Flyby’s Guide to Making the Most of Reading Period
Finals week is creeping up on us,and you know what that means: cramming 40 hours’ worth of lectures because you’ve been skipping class all semester. But before all the fun of finals, move-out, and graduation (congrats seniors!), we have a weird transitional week that Harvard calls reading period! Maybe you’ll use these seven days to catch up on sleep or venture to new places to avoid your roommate who is now in the dorm too often. Regardless, here are some tips on how to make the most of this precious time before finals week.
Take a tour of the libraries
Harvard has more than 70 libraries across its undergraduate and graduate schools. While I can’t guarantee that you will have swipe access to all of them, you can certainly try visiting a lot of them and pray to the finals gods that you survive all your exams. It’ll be like River Run but (hopefully) sober and more academic.
Schedule cry sessions
The semester — no, the entire school year — has definitely been challenging in many ways. Returning to campus after so many remote semesters and having to (*gasp*) socialize again can be hard for anyone. Actually going to classes and taking three-hour long math exams? Not the vibe. Whether it’s academics, social life, the crush who started dating someone else, or coming to terms with the fact that turkeys live in trees and can attack you from above at any moment, your feelings are so, so valid. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times! Gather your closest friends (human or stuffed animal), and let the emotions flow.
Form study groups
Studying alone on the second floor of Lamont sucks. Getting shushed in the Widener Reading Room is just embarrassing. Take a trip to a talking library instead with some classmates and study together! You can split up what lectures to watch and teach each other or complain about how unfair the grading system is for the class (why can only a certain percent of the class get an A?). Bonus points if you form a study group with your crush. It’s not an actual date, but it will be to you and that’s all that matters.
Ask. For. Help.
You’ll regret your overconfidence soon enough, so just swallow your pride and ask for help if you need it. Professors, section leaders, TFs, ARC tutors, the Writing Center, librarians, and so many others are so willing to help. Take advantage of your resources early on before you have a day-before-the-exam breakdown.
Relax for a second
Go on a picnic by the Charles (if Boston can stop being the windiest city for a second). Reward yourself with some BerryLine. Go to the gym and try to intimidate the athletes by getting on the treadmill right next to them even though the other ones are empty and outdoing both their speed and resistance. Have a karaoke party (but not at like 2 a.m. in your dorm). Go on an excursion outside of campus (leave early because everything closes at 5 p.m. in Boston apparently). Throw a party to celebrate the end of the semester.
Whether you decide to study or to relax or throw a rager during reading period, here’s to finally reaching the end of another school year. Pat yourself on the back for making it through another two semesters without dropping out. You’re doing great, sweetie!