By Lauren Winney
For most of us at UWE, week six of the academic year is reading week, which means no lectures, no seminars and no tutorials. Sound like the perfect opportunity for a nice relaxing week?
To some extent, yes, after a long and difficult start to the term, and getting back into the swing of studying after a long deserved summer break, it is the ideal time to catch up with sleep, friends and family.
However, time flies when you’re having fun, and soon that Monday morning feeling will be back.
The best way to use your reading week is by organising your time and priorities. Of course, enjoy those lie ins and the amazing feeling that you don’t have that 9am lecture in the baking hot sauna of a lecture room.
For all you Fresher’s, this will be your first experience of a reading week, and as a 3rd year, I would advise you to use even as little as an hour a day to go through any unfinished and extra work.
First’s things first, look through the weekly timetable in your module handbooks constructed by your tutors. That will hopefully give you a summary of what you would do in the lecture, seminar, readings, and further readings.
The best questions to ask your self is, did I attend this week? Do I need to catch up on lecture notes? Did I understand the reading? Do I need to do further reading on this subject? By doing this for every module a few times in your reading week you are benefiting your knowledge in the long run, for revision and essay writing in the future.
Plan into the future! Your module handbook is your survival guide to success. The rules and plans for studying over the coming academic year are all done for you, so no need to worry about what to expect. That 3,000 word essay due in Christmas should not come as a shock to you; if you make sure you refresh your mind with these deadlines.
Look what readings and lectures there are planned for you in the up-coming weeks, and perhaps prepare a study timetable of when you can fit in readings, revision and essay plans. This can even be done while watching a film in bed. That is the beauty of a reading week, those boring little things that get pushed to the back during the first few busy weeks can be seen to in week 6.
The most sensible way of looking at a reading week, is to keep a healthy balance. Don’t overdo the work or play, and use time to get what you feel needs prioritising. Don’t let the work slip your mind, while you slip into your unnecessary 3rd nap of the day.