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Students eagerly await relaxing reading week break of doing homework

By Logan Jaspers, February 16 2023

Reading week takes place from Feb. 19 to 25, and it’s the time in the semester when students find reprieve from the intensity of ordinary school life and take time to catch their breath. Certainly, many students will unwind in the most soothing way they know how — by diligently working through their mountains of homework.

A recent poll found that 87 per cent of U of C students answered affirmatively if they were “excited about the prospect of spending their only significant break in the semester locked in your room 12 hours a day doing homework.” By contrast, a meagre 11 per cent of respondents are looking forward to getting more sleep.

Further research indicates that the exhilaration students feel about spending their break working is accentuated by caffeine abuse. One study found that during reading week, the average student’s bloodstream is around five per cent coffee. This high percentage of caffeine creates a feedback loop, as the raving students drink more coffee to keep up with their workload, making them feel more energetic, only to dedicate that energy to wanting to do more work, causing them to need even more coffee. 

In an interview inside a makeshift fortress of crusty textbooks and meticulously annotated library materials in a forlorn corner of the fourth floor of the Taylor Family Digital Library, Karla Young, a second-year philosophy major with three papers due soon, enthusiastically explained to the Gauntlet how grateful she was to spend her break writing papers. 

“I’ve been waiting all semester for this time off,” she said “Forget the beach, trips, going outside, or whatever people are ‘supposed’ to do during reading week — paper writing is just so restful! 

“The daily grind of waking up, booting up the library portal and doing research, then blankly staring at a Word document on my screen for hours on end until I pass out on my keyboard is the most gratifying part of the university experience. All that hard work? It’s a reward in itself.” 

Caspar Fairday, a third-year physics major, explained to the Gauntlet how much he’s looking forward to studying from his thermodynamics and statistical mechanics textbook.

“I’m going to reread this chapter on kinetic theory and transport processes in gases at least 30 times next week,” Fairday said.

“Sure, I’ve already memorized that chapter by this point, but with a big midterm scheduled on the Monday after the break ends, you can never be too prepared. And besides, what greater joy is there than the intricacies of classical statistics? Man, reading week is the best,” he said.

To enjoy your reading week as much as these students, readers are encouraged to ask their professors to assign as much new material as they can before the break begins. 

This article is part of our humour section.

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