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In Reddit, there's such a post as follows.

Absolutely exhausted

Is anyone else just done with this semester? I still have a few midterms to do but I have had barely any time to study for them with the massive workload consisting of endless assignments. I have been growing tired of the semester for a while but this week I have felt like I am reaching my limit. Content isn't getting easier obviously and I noticed that this week I have had immense trouble staying focused for long periods of time. I have noticed that I start to really burn out around mid November. Its making it difficult to finish my last few weeks worth of assignments.

Any one else in the same boat? Honestly cannot wait for the break.

What does 'cannot wait for the break' in the last sentence mean? Does it mean:

  1. The OP can't wait for the winter holiday when he/she can rest

or

  1. The OP can't wait to see and communicate with a peer in the same boat?
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    Can you explain your rationale behind meaning number 2? Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 14:13
  • @user4052054 I don't know if it's some idiomatic expression or slang. But it closely follows 'any one else in the same boat?', and they are in the same short paragraph, so it makes sense to assume they serve the same purpose-a peer in the same boat is wanted.
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 2:44

1 Answer 1

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It would mean number 1. Break is often used as slang for a holiday or time off of school/work.

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    Correct answer, although I'm not sure if it's really slang. Calendars created by universities and secondary schools in the US often have the terms "fall break", "winter break", "spring break", and "summer break" in them. In fact, I don't know of another way to say "spring break" - that's what it's called, even in formal communication. Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 2:46
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    I visited a preserved steam-driven cotton mill in Lancashire. Part of their history is that "break" in this context meant a breakage in the overhead leather belts that drove the machinery (and water power even earlier). A "break" meant that they all got a rest, and could eat any packed food they had with them. So now, coffee break, lunch break. In Yorkshire, it was called a "snap", and that is still what they call a packed lunch in Yorkshire. Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 11:16
  • @ToddWilcox - In most Canadian universities, the formal term for a mid-semester break is usually "reading week" since it's meant to be used to study for midterm exams. There's a "Fall Reading Week" in early November and a "Winter Reading Week" in late February. The latter is treated like a US spring break and is often informally called "ski week" since that's what a lot of students do instead of studying. The Christmas/New Years break between semesters is formally "Winter Holidays". Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 15:59
  • In the UK, "Spring break" is usually called "Easter Holiday" :) Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 16:00

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