Top Tips for Reading Week
Hello everyone! Term is flying by as expected and if you’re on a course with a reading week built in, like me, you’ll be lucky enough to have a week off formal lectures and seminars in week 6. Here’s a few pieces of advice on how to make the most of it and have a productive yet refreshing week.
Rest & recharge
Week 6 is a lovely chance to jump off the non-stop treadmill of uni life for a few days – so my no.1 tip above all would be to make sure you do give yourself a proper rest. Take this opportunity to have a lie in when you’d usually have a 9am lecture, catch up on your favourite TV show, do whatever makes you happy. Have fun & absolutely do make time for yourself. If you’re going home for reading week, spend time with your family, maybe meet a friend for a coffee and catch-up. The Warwick Bubble is a wonderful thing but it can also be refreshing to get outside this bubble at times, so make the most of the outside world!
Get ahead on reading and preparation
Unfortunately it’s called reading week for a reason – primarily to read! It’s nice to have a little bit of breathing space to get on with this however, and I always enjoy the chance to focus wholly on the set material and think things through properly, without the added ongoing pressure of fitting this in around a (very full!) timetable of classes and activities. If you can, get ahead on reading for the rest of term, or if you’d prefer, it can sometimes be helpful to read around a topic that’s especially interested you. If you’re pursuing an area of personal interest this is also much less likely to feel like a chore. For example, in one of my recent seminars we had to read excerpts from a fascinating text entitled ‘The Female Malady’ & I’m hoping to read the rest of this book during my reading week.
It depends completely on what you’re studying and the subsequent timings of assessments, but for many courses, reading week can be a chance to step back and consider all that you’ve been studying for the past few month or so, in view of starting to work towards essays. I’ve just been given essay titles for a relatively major January assessment & even though that may sound like a long time away right now, it will certainly put my mind at rest to give a little time next week to thinking through the array of titles on offer and jotting down a few early ideas for what I may like to focus on. For another of my more practical assessments, reading week is a time for us to form our groups and start talking through ideas, so that we can emerge into the next half of term ready to hit the ground running with creative practice!
Reorganise notes from the first half of term
Things can get so hectic at uni that sometimes your notes can very easily end up in a big stack of disorganised papers, half-formed thoughts jotted down on post-it notes and 3 drafts of the same essay. When I have a bit of spare time, I like to keep on top of my filing and organisation system for my work, making sure that I’ve discarded anything I don’t need, as well as put things in an order that makes sense. Sometimes, seminar notes can be messy if you’re noting thoughts down quickly during a fast-moving discussion, and if I can I find it helpful to rewrite my notes and fill them out properly so that everything will make sense to me when I come to read back and revise in the months to come.
Catch up on the things you don’t usually have time for
For me, that would be all kinds of boring yet necessary admin, as well as taking extra time to work on project plans for the university drama society, which I am on the exec of. I’ll also be using part of my reading week to learn the music for the Inter-University Musical Theatre competition, for which I’m on the performance team. Look out for an upcoming blog post talking about this experience! Most importantly I’ll be spending a week back home with my family & meeting up with a few friends, which I’m really looking forward to.
Roll on week 6!