As mid-semester *ahem* reading week begins, you might be wondering what to do with all this spare time you find yourself with. Here are my top five things to do:
1. Visit home
What with Freshers Week, settling into your course and getting to know your flatmates, you may not have rang home in a while, let alone visited! You’re more or less half way through your first term now – as good a time as any to take some time out and catch up with your family, guinea pigs and mates from school.
Starting uni is a really exciting time in your life, but it’s also pretty intense. Hopefully you’ve been having a brilliant time making new friends and settling in, but until you crash on the family sofa you may not realise just how tired you are. A few sessions of watching rubbish on TV, chilling with the cat and having someone else cook you tea may be just the break you need.
And of course everyone back home will be really pleased to see you. We all mean to text our friends back home and ring the parents every Sunday, but it doesn’t always happen. Reading week is a great chance to check in with all the people you care about.
2. Explore the city – or a new one
If your parents have jetted off on their first holiday after finally getting rid of you, you could use part of your reading week to get to know your new city even better.
By now you probably know about all the main student bars, and might have looked around some of the better-known shops, but there’s still a whole host of amazing stuff for you to uncover.
The Castle, Wallace Monument and Smithy art gallery are on offer if you wish to feed your cultural side – or the Nando’s-cinema combination if you wish to do the opposite.
Edinburgh and Glasgow are both under an hour away on the train and offer many things which Stirling can’t – take this opportunity to explore the historic streets of the Capital or the vibrant pubs and clubs to the west.
3. Have some me-time
At the start of term everyone is in super-sociable mode. This is brilliant fun for a while, but eventually everyone needs a bit of time to themselves. Reading week is perfect for a bit of me-time. With your flat mates away you’re free to slum around in your PJs watching daytime TV, get lost in your favourite music and having antisocially long showers.
Much like going home for the week but without the train journey, a little time to yourself will leave you rejuvenated and ready to party in the run up to Christmas.
4. Flatmate Come Dine with Me
If everyone’s families have abandoned them you can cheer up your taste buds with a Come Dine with Me-style cooking challenge.
With a whole day to cook, you can attempt something a bit adventurous and pick up some cooking skills along the way. And the rest of the week you’ve got an exciting mystery tea to look forward to each night. Just don’t get too competitive about the scoring…
As we are a student paper I was contractually obligated to include this.
As the name suggests, reading week is indeed a great time to catch up on your reading. Without the distraction of lectures and seminars to go to, you can really get stuck into that pile of books – and if you set yourself up with a big mug of tea and a pack of biscuits you’ll be amazed how much you can get through.
Chances are you’ll have essays to hand in or exams to sit at the end of term, so be savvy and use this free week to get cracking on your coursework. Staying up all night desperately necking cans of Red Bull as you try to knock out 2,000 words before 9am is one student stereotype that definitely isn’t any fun. Take your time and you’ll do yourself proud – and maybe even enjoy it!