While classrooms may have been close to empty the day before Thanksgiving this year, on that same day in 2012, all classrooms will be empty.
Next year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will now be considered a holiday as a part of the new semester-schedule breaks.
The 2012 academic calendar currently shows the changes for the semester switch. The new breaks include the Autumn Semester starting on Aug. 22 and a spring break from March 11 to March 15 to break up the Spring Semester.
Brad Myers from University Registrar said in an email the new break schedule will have some jarring changes and a few expected ones.
“Certainly one major change is that we will be done in early May — which should make a difference with students looking at internship(s) and other kinds of summer experiences,” Myers said. “We will be more aligned with other institutions — the overwhelming majority of institutions are already on semesters.”
For Michael Kline, a first-year in computer science and engineering, having breaks at the same times as other institutions is a huge benefit to the new semester schedule.
“Right now my breaks don’t match up with anybody’s,” Kline said. “So I go home and the only people I see are high school kids that I know that are still in high school. And once we switch over, everyone will be home at approximately the same time.”
Myers said though some students will have scheduling problems for the summer term because of the shorter summer, it will not cause many issues, especially for incoming freshman.
“Next summer will be ‘shorter’ than usual, which presents some additional challenges for those who are enrolled that term,” Myers said. “For new students who come in beginning next year, this is not a ‘change’ for them.”
Even though his summer will be cut a few weeks short, Kline said he doesn’t mind.
“It’s summer,” Kline said. “I don’t care.”
Second-year in microbiology Ashby Daugherty agrees with Kline that having one shorter summer is not a bad trade.
“Every summer seems to be too long,” Daugherty said. “When we get back to normal-length summers and the new length of winter it will be kind of cool because I’ll be on the same schedule as all my friends who go to other schools.”
Students who work over the summer will also benefit from the semester switch once the new summer break is implemented in 2013, Daugherty said.
“I know a lot of people who, this past summer, tried to apply when they got home and all the summer jobs are basically taken,” Daugherty said.
While some other institutions have implemented a “fall break,” a break in the middle of the fall semester, Myers said Ohio State’s new break schedule will not include a similar feature.
“There isn’t any formal ‘fall break.’ We will go a bit longer in December, but we will also not start quite as early in January,” Myers said. “There will always be a three-week break between Autumn Commencement and the first day of Spring Semester.”
Another change students seem to welcome is having the day before Thanksgiving off from class.
Kline said he is happy about the extra day because he lives 6 1/2 hours from Columbus . He was unable to go home for Thanksgiving this year because of traveling hassles.
“It gives me a day to travel home,” Kline said.
Daugherty is also excited to have an extra day before Thanksgiving next year. Daugherty went to classes the day before Thanksgiving this year, and did not enjoy the experience.
“I think it’s fantastic. The crazy flow of traffic when classes let out on Wednesday was awful,” Daugherty said. “People who are planning on going home are going to be better off for that. Next year it won’t be as much of an issue.”
Traditionally, the day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year.
OSU will switch to the semester system starting Summer Semester 2012.