Reading break: adventure, assignments and saying YES!

Guest post by Reilly Baldwin

Right now most of us are gearing up for our week-long break from classes: maybe you’re planning to cram in as many outdoor activities as possible, or strategically avoid all forms of responsibility, or even a combination of the two. Oh… and of course actually doing those readings. Reading break – an oxymoron hey?!

Reading break means the excitement of having no classes for a week, only to end up spending it catching up on all the readings and assignments we’re expected to do in an impossible time frame – or if we are being honest here, the ones we simply skipped on the first time… or maybe even the second time. Not to mention the urge (and I’m certainly in this category) to sleep away the entire break in a futile attempt to fight the constant state of sleep deprivation. Quite frankly, reading break may be described as a balancing act of doing absolutely nothing while doing everything that has been neglected over the past weeks. Perfectly doable, right?

Last year, a friend and I spent reading break in Arizona: a risky decision at the time, considering we both had five midterms the following week to study for. However, it was an irresistible opportunity, so we made a promise to ourselves to set aside time to study while adventuring in the desert. Yes, we actually did study, and yes we did well on our exams, but that’s not what I want to focus on. Rather, it is the fact that amidst all the chaos of school and life’s obligations, we decide to go on an adventure. And this is year is no different.

Like most students in fourth year BCom, I am on co-op this semester, meaning we do not actually get a reading break – only a holiday on the Monday for Remembrance Day! Just like most long weekends, this one has arrived so quickly that the process of planning a getaway ended up pushed to the back burner while I’ve been working full days. However, my exchange in Europe this past semester has given me a new approach to trip planning: be more spontaneous and just book the trip and figure out the details later!

I feel like a lot of people initially say no to a fun opportunity while in school, which is very fair! As students, our money and time is often be limited. Yet, if my exchange abroad has taught me anything, it is to simply say YES more often. There is always going to be more work to do, money that you could be saving, or items that need your attention, but the truth is, there is no perfect timing! Yes, please still be rational about your decisions, but the classic saying of “life is short” rings true. The word “yes” has a magic to it. Which is why this reading break (A.K.A my long weekend), I will be taking off to Tofino with friends.

And I suggest others do the same – do that overnight hike you’ve been thinking about, organize that poker night or dinner with friends. This reading break say YES! And then come back ready to crush the last few months of school – you never known, you might be even more refreshed and less sleep deprived as a result.

Thanks to The World From Here: The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business Blog for letting us re-post this!

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