Time to yourself
Alena Kondratieva – Assistant Campus News Editor
For the whole first month of school as reading week approaches, I typically don’t sleep well. The moment I lay my head on the pillow, even if I feel exhausted, my problems, issues and upcoming tasks haunt me for what seems like hours. September, as a student, always seems to be a hard month, and a seemingly longer one as well. Just as the weather can change rapidly from humid and hot, to cold and rainy, the transition from summer holidays to coming back to school can be daunting, drastic and unwanted. Of course, as students, we all want the university culture and lifestyle of being social and sophisticated, but I feel like we’d love for it to be without the school work that comes along and all of a sudden doubles. That’s why I look forward to reading week. I look forward to sleeping like a baby, having the time to cook healthy meals and not feeling guilty about taking a break to watch some television or spend some time with family.
On reading week, I do my best to detach myself from my student identity and unwind by just being me. I highly recommend getting your assignments and readings done before the start of reading week, even if that means having a bit more work before, to be able to take an entire week off of being a student because, hey, you deserve it.
Do what you enjoy
Nick Brayford – Sports Editor
Reading week can be spent many different ways. Whether you will be studying for you upcoming midterms, relaxing after studying for the midterms that may have already happened, or simply relaxing with family and friends, my advice to you is to spend most of it doing things that are enjoyable to you. Reading week is there to provide students with a break from school, so don’t spend the entire week with your head crammed in your books. I’m sure most of you will need to study a bit, or catch up on some homework but do that at the end of the week if it’s necessary.
Make sure you spend the majority of your time away from school work. Spend some time with family and friends, filling them in on your first month of school. Spend some time with your dog that you probably miss most out of everyone. Catch up on your Netflix shows, maybe cramming in a season or two before you head back. However you may do it, my point is to just take some of the weight of your shoulders and destress, you can go back to worrying about midterms and assignments towards the end of the week.
Set and reexamine your goals for the year
Shannon Parr – Arts and Culture Editor
Reading week can potentially be a vastly different experience from one student to the next. You may plan on being productive and create an hour by hour schedule, or you could be looking to get in as many shifts as possible at your job outside of school while you have some extra time. Whatever the case is, my advice for effectively using this upcoming reading week is to focus on the goals you’ve set while also keeping in mind what the point of the break is; Brock established this reading week in the name of mental health.
School can be hectic, especially when you pile every other aspect of your life on top of it. It’s a great idea to use the break to get some work done and get in a couple extra shifts to help pay the rent, but taking a day or two to do absolutely nothing but unwind will help you in the long run – I promise!By taking a break, you will be able to recharge and also remember that there is life beyond bills and school that you can live without falling behind. Catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile or call your family – even just taking a day to dabble in a hobby that gets last priority during school will help you to re-centre and leave you ready to take on the last half of the fall semester.
Work and save up
Rachel Sterzai – Opinion Editor
When reading week rolls around my bank account is already scarily low. At which time I generally try to pick up a few shifts at the ski shop I work at back home in Oakville and make a few extra bucks. Fall Reading Week also comes at the perfect time because I’m able to load on the hours with the Toronto Snow Show taking up half of my week. While I feel like most people use reading week to catch up on school, I mainly spend my time getting more sleep when I can, because there’s no question that I’ve probably been sick at least once already. Sleep is very important to me.
I also try to spend some time with friends who also have their fall break at the same time to catch up and make up for the few months we’ve been separated. This basically means sitting around at someone’s house eating and watching Chopped on the Food Network or bad Netflix scary movies. There is the odd time when I actually try to do homework because falling behind in school is something I’m really not interested in. So I definitely have my it’s fair share of late nights where I wish I wasn’t reading a book of poetry or trying to write an essay at 3 a.m.
Learn something new!
Luiz Brasil – External News Editor
How should you spend your time during reading week? Should you relax, focus on yourself and just de-stress? Should you hit the books, study for those upcoming midterms, and actually start those essays early for once?
No. You should learn something new. Are there any important issues you’ve been interested in, but never looked into deeply? Research it. Educate yourself. Abandon your presuppositions, your assumptions, and veil yourself in ignorance. Take a critical look at the best arguments from each side and evaluate them.
You’ll see the complexity and nuance in something you may have previously thought of as simple. Or maybe pick up a new skill. Find ways to become a more well-rounded person. Learn how to play an instrument, how to draw, play a new sport, or go to the gym. Whatever you decide, consistency is key. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn and improve if you dedicate a little time every day. Stick with whatever you choose, and it will be incredibly rewarding. After all, nothing is more rewarding than improving yourself.
Get back on track
Joanna Ward – Specialty Editor
Reading week for me is a time to regroup. I’ve always found that I think I’m on track in my classes for the first couple of weeks but really I’m not. I fall behind on reading and end up winging it through seminars and lectures, crossing my fingers that there are no assignments coming up that hinge on having finished the reading or homework assigned in the first half of the semester.
Of course, I don’t want to fail my classes. I’m aiming for a decent grade. Therefore, i tend to use reading week as a time where I can assess what needs doing and make a proper plan for getting it done. I look over the syllabus for each class and make a list of what needs doing and how much time I think it’ll take to do it. I try to use post-its and fill up my bedroom wall with tasks, ordering them by priority, and then knocking them out one by one until reading week is over. I know some people like to take a sunny vacation, but for me planning time is my vacation. This week of organizing gets me set up for the rest of term, helping me get everything done on time and with a good grade as a result.