With reading week beginning this week, students have the opportunity to recharge over a week-long break. While reading week isn’t called “reading” week for nothing, there are lots of ways to achieve a balanced week besides spending it exclusively studying. Reading week can be about getting ahead and being productive in many aspects of your life apart from school work and gearing up for exam season. Below are some tips for students to help in successfully organizing their reading week.
Study, Plan, and Get Ahead
Studying tops this list, because without classes, reading week is a time to take a breath, step back, and assess school work. That’s not to say you should spend your entire week studying, but it is an excellent opportunity to plan, or even to get ahead. Take a step back and assess the first half of your term, and envision the next half. Particularly with exams right around the corner, this is a great time to reflect on what you have achieved, and what you would like to achieve in the future! An effective way to do this is to plan your time day by day. Make a list of studying and assignments you need to complete during the week, and then outline what you would ideally like to get done each day during the week. This way, come Sunday evening before classes begin again, you won’t be scrambling to do everything. If you’re a list-lover, this task will come easily to you, and you can enjoy making a study timetable. You may also want to consider taking a break from various social media platforms – if not for the entire week, at least for a few days, or a few hours every day. This will allow for more productive work habits, and also allow your brain time to recharge from the pressures and stresses that social media can produce. Be careful to be mindful of breaks. This is a week where you can take your time and avoid study exhaustion. Try rewarding yourself for a productive study session or use it as an incentive – treat yourself to a coffee, a new book, or an hour long break. And remember, celebrate the first half of your term! Acknowledge your achievements so far, enjoy your time, and recognize your successes.
Take Advantage of a Different Environment
If you leave campus for reading week, try taking advantage of a different environment, for studying and for non-school related activities. Try a new study location to change things up and keep things interesting – a different room, a new coffee shop, or a library space away from school. In addition, you can explore new places wherever you are. Get outside and enjoy the fall weather, and see somewhere you’ve never been! If you’re home, visit some old favourite spots and enjoy the nostalgia.
Catch Up With Family and Friends
Seeing family and friends goes without saying if you’ve traveled home for reading week. Particularly if home and family are far away from school, and you haven’t seen them since the beginning of term, take advantage of a whole week with the ones you love and visit with them, especially if you know you won’t see them again until the Christmas holidays. Visiting a friend makes for a great study break, a time where you can distance yourself from school work for a few hours and regenerate. Even if you haven’t traveled home, and won’t be able to see far-away friends and family during reading week, consider connecting with them over video chat to catch up with each other (this makes for a great study break).
With a bit of extra time, you can try adding in some exercise to your timetable. Even if difficult, structured workouts aren’t really your thing, try taking a walk with a friend, trying a new movement-based class, or going for a swim. Moving is a great way to de-stress, particularly around study breaks, and will help you mentally recharge. It may also create more productive studying, and help you feel more energized while you work.
Do Things For You
The last item on this list is arguably just as important as the first. Simply put, it’s important to take time for yourself, especially during a stressful period of time, which reading week can be for many students anticipating the arrival of exams. During the week, take time to do things that you enjoy around your study schedule, especially if they are things you love to do that you haven’t had a chance to do in a while. Reward yourself for your hard work in the first half of term! If your reading lately has been solely course-related, take time to pleasure-read. If you like your alone time, take some time to yourself and relax, or try a new self-care routine. Watch a movie you’ve had your eye on, try new recipes, bake for family members, enjoy time with pets, or catch up on other non-school related tasks you want to achieve during the week. Not everything during reading week has to be about assignments and studying. Do things for the sheer enjoyment and because you want to. Then you’ll be able to approach exam season the following week with a renewed sense of mind.