By Elisha Mans, First Year Politics
Reading weeks are important for student mental health and productivity. All students deserve this.
Remember the good ol’ days of school half terms?
Those relaxing breaks from the traumas of maths lessons and rubbish canteen food. Yeah, they are still needed.
There is no good reason that we should not have the same mid-term break in university as we did in school. Afterall, too many of us still have the same dismall-quality food.
But, more importantly, it is vital that students get a change from the routine lectures and work.
By that, I mean everyone. Let’s not put the science and maths students through endless terms whilst everyone else has the luxury of a week off.
it is scientifically proven that breaks and changes to our usual routine are beneficial to our mental health and can refocus our minds when we return to work.
Say you have late lectures on a Friday and early lectures on a Monday. What is the point in travelling all the way home for just one night over the weekend?
The lack of reading weeks for some students makes this the only viable possibility of seeing their family and it is just not enough. This is particularly tough for first years who are still adjusting to not being with their families. It seems cruel that we don’t give them the opportunity to go home.
I am not suggesting that we all just kick-back and relax for a week in the luxurious environment of dishwashers, free food and pets. But reading weeks are a chance to rejuvenate and refocus productivity and it is scientifically proven that breaks and changes to our usual routine are beneficial to our mental health and can refocus our minds when we return to work. This can only be positive, particularly when we have reached a point in which one in five students are saying they have suffered with mental health problems.
If that is not reason enough, reading weeks allow for students to consolidate what they have learnt in the first half of the term and to keep up to date with the workload that has undoubtedly been building as the weeks go on. They can get ahead on deadlines and prepare for the upcoming lectures, which they otherwise probably wouldn’t have the chance to do. This could be the difference between a rushed piece of writing and a well-thought through essay. Even lecturers cannot dispute that one.
However, the biggest injustice of this situation is that some students do get this opportunity and others do not.
Why should certain students be given the chance to relax and work at their own pace whereas others must continue on their same repetitive, stressful routine?
the biggest injustice of this situation is that some students do get this opportunity and others do not.
I understand that different courses have different requirements of their students, but all students deserve a break. Not only does this seem unjust in terms of mental health benefits and working in their own way for a change, but these students effectively get left behind whilst everyone else has the freedom to go home or take time to themselves.
Everyone needs a reading week and it is time we prioritised all students’ wellbeing and needs.
Featured Image: Unsplash/Alfons Morales