University of Colorado students will enter their last week of winter break on Monday and thanks to leap year and a fifth Monday in August last year students are enjoying a fourth week off.

Typical winter breaks consist of only three weeks off, Bill Kaempfer, vice provost and associate vice chancellor at CU explained last fall, but in order to maintain 17-week semesters, students were given a fourth week between the fall and spring.

Some students are spending more time with family and friends back home, while others are using the week to hit the slopes. No matter how they’re spending their final days, students agreed, four weeks is an excessive break. 

CU freshman Taylor Furey-Powell said she is spending her extra week with family and friends at home in California but after three weeks, she’s ready to get back to Boulder.

“This break does feel excessively long, not that I’m complaining,” Furey-Powell said. “I’m just ready to be back.”

Furey-Powell said she’s enjoying the 70-degree weather back home but she is looking forward to the next few months of snow in Boulder.

CU senior Kelly O’Conor stayed in Boulder for the break and is using her days off to make the most of her ski pass.

O’Conor said she’s been skiing at least three times a week since the end of fall classes.

“It would be great if I was at the beach or something but I can’t take time off from work to travel so I basically have a few more days a week with nothing to do,” O’Conor said.

With a week to go, O’Conor said she’s ready to get back to class, though that doesn’t mean she will be neglecting her ski pass.

“I usually go about three days a week regardless, if I don’t have too much work or schoolwork,” O’Conor said. “It’s definitely secondary to school but I make time for it.”

O’Conor said she’s had “more than enough” down time and is ready to head back to campus.

“Three weeks usually gets me to the point where I am buying my textbooks early and reading ahead,” O’Conor said. “I kind of wish we could get back sooner, four weeks is too much.”

Not all students are ready to trade their skis and snowboards for textbooks and homework.

CU senior Matthew Benton said he is spending some of his break in the snow, dog sledding at Winter Park and snowboarding until spring classes start.

“It felt way longer, and very good,” Benton said.

Benton said his plans would have likely remained the same without the extra week but he appreciates the extra runs he gets this year.

Regardless of their feelings about the extra week, CU’s winter break will return to three weeks next year, Kaempfer said. Due to the four-year cycle of leap year, most students will experience an extended winter break at some point during their college careers. 

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