The 5 minutes of terror- walking to your next class


Jule Stock, Contributor

The bell rings. Everyone around you starts packing their stuff and trying to get out of the classroom as fast as they can. 


Now, the worst part of the school day begins. Trying to get through crowded halls, you bump into people, and every second somebody steps on your shoe. 


The break time between two different classes at Prior Lake High School is just 5 minutes and the only long break is lunch.


Taking a longer break is important to learn successfully. Five-minute passing times stress students and don’t allow them to calm down or just chat with classmates.


According to a psychology study from the University of Illinois, “Many studies have found that pausing for a moment to relax and reboot is essential for achieving productivity, success, and a positive outlook on the future. This is especially true for students who spend hours huddled in front of a computer.”


It took 4 minutes and 18 seconds to walk from the D3 pod to the A1 pod — without a crowd of students — proving that passing time is way too short. Having a real break between classes isn’t really included in that time.


It’s a fact that our school is huge and we have a ton of students. Moreover, our Hallways are a bit too small. So why don’t we have longer breaks? 


According to the Social Triggers Website, where you can find an article about how long breaks should be, it says that “Researchers in Germany find that taking a longer break in between mental tasks helps the brain remember more about the activity they just completed.“ 


So, not only would help students to focus more in their next class and be more relaxed, but it would also give them more time to change their rooms, speak to friends, and perhaps stop at the cafe or a bathroom.


“As a general rule: Take a 15-minute break for every hour of focused work,“ suggests the article from the social triggers website too.  An easy solution would be to change the 5 minutes to 10 minutes. To not have a longer school day, we just could shorten the classes to 55 minutes instead of a whole hour.


During breaks, we all see a big crowd in front of the B2 pod. To avoid that in the future and to make the walk to the next class easier, the staff could take action and remind students to not stop and walk to their next classrooms.


Hallways shouldn’t be a place where students wait. That is for the Pods or on the first floor at the tables or in classrooms. Be mindful and don’t stay in the way as even that could make all our passing times more enjoyable and less stressful.


All in all, passing time is just too short and way too crowded. We can all agree on that point. The first goal should be to stop bottlenecking in big groups causing congestion during passing time. That’s step 1. Step 2 is to take a hard look at the length of passing times and add on a few minutes.