Written by: Kait Holloway
I think I speak for all of us when I say it’s never a dull moment at Mohawk! For many students, Reading Week serves as a reward for hanging in there thus far. However, to call Reading Week a reward would be simply incorrect since it implies that we must earn the right to have one.
Having Reading Week every semester is essential to student wellness, and Mohawk is no exception. As a post-secondary student, this break is a RIGHT, not a privilege. At this point in the term, responsibilities and personal demands, Just. Keep. Piling. Up. Having a free week in the middle of it allows us as students to decompress and redefine our priorities before moving forward into the final leg of the semester.
It helps to think of the Areas of Demand in your life as corners of a triangle.
Corner One: Personal and Social Expectations
On one end, you have your personal/social expectations. These are the demands, wants and needs surrounding your family and friends, and any hobbies or interests you might enjoy spending time on. This is a super wide category, including everything from a relaxing family vacation to a week-long grind on a video game you haven’t touched since Winter Break.
Even a long-overdue apartment cleaning or a doctors’ appointment you’ve been neglecting to make are considered in the personal/social category, since they’re both things you do to help yourself.
Corner Two: Work and Professional Expectations
On another end, you’ve got your work/professional corner. That’s anything to do with your job or sources of income. Maybe you plan to go back to that part-time job in your hometown and save some money to support you through the spring. Maybe the website for your personal business could use an update, or you’ve been strapped for time to schedule summer job interviews.
Reading Week is the time!
Corner Three: School and Education Expectations
Finally, you’ve got your school/education section. These are any demands or expectations that come from being a student. During Reading Week, this could look like an assignment to complete over the break, or your first stress-free study session since the beginning of the semester.
Obviously life gets messy, and it’s not as simple as sorting our priorities into a triangle diagram, but it helps us visualize all the directions life can pull us, on top of being students in college. When the demand of one area becomes more difficult to manage, you’ll probably notice that others begin to slip. Before you know it, you’re burnt out.
So how do we prevent that? The answer isn’t as simple as it sounds: balance.
When demands from all three areas don’t seem to stop, it’s impossible to successfully bounce between them without seeing a decline in your mental state. However, a break like Reading Week alleviates some pressure. It allows us to take a step back, breathe, and actually choose how we’d like to spend our day—every day, for a full 7 days! Crazy, right?
So go ahead. Enjoy your Reading Week, however you want! You didn’t just earn it—you deserve it.