By: Alana Kearney, 3rd Year Concurrent Education, English student
It seems that the first week back after reading week is full of students saying, “I should have done way more work than I did,” and “I didn’t open a book the whole week!” With reading week coming up, it is important to plan realistic goals for the week so that you can say, “I accomplished everything I wanted to over the break.” Trying to accomplish too much over the break means you won’t have a break at all, but not touching any school work could make the next 6 weeks more difficult. Here are some tips for finding your perfect balance! The Make the Most of Reading Week: Scheduling Drop-In on February 13th is a great place to go to if you are interested in planning for reading week. (http://sass.queensu.ca/event/make-the-most-of-reading-week-scheduling-drop-in/)
Setting realistic goals for the break is difficult for a lot of us to do. We tend to overestimate how much school work we will be willing to do over the break. Start by looking at what classes you are behind in and focus on catching up in those. This will save you stress come exam time! If you are all caught up, then look ahead to the first weeks back and see what assignments or readings you can do over the break. Be honest to with yourself as to what you think you will want to work on and how much time you will have to do these things. The SMART goal method is a great way of coming up with realistic goals. (http://sass.queensu.ca/time-management/goal-setting/)
By making a weekly plan you can follow, it will be easier to see when you have time to do what tasks. Reading week is a great time to catch up with friends and do things not related to school. These activities can also be added into your weekly schedule so you can figure out roughly how much time will be left for school-related things. It’s also important to note that reading week can be hectic and a little unpredictable but having a weekly plan can help keep you organized despite changing plans. This video walks you through creating your own weekly schedule.
Use Found Time
Found time is time when you catch yourself having some extra time in the day you were not planning on. Although lying in bed watching Netflix sounds like the perfect fit for this time, it is a really great time to work on school work while over the break. Examples of found time can include cancelled plans, finishing something faster than you thought or travel time.
Take A Break
Although it is important to not completely slack off during reading week, taking time to recoup and relax throughout the week is what the week is meant for! Making sure you are getting enough sleep and your 150 minutes of physical activity is important in both physical and mental health. This article shows the benefits of proper sleep hygiene (http://sass.queensu.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/09/12-Rules-for-Better-Sleep-Hygiene.pdf). By week 6 students are stressed and tired so taking time over the break for personal health is necessary and will allow you to perform better for the last weeks of school.