With reading week beginning this week, you have the opportunity to recharge over a week-long break. Students spend most of the term juggling classes, readings, work, friends, and other commitments, and Reading Week is a much-deserved break for everyone.
While reading week isn’t called “reading” week for nothing, there are lots of ways to achieve a balanced week besides spending it exclusively studying. Reading week can be about getting ahead and being productive in many aspects of your life apart from schoolwork and gearing up for exam season. Here are some simple tips for managing your time so your return to campus is a little easier.
It is important to plan and schedule some schoolwork in between the time you take out for yourself so that the last half of term doesn’t catch you off guard. Think about upcoming deadlines and set yourself manageable goals that leave you feeling accomplished and prepared for the next stage. Make a calendar for the days you want to study, how many hours for each, and what the priority things to learn in that course are. Make a calendar for the next term too while you’re at it.
With extra free time on your hands, try to catch up on some of the items on your to-do list that you may have been putting off. Do laundry, clean your living space, or stock up on groceries. Draft an internship or job application, spend some time planning your dissertation, or take care of any appointments you may have.
If you are planning to travel during Reading Week, plan strategically. If you have a busy schedule coming up after the break, opt for a shorter local trip rather than traveling abroad for the entire week. Take a short train trip to a place you haven’t been yet in the UK such as the Cotswolds, Bath, Cambridge, Edinburgh, or York. Save longer, international trips for summer or months when you have more time and flexibility.
Organize and Prioritise
Make a list of readings or lectures you may have missed during the first half of the term or other work you need to catch up on. Start by planning the second half of your Term so you have a clear idea of when your formative assessments and other projects or presentations are due. Rank the tasks within each category according to their importance. You may wish to consider each task’s impact on your learning and/or grade, how much time and work are involved, and its urgency and due date.
Steps such as creating an outline for your upcoming formative essay or getting a head start on planning for your presentation will help make next Term much easier.
Reading week is also a time to rest and rejuvenate. Rather than sticking to a strict routine, use the week to catch up on sleep, do the things you wish you had time to do in the term, and make sure you’re finding time to rest; you can still have a productive week without working every hour of the day. Read a book for fun, watch your favourite movies, visit a museum, or go for a day trip – whatever helps take your mind off university.
Catch up with family and friends
With multiple deadlines, extensive reading lists, and extra-curricular commitments, term time is a little too busy to be able to spend enough time with friends and family. Use your free time this week to plan exciting things with the people you love.
You may wish to travel home for reading week and visit your family or stay in London with your friends and flatmates. Whichever you decide, plan a few day trips out, schedule a movie marathon, and spend some quality time with those around you.
Have you also read these articles?