Part II: Reading Week #GML
Some lucky students, such as myself, are currently on what universities call ‘Reading Week’. This is a period where students who study BAs do not have any scheduled seminars or lectures. They are encouraged to spend their time doing extra readings related to their courses and getting more background knowledge of the texts that they may be studying in class. However, Reading Week is also synonymous with Relaxation Week; a time when students are able to take a break from their busy schedules and catch up with some well-earnt rest. Truth be told, Reading Week could not have come round sooner for me. By Week 4, I was already overloaded with academic work, and on top of my degree, I also partake in extra-curricular activities, enjoy staying fit, and have a part time job on the weekends. Telling myself to prioritise the ‘not so fun’ activities became an arduous chore and I often gave in to my ‘inner monkey’ and chose instant gratification rather than a task that needed to be completed. – On a side note, if you don’t know what I’m referring to when I talk about the ‘inner monkey’, head over to this TedTalk here where Tim Urban explains all about the habit of procrastination. Ironically, I watched this when procrastinating from one of my seminar works. Ugh. – Therefore, when Reading Week came around, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. Although deadlines are still looming ahead of me and my Translation booklet is still glaring at me from my bedside table, I feel that Reading Week is a time to recentralise myself. I often talk about this in my blogs, and if you think I am sounding like a broken record, it’s only because I truly do believe in the importance of being in a good mental state. Of course, university life can be hectic, but one of the key learnings of these three, four, five years of your life, is to learn how to balance your time effectively. Below, I’ve listed a few of my top tips on what to do during your Reading Week, in order to cleanse yourself from all the stress and anxieties. I really do hope this helps you, and that after following these, you feel strong and ready to tackle your work. 1. Meditation Admittedly, last year, when I attended the Buddhist Society’s Meditation, I spent the entire time fidgeting. 45 mins was waaaaay too long for me to spend attempting to focus on my breathing. I was a pure beginner, and I jumped straight into the deep end and when it didn’t work out, I stopped going. However, I now realise that I ought to learn how to walk before I can run. Nowadays, I relish my alone time where I sit down in my room, turn all distractions off, and just empty my mind of all my worries. 2. Journaling After meditating, I like getting out my diary and just unloading all of my issues. This gets all the negative energy out of your body, and it is a way of cleansing your mind. It’s like having a counsellor, free of charge. Or a caring, non-judgemental friend. (Note to self: stop blogging about your lack of friends.) 3. Creating Goals I’m not talking about your goal of receiving a small loan of a million dollars to start up your dream business. I’m talking about maybe finally doing your laundry, or reading another chapter of a book, or putting on a face mask and watching a bit of Netflix. Yeah, these aren’t related to your studies, but it’s related to your well being, which is just as important.