Why we should bring back snow days for post-secondary students

What an unexpected day off means for students in post-secondary

KPU's decision to mark a snow day is made by upper-level administration and they communicate it via social media, their website, and email. (Pexels/Coworking Bansko)

KPU’s decision to mark a snow day is made by upper-level administration and they communicate it via social media, their website, and email. (Pexels/Coworking Bansko)

Everyone could benefit from having an unexpected day off due to the weather, including students who are in online or asynchronous classes. 

One could argue that they shouldn’t get a day off since they don’t attend in-person classes. However, those in post-secondary who do have in-person classes have most likely experienced a class cancellation due to snowfall, and the instructor didn’t move the class online. I would feel a sense of relief of not having classes that day but also a fear of missing out on anything. 

An unexpected day off gives students ample opportunity to do other things you usually have less time for, like studying and working on projects for other classes, simply enjoying your free time, seeing friends and family, or relaxing. I don’t see why online students shouldn’t get the same type of “luxury” on snow days. They are in the same boat as in-class students with the exception of choosing to be online due to a plethora of personal reasons, preferences, or in some cases a particular class that was only offered online. 

It has been argued for years how beneficial unexpected breaks can be for both workers and students, and after looking through studies and debates about the same, I couldn’t agree more. A very in-depth working paper titled The Microstructure of Work: How Unexpected Breaks Let You Rest, but Not Lose Focus from Harvard Business School goes thoroughly over the benefits of unexpected breaks in the workforce. 

It explains how unexpected breaks that don’t require an active response are actually a special opportunity for relaxation that many people benefit from and can ultimately result in increased productivity. 

To further my thoughts and feelings, you could ask your classmates or even co-workers about how they would feel having a day off from school or work due to weather conditions and not facing any repercussions. In my experience, most people would love to have an unexpected day off. 

While I don’t think students should take it as far as purposely skipping out on a class if it were to be moved online due to snow, as that’s just irresponsible in my opinion, I do feel students who prefer in-person classes would pay a lot less attention to online lectures and limit their participation because online classes can limit success due to distractions at home. Being in a classroom environment can help these students perform better in their course. 

This same argument can be made for students who prefer online classes, it is all up to individual preferences. Overall though, the majority of students both online and in-person could benefit from and enjoy an unexpected day off due to snowfall.