Reading weeks are pointless, and I love them. As Halloween draws nearer and the days get darker and colder, that long trek to campus is looking increasingly uninviting, so what better than a week’s break from lectures for the sake of ‘consolidating learning and individual research’? I know many people view reading week as a crucial period to catch up on the work they’ve missed thus far, but to me it’s a glorious period of time in which I can procrastinate and do what I usually do (a mixture of Netflix, Spotify, and games) without the annoying niggling feelings of guilt or shame that come along for the ride.
I guess I am lucky insofar as my course, English Literature, has not yet hit a point where the workload is too hard, or too much, for me to handle. A deadline just passed, and the next one isn’t for a month. In my eyes, that gives me a good three weeks of carefree seminar attendance. I suppose I could, and probably should, get ahead of my work over the course of the next week, but I’m just too lazy to consider that as a valid option at this point in time. (For any first years reading this, remember this is a columnist article, and not an advice piece – abandon all hope ye who listen to me).
Of course, the reduction of university-based stress is a massive positive with almost everyone choosing to go home and visit family and pets. I myself will be making the long trek back to my hometown, and am planning to spend a few days either in bed, or in London. Cracking stuff. Through sheer guilt I will be taking one, maybe two, books back with me, and I might even venture to open one of them if I am out of all other options.
don’t feel guilty – we all need breaks
At this point I will have lost all the respect of any staff members or hard-working students reading this, so I guess I will throw in some advice. For those who have the luxury of a reading week; it is only worth as much as you make of it. If you make the wiser choice of catching up, cracking on with course reading, or even looking ahead to coursework, then it is an invaluable chunk of time that can very well have positive effects for the rest of the term. If you choose to go home and take a break from work, then don’t feel guilty – we all need breaks. I will be admittedly wasting it, so for me it is unnecessary, but I love it anyway.