Choosing your Reading Week persona

Helping you decide who to be over the break

Many students worry about spending their Reading Week productively.

Reading Week is fast approaching, which means most students are caught wondering how to make the most of their well-deserved break. 

For some, Queen’s will soon be nothing more than a receding speck in their rearview mirror. Others will spend the week stomping through Kingston’s winter wonderland, enjoying the perks of an almost student-free city. 

Whether you’re heading back home or hopping on the next flight to Bermuda, it’s natural to start the week feeling blissfully free but end it questioning whether you’ve used your precious time wisely. 

In an effort to help students decide how best to use their nine glorious days without school, The Journal compiled a list of five off-the-clock personas suitable for any extended break. 

Whichever one you choose to live, try to remember Reading Week is designed as a breather from school-related stress, despite its taunting name. Don’t beat yourself up over what you do, or don’t do, during your time off. 

The hometown hero

The hometown hero is the student eager to return home, reunite with family, and visit their high school friends. Since last semester’s two-week holiday break is a distant memory, they’re ready for all the hugs and homemade meals Reading Week has to offer.  

This person will happily fill up on corny dad jokes and spend evenings at the nearest Cineplex, bonding with their younger siblings. They’ll frequent the local mall with friends to share tidbits of drama and gorge on cheap delicacies from the food court. If time permits, they might even consider attending their second cousin’s dance show, despite not knowing exactly who their second cousin is. 

The hero also plans to condense months of quality time into a week. They won’t be able to do it all, but they deserve a round of applause for trying. 

The hibernating bear

It’s no secret that, as Queen’s students, eight hours of sleep isn’t always on the agenda. Exams, assignments, and extracurriculars have a knack for keeping us up all night, covered in stress sweat and dreaming about deadlines.   

The hibernating bear is the student who devotes the whole break to getting some much-needed rest. During the few hours per day spent awake, they can be found watching Netflix in bed or warming Pop Tarts in the toaster.

As with a real bear, disturbing their slumber comes with life-threatening risks. 

The world traveller 

The world travellers are the lucky few who spend their week abroad, practicing their backstroke in Florida or exploring the cliffs of Scotland. 

Whether splayed out on a beach or sipping champagne on a Parisian balcony, they’ll make sure to post photos wherever they go to show how much fun they’re having. 

The rest of us can live vicariously through their travel diaries and envy-inducing tweets. Or we can take comfort in knowing that returning to a cold, snowy Kingston will prove all the more difficult for them. 

The overachiever 

Perhaps the rarest of all, the overachiever is the student who spends the majority of their break plodding through coursework. In other words, they take the term Reading Week to heart.

While some overachievers play catch up, finishing all the tasks they neglected during the first half of the term, others get ahead. 

These special few will finish the essay everyone else blocks from memory before the end of the first weekend. When Monday after the break hits, they’ll undoubtedly walk into class happy as clams. As much as we’ll hate them the day before a deadline when they’re at home relaxing, they deserve a high five for their hard work.

The dreamer

The dreamer wants everything during the break. They plan to catch up on all their schoolwork, connect with every single friend and family member, and spend afternoons taking road trips with their dog. 

Unfortunately, they often set expectations so high that results seem tragically low. In the end, one of the only things they’ll manage to accomplish is bingeing an entire season of TV with their mom.

Luckily for the dreamer, the optimism that made them hopeful is the same optimism that will soften not being able to achieve every goal. Keep shooting for the stars, dreamers.  

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