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Things To Do During Fall Reading Week That Aren’t School-Related 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

It’s officially October, which means that fall reading week is just around the corner. Not only is it a week without classes, intended for students to get caught up on readings from the first half of the semester, but it’s also an opportunity to take a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of university life. Many students go home for the week to visit family and friends that they haven’t seen in over a month. Of course it’s important to get caught up or even ahead with your readings and schoolwork, but it’s also important to prioritize yourself and take a break. Here are some fun fall reading week activities that don’t involve any reading at all—at least, not any academic reading. 

One suggestion is to go on a hike or nature walk of some kind. The leaves are changing, becoming gorgeous shades of red, orange, and yellow, and the temperature is perfectly mild. It’s a picture-perfect time of year, so take full advantage of it! Plus, studying requires a lot of sitting and concentration, and getting some light exercise is a great way to clear your mind and switch up your scenery. Who wouldn’t rather look at a fall landscape than a stuffy textbook? You can even invite some friends, bring some wine, and turn it into a fall wine walk. Alternatively, you can have a picnic! Grab some charcuterie, some cute baskets, and sit outdoors and admire the landscape.  

Another suggestion is to check out a local pumpkin patch. Depending on where you live, this could be somewhat difficult, but if you live in an area where this is feasible, I highly recommend it! It’s such a cute fall activity, plus it gets you out of the house (and away from your books!). Bring a friend or two, take some cute Instagram pictures, and bring home the perfect pumpkin. If you go to Queen’s, check out Wynn Farms! Besides their pumpkin patch, they also offer a corn maze, apple orchard, and a haunted Halloween experience.  

You could also pick up a new book this week. Hear me out—even though this is technically reading, and therefore schoolwork-adjacent, when else are you going to have time to start a new book? My tip would be to pick out something relatively short, but a book you’re really interested in, so you can finish it during the week. It could even help you get into the reading headspace and make it that much easier to finish your academic readings. 

Another idea: go thrifting for some Halloween costumes! Halloween is only a couple weeks after fall reading week, and you may not have time to go shopping once you’re back at school. Thrifting your Halloween costumes not only saves you money but it’s way better for the environment than these mass-produced, fast fashion Amazon costumes. This is another activity that you can do with friends, and you could even make a day out of it. Try a new restaurant for lunch, get a coffee (perhaps something pumpkin-flavoured), and head over to your local thrift store. One tip for making this easier would be to make a Pinterest board for your costumes. It helps you to organize your ideas, so you know exactly what you’re looking for. It’s fun to just go and get inspiration from what you find, but having some general costume ideas doesn’t hurt either. 

One last suggestion is to try something new in your hometown. If you go to school away from home, it’s always cool to come back and see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. If your hometown is anything like mine, there are always new businesses opening and closing. If you live somewhere that never changes, do the opposite and go somewhere you’ve always loved to go. Make the most out of being in your hometown by visiting all the places you love!  

Don’t forget to spend as much time as possible with family and friends, but also take some time for yourself. University is a great experience, but it can be quite draining, so use this time to rest and recharge while also taking advantage of the beautiful fall atmosphere. Try to catch up on readings and plan for the rest of the semester as much as possible, but ultimately, the most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself.

Natalie Cowan

Queen's U '26

Natalie Cowan is a second year English Language and Literature student at Queen's University. She enjoys baking, spending time with friends and family, and walking her dog, Auggie.