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How To Spend Reading Week

Stuck for how to spend your reading week? Don't worry, Ish's top tips have the answers!


Reading Week- an excuse for us all to return to our respective homes in Surrey, where our wonderful assortment of faithful pals (of the canine variety) eagerly await our return. It can be an emotional time in which you first say goodbye to all of the friends you’ve made in the dimly lit clubs of Exeter, only to see them back home in the dimly lit clubs of Guildford and London.

For those who benefit from being humanities students or baby fresh, the week promises to be free of any contact hours, the first opportunity of the year to escape Exeter, take a break and step back from every module you’re already behind on only three weeks into the term. Post exodus, the population of campus dramatically changes from 20,000 to the 400 students who made the mistake of taking Law.

But while it’s nice to flee to the comforts of your mother’s nutritional cooking, why not save the extortionate cost of train tickets (to better invest in a year’s worth of VKs)? Your bank account will thank you for it, and in addition to saving you time in the from of train delays, you’ll have a whole week of rest and relaxation, because the best way to utilise Reading week is perhaps to remain in Exeter.

This year, Reading Week will occur on the week commencing Monday the 28th of October -Halloween Week- so if you head home, you’ll miss all the fun of sweaty house parties, sweaty club nights and hyper-sexualised hyperthermia-inducing Halloween costumes- not one to miss on your university checklist!

If instead you want to be productive, treat your house to a Spring Clean. As we progress into the winter months, chances are that you’ll be too cold to get out of bed, so it would be good if you hoovered the house now while you’re still able to move around the house without the risk of frostbite. Or make friends with a Maths student, for it’s the only time you’ll see one not completing coursework!

Ish’s Top Tip however? Explore Exe! As students, the extent of our adventures within Exeter are often limited to the route to campus from our homes. When asked “What is there to do in exeter?”, we proudly boast of our pretty streets and even prettier buildings, despite not having visited most of them ourselves. I therefore recommend that you spend Reading Week become a tourist in our pretty little city and travel the world of EX4.

Visit the RAMM, not the Ram. Treat yourself not to a pint, but rather an education. Granted, they don’t sell curly fries. However, they do sell some normal wedges in the cafe downstairs, great if you intend on spending a few hours there. I predict that you will, as the Royal Albert Memorial Museum is a beautiful backdrop to take some equally beautiful instragram photos, with a countless colourful walls, dead animals and other interesting artefacts.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, head down to the Quay and get yourself either a bike or a boat from Saddles ’n’ Paddles. Alternatively, if you want the crowded and dark experience of Move without having to walk miles away, just visit the Underground Passages for the same effect. Finally, don’t forget to visit the Cathedral to pray for that 2:1.

But why restrict yourself to the confines of EX4? Take the train to the sandy beaches of Dawlish or Exmouth. You’ll be cold since it’s winter, but everything is always better on a beach! Alternatively, if you dislike finding sand in everything you own and prefer shingle beaches, take a local bus to Beer, the costal village that sells the best local cider in all of Devon.

But between visiting some donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth to listening to the Bournemouth Symphony Orcestra play in the Great Hall to fix your post Halloween hangover, exploit the culture the Exeter has to offer, while you’re still able! While there’s traditionally no reading in Reading Week, my personal Reading Week recommendation? Head to Reed Hall or Northenhay Gardens to read for fun. Not the 200 page texts your lecturers have set, but rather, something you enjoy, wether it’s Shakespeare or Mao’s little red book, take a moment to appreciate the peace before the rest of the animals return to the zoo.

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