What does a History student do in Reading Week?
Happy Reading Week! We’re halfway through Reading Week, which is a week in the middle of term in which Humanities students have no contact hours. This means we have more time to work on upcoming essays and the reading we need to do for the rest of term. I find Reading Weeks really useful — they’re a bit like half-term at school. You have a breather from the weekly workload, and a chance to reassess before launching into the final weeks of term. Some students choose to go home for the week, whilst others stay with their friends who do not have Reading Weeks.
I’ve realised that this is my final Reading Week, so with a few under my belt, I thought I’d share what I usually get up to. I posted a blog in Reading Week in Term 1 about how to spend it, so be sure to check that out for more!
I like to do some reading for the next week. The majority of my weekly workload is readings for my seminars each week, so if I can get a bit out the way for Week 7, I have more time when I get back to my normal routine after Reading Week. For example, as a Third Year I’m working on my dissertation. With long term projects like this, it’s important that I set aside time to keep on top of things, otherwise it’s easy to fall behind. Reading Weeks (used wisely) can be a great way to do this. Having a Reading Week allows us to make time in the coming weeks to work on bigger projects or other things going on.
An example of this might be essays. If your essay deadlines fall in the final weeks of term, Reading Week can be crucial. You have time to get started on your planning and research a bit earlier than you normally would, which always makes me feel more organised going into the second half of term. Just knowing that I’ve made a start on an essay, I feel more ready for the coming weeks. Every little helps!
Whilst I don’t have formal sit-down exams this year, this is a great opportunity to consolidate what you’ve covered so far this term. Revising an entire year’s worth of content can seem daunting, so ensuring you’ve understood the key topics from the term at this stage might make life easier in the long run. Besides, if you come across something which you need to clarify, it’s better to know now when you have time to see your tutor than in the hectic run up to an exam or deadline! This could mean taking a bit of time just to read and reflect on some notes, or revisiting seminar questions, or getting a rough idea of which topics you need to look over again in the future — you’ll thank yourself in a couple of months!
Finally, a priority for me in Reading Week is always to rest and recuperate. There are plenty of deadlines on the horizon for me in my final months at Warwick(!), and I’m certainly keeping myself busy in order to feel on top of things, but it’s also crucial that I take my foot off the pedal too. Term time is jam-packed, and while a week away from seminars can easily be just as full with work, I think it’s important that I allow time away from my laptop to re-energise before going back into the term. Finding the balance is always tricky, but I know I’d be doing myself no favours leaving Reading Week more tired and stressed than I started!
I hope you’re having a good Reading Week too if you have one, and all the best for Week 7 and beyond!