to actually take a break from it. “It’s critical to relax during summer break since you know crunch times will be back when school starts up again,” Alex Thomas from “Meemli” said.

There are a variety of ways for students to detach themselves from the stress of the school year and truly relax. One of the best things to do over summer break is to go on a vacation. “Vacations ease stress by removing us from the people and environments that cause that stress. Getting away from it all breaks your usual pattern and allows you to rejuvenate yourself,” teacher Janet Mizrahi from “Today’s Learner” said.

Relaxing during the summer has other benefits aside from reducing stress. Students can choose to spend time with their loved ones, something that they may have neglected to do during the busy school year. This allows them to build up healthy relationships, which is essential and healthy for everyone.

In short, relaxing over the summer has more benefits for students than spending it stressed and unhappy. It refreshes them, preparing them for the upcoming school year and their future better than stress and work ever will. Knowing this, students should plan to spend as much time as possible over the summer relaxing and recharging.