How to make the most of Reading Week
Sorry STEM students, this one isn’t for you!
If you’re currently a Humanities student at Warwick, or considering Humanities (by which I mean Modern Foreign Languages, English, and History – although there may be others that I’m missing) at Warwick, it’s important to know about the phenomenon that is Reading Week.
Everyone says ‘uni students don’t get half term’ – and to an extent, that’s kind of true (more on that in a second). However, on Week 6 in both Terms 1 and 2, there is a break in lectures – you will have no classes and seminars, and this is what we call Reading Week.
There is a lecturer who I’m close to, and she jokingly calls it ‘go home and do laundry week’. Now this is kind of true – I did take advantage of Reading Week in my first and second years to go home and get pampered by my mother. But I don’t fully agree with the idea that it’s a week off – especially this year, when I have tons to be getting on with. So, how might you use Reading Week to your advantage and actually get some relaxing done?
1) Plan ahead
I appreciate that you’ll have seminars and lectures to do beforehand, but if can get work for Week 7 done in Week 5, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy a week off. Sure, this might be hard because lecturers do tend to structure stuff so you can read the longer texts in this ‘week off’, but the more you can get out of the way, the better.
2) Use it to get ahead
If you’re like me, and want to chill in the long-term, you might want to use Reading Week to get ahead on work you have to submit later. Essays, translations (in my case), dissertation for all my final year peeps – you name it. Again, it would make sense to plan ahead of time what you want to get done in Reading Week (and please, be realistic, not over-optimistic like I was this time, which is why I’m working on a Sunday) so you can make the most of it and feel like you’ve been productive.
3) You can relax, it’s not a sin…
At the end of the day though, Reading Week can be used to recharge. I was anxiously waiting for Reading Week to come around so I could catch up on my sleep (no such luck, because my body wants to torture me and make sure I’m up at 8 and struggling to sleep at night, woooo!) and just relax a little bit. I have to admit, whilst I have been hard at work (again, anticipated because it’s final year), I have had moments where I have sat down and just chilled. And it’s been good to sit back, relax, and get some perspective (especially given that we’re in a pandemic). I feel a little bit refreshed, so it wasn’t that bad a Reading Week.
Look, whether you want to plan ahead and get stuff done so you can chill, or get stuff done ahead and keep going during Reading Week is completely up to you. Like I’ve said earlier though, it helps to be realistic, and this isn’t a perfect science – I definitely did Reading Week better as a second-year student. Nevertheless, I hope you had a good Reading Week this term, and that this might help you to make better use of your Reading Weeks in the future.