Do you actually read over reading week?

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Alright, so who here uses reading week to catch up on work? Who’s gone on vacation? And who has done absolutely nothing?

Yeah, me too. It’s pretty easy to kick back and do absolutely nothing because there is no immediacy in what you are working on. But then, very quickly, the deadlines come back and bite you in the butt.

Some classes have midterms the day you come back from your week off, and it is very easy to spend the whole week telling yourself that you will start studying tomorrow. Then, before you know it, it’s Sunday night and your midterm is at 8:30 a.m.

Why do we do this to ourselves? When did procrastinating become a way of life? I don’t actually remember when this became how I existed but my excuse is Netflix, what’s yours?

What I don’t understand is: why do our weeks off piggyback on statutory holidays, Thanksgiving and Family Day? We get two extra days off in a year taken away from us. I, for one, would like to have a full week of malls and stores open everyday of my week off since that is usually the only time I have to run personal errands, like having pants hemmed for interviews, or taking a moment to relax — which is the point of reading week in the first place.

Considering that this is supposed to be downtime that we can use to recover mentally and physically, why is there so much work to be done? Why do we have so much reading to do?

The people who know how to relax (I do not fall into this category) have complained that they feel bad for relaxing over reading week because they come back feeling literally a week behind in all their classes when they really did not miss any class time at all.

If we are expected to relax and prepare for the rest of term over reading week, maybe we should rename it to relaxing week or February break.

Sometimes I wonder why we are given this week off in the first place. If we didn’t get reading week we would finish both terms a week early and maybe that would just be better in the long run.

I take that back, by the time reading week rolls around, I need the week off because I know I am on the verge of burning out. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that I come back from the week off sometimes more tired and stressed out than I was when I left.

P.S. For those of you who are insanely productive over the course of the week please share your secrets. Even though I am graduating, I feel like generations of people yet to come to UW would benefit in learning from you.

Rameesha Qazi

5B, Honours English Literature

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