Why you get a summer break

Two summers ago I visited England. I love seeing college campuses, so I went to the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. One of the most fascinating aspects of both universities was the lawns in front of the buildings.

It turns out you’re not allowed to walk on their perfectly-manicured lawns. They have guards to make sure you don’t. Why grow such beautiful-looking grass if you’re not allowed to walk on it?

It turns out there is no reason for the lawn. There’s a long history going back to the middle ages of wealthy aristocrats growing grass in front of their castles to show off their riches. The unspoken statement goes something like this: “We are so wealthy we can waste money maintaining grass we don’t use. We are prestigious.” You have a lawn in front of your house for the same reason.

The reason you get a summer break is equally silly. Many decades ago, families needed their children to work on their farms during summer months. A break from school used to be practical, but it’s not anymore.

Is your break really well-deserved? Is there nothing you could be doing to improve?

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