After experiencing reading period for the first time this semester, I realized that if done successfully, reading period is not as bad as it seems. Reading period, the period right before finals week, is dedicated for students to study for finals and complete their final papers or projects. While this week is stressful as deadlines are approaching, it is also when most students are done with their classes. Since there is no need to wake up for an early morning class or make the trek up Science Hill, there are some perks to reading period.
I love the fact that during reading period, I can work according to my own schedule. During reading period, if I slept particularly late one night, I could sleep in the next morning and wake up well-rested and ready to study. Since there are no classes to rush to, reading period also means making time for routines and taking care of yourself. If you are unable to exercise during the regular academic week due to time constraints, fortunately, reading period provides you ample time to get in some movement. In between study sessions, study breaks are also a perfect way to squeeze in errands that you need to accomplish, such as buying trash bags at CVS or finally doing the load of laundry that has been sitting in your room the past week.
Grabbing meals with friends is also one of the perks of reading period. Since most students do not have classes, reading period is a great excuse to meet up with others for a meal. If you have only had lunch in the same two dining halls during the regular school year due to time constraints, reading period is a great way to expand your horizons. If you are feeling adventurous and want a change of scenery, make the trek to Steep Café for a quick lunch with a friend and an amazing view of Science Hill! No matter the time of day, there is probably another student in need of a study break so reach out and get a meal with a friend.
While I love working according to my schedule and the ability to interact with others during mealtime, my favorite part of reading week is the study breaks. Study breaks are essentially snack breaks that are common during reading period. They can be hosted by extracurriculars, residential colleges, Yale Hospitality, and more. Not only are the cookies and pizzas delicious, but study breaks are also a great way for students to take their minds away from studying and relieve stress. In addition to the food during study breaks, during reading week, dining halls provide hot coffee and tea all day long for students needing an extra caffeine boost.
Reading week is ultimately the calm before the storm. While it is stressful because I need to study for finals and complete assignments, I love being able to see my friends during lunch and the abundance of study breaks available. Ultimately, taking reading week requires a careful balance of being productive and taking breaks, and fortunately, at Yale, I can successfully accomplish both.