Hello everyone! Monday February 16th was Family Day and signaled the beginning of reading week! I hope you've been enjoying it so far. If you're still looking for something to do over the break, I have a few ideas.
Let's start off with -- what is reading week? It’s a break within the Winter Term for students to relax, refresh, refocus and read. I want to encourage you to enjoy your reading week to the fullest extent, but I advise that you don’t place school responsibilities at the back of your mind.
Catch Up With Family and Friends
Over the past couple weeks you may have been putting your social life on the back burner. You can use this coming week off of school to reconnect with friends or to go and visit family members. Some quality time with people you care about can act as motivation for your studies AND it’s the perfect way to unwind—something you don’t need me to tell you.
Were there projects you were working on before you started school? Maybe you’re an artist, or you wanted to remodel a room in your house? You can do all of that and more during reading week.
Get back on track with some of the things that you put on hold while attending classes. Pursue your interests and get back in touch with your hobbies. Go out and view a theatrical performance, explore your neighbourhood or the city, or get up-to-date with some of your favourite television programs.
What about trying something new this reading week? You could volunteer for an organization or participate in a workshop or enroll in a recreational class.
Visit Campus Support Centres
You may not have classes, but the university is still open and there are various support centres, like the Writing Centre or the Career Centre, that you can visit. If you live near campus, why not drop by for a few hours and see what skills you can improve upon or what new skills you can pick up.
Reading week is also a fantastic time to sit down with your department advisor and go over your academic goals.
Get Ahead on Assignments
I know, working on assignments may not be something you want to think about during the break, but it’s something that can significantly diminish the heavy feeling of stress near the end of the school year.
I am going to be very frank with you. March is when all of your major assignments are due and you’ll find that a lot of your due dates happen to be around the same time. You need to take these assignments very seriously because they are worth a significant portion of your overall grade. Also in March, you need to start thinking about preparing for exams, especially if some of your exams will take place at the end of the month.
A good way to prepare yourself for the workload that you will encounter during the last few weeks of school is to use your reading week for planning out your future assignments, and for revision. Save yourself the stress and anxiety of balancing two or more heavily-weighted assignments along with your other responsibilities by using the time you would normally be in class to work on corresponding assignments.
Catch up on Course Readings
It’s hard to catch up on the readings you've missed when you have new readings to complete each week. Reading week is an excellent time to do so. Even if you just take one day out of the seven days that you don’t have classes and complete missed readings for one course, you’ll be doing yourself a favour. Think about how relieved you’ll be when the exam period rolls around!
Read for Your Own Enjoyment
When was the last time you read something for fun? Lately, all of my reading time has been dedicated to texts that relate to the courses that I’m taking. Needless to say, I am extremely excited about using my reading week to get lost in a book of my choosing!
I hope my suggestions helped you decide how you want to spend the rest of your reading week this February. I want you to understand that there are worthwhile benefits to using your reading week for academic pursuits, but I also want you to take some time out for yourself and for your hobbies and interests. Relax and do the things that you want to do, but don’t forget that you still have another month of school to go once the break ends on February 23rd.