Reading week: What is it all about?
So, I’m currently back home in France for Reading Week. Before starting my first year, Reading Week sounded like a very strange concept to me, so for those of you as confused as I was about what this week entails, here is a small blog unveiling its secrets!
First, when does Reading Week take place and who gets one? Reading Weeks at Warwick are weeks 6 in Terms 1 and 2, so around mid-November in Term 1, and early February in Term 2. Reading Weeks aren’t available for all subjects, but some that I know include them are Politics and Law for example, although there are others as well.
Second, what is it, and what are you meant to do during it? Reading Week is a lecture and seminar-free week, and it is intended to give you additional time to catch up on reading, do more in-depth reading, or prepare for coursework. Having no contact hours means that some students also go home for a while. This is what I’ve done for all of my Reading Weeks, which I really enjoy as I tend to get homesick mid-way through the term. Aside from going home, some students also use the extra time to travel around a bit.
While the name may suggest endless hours spent pouring over books, Reading Weeks are also a really good break halfway through the term. While you will (especially as a Law student) invariably have cases and articles to read or seminars and essays to prepare for, Reading Weeks allow you to take a pause and relax for a bit. I tend to take the first few days off from academic work, so that I actually feel refreshed when returning to university.
It’s very easy to forget to take time off for yourself while at university, as it can sometimes feel like there is always something you should be doing, whether that is work related, or academic, or maybe responsibilities within a student society. This is why Reading Week can be great to allow you to step away from all that for a little bit. For the days when I do some actual reading, I plan out a loose schedule just so that I know where I’m headed. This week, I’m mostly focusing on seminar readings and prep, as well as starting to look into essays whose deadlines are approaching.
Really though, everyone uses their Reading Weeks differently, and as there is nothing academic going on, it really is up to you to decide how you want to structure it, and what you would like to gain from it! 🙂
I hope this has made things a little clearer, and feel free to ask me any questions you may have! 🙂