The AQ’s declassified reading week survival guide

(Aaron Sousa/AQ)

It’s no secret that reading week can be a challenging time for students. The Aquinian’s photo editor, Aaron Sousa, compiled this list of valuable tips for you to keep this week stress free.

1) Make a plan

It may sound like every university’s study guide, but it’s some pretty solid advice. We’ve all been there, trying to study every piece of material you’ve learned since September and feeling completely overwhelmed in the process. So, time to invest in a planner.

Save yourself the headache and the tears by setting aside a designated time for each class. If you take a political science course three times a week, study close to when the class usually takes place. You will not only study, but you’ll also stay in a regular sleep routine.

2) Sleep … like seriously

I THRIVE off of sleep. If anything, it’s probably my favourite extracurricular activity. Without it, our brains just feel like they’ve turned to mush. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night.

As tempting as it is to scroll through TikTok for another five minutes or watch one more episode of Squid Game, I’d advise against it. Not only will your body’s circadian rhythm thank you — but so will your mental health.

3) Keep any distractions out of sight

As someone with the same attention span as the average squirrel, limiting any distraction before a study session is crucial. I’m sure you’ve heard the trick of hiding your phone in a drawer — do it. I don’t care that you just got engaged, Jessica, I need to study for great books!

Surround yourself with a nice work environment. This is one of the best ways to limit these distractions. One of my favourite tactics is working in a local café. I’m personally a big fan of Coffee and Friends on King Street (#notsponsored). Soft classical music and good hot chocolate make great study companions.

4) Stay hydrated and well-fed

Much like how our brains need enough sleep to function, they also need nutrition and hydration. Remember that water bottle we all got in the first-year welcome week kits? Fill that shit up. And before you say it, coffee is not water. Good try, though.

It’s also a great excuse to eat some of your favourite comfort foods! According to the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, complex carbs and protein are essentials to improve brain function. That’s basically a Subway salad, so any excuse to have one of those is a win to me.

5) Take breaks and reward yourself

Taking time to reward and take care of yourself mentally and physically goes a long way. You finished a reading? Awesome! Grab your favourite snack. Aced a practice quiz? Revel in some communal suffering with your friends over a drink at The Cellar.

Reading week is taxing on both elements; don’t let either one suffer in the name of academics. You want every day of reading week to be a “bones day,” so try your best to set yourself up for success.

Or don’t.

I get paid either way.