The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Getting back into the groove

Students return from summer with attention span hangover

Tina Armour | Staff Writer
[email protected]

Fall semester has already started at City College and students must acclimate rapidly into daunting tasks such as waking up early and doing homework after a three-month summer vacation.

Summer vacation is undoubtedly the most highly antici­pated part of the school year for most students, but the return to early morning wake-up alarms and homework is also the hardest for most students.

Recent high school graduate and new sociology major Elizabeth Dotts acknowledges both the positive and negative effects of summer break.

“Right after high school it’s a nice break, but in between the spring and fall semesters, it makes me completely forget everything I’ve learned.”

Dotts says that she has already missed homework assign­ments in her English writing 302 class because she wasn’t focused on what was being taught during class.

“I pay attention less when school starts again. At least for a couple weeks, I’m still in summer mode,” Dotts says.
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Dotts isn’t the only student who is suffering from the side effects of a summer vacation.

“I was kind of in summer mode still,” says City College student Gabe Gomez. “I work nights and I’m taking early classes so it was hard for me to pay attention in class. I kept looking around and stuff.”

According to City College psychology professor Chris Tromborg, there is a psychiatric explanation for this sort of back-to-school hangover.

“For students who have taken a full three months off,” says Tromborg, “it is a fight or flight reaction when they return to the classroom as cortisol [a stress hormone] and epinephrine [a hormone that effects the heart rate] kick in, causing physiological arousal creating a sort of panic attack.”

Tromborg says summer vacation is a tradition that began 100 years, when farming communities allowed students to take three months off to help with the harvests.

Nonetheless Tromborg proposes a change in tradition.

“I think that summer vacation should be done away with and the school year broken up into trimesters with two week breaks in between,” says Tromborg. “It would help students immensely and get them through college faster.”

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