Fresher Tips: How to make the most of your reading week?

Hello! I’m sure you’ve all noticed how the wind is suddenly colder and the days are getting shorter with each passing week. The leaves are getting colourful from bright yellow to deep red and faded brown and they are slowly falling down from the trees. Again, it is that time of the year that we’ve all been waiting for - the reading week! Oh, and autumn and pumpkin spice lattes as well but that is a whole different story.


I know that being new to university can be very overwhelming and you might haven’t figured out just yet how everything works, where the classes and seminar are. So, let me make it easier for you by giving you some tips on how to make the most of your reading week.

  1. 1. Get back on track


    Starting university is not easy and it can be very stressful. You might have found yourself staying up until late recently trying to figure out how to use quotations in your essays according to your department. Or you might have been eating junk food for the last five weeks because you just didn’t have any time to cook. Make sure that during your week off you get to revitalise and focus on your body. Get some rest and try to get eight-hour sleep to get back the energy you lost. Also make sure you find some time to cook a healthy meal or treat yourself by having a nice dinner out. Also don’t forget that drinking lot of water and some exercise would help your body to get boosted again.

  2. 2. Get some family time

    It is hard to live on your own when all you’ve known for the past 18 years is the comfort of your home and occasional annoyance from your siblings. Trust me, you will start missing that. Particularly for you who are at their first year! Suddenly, you find yourself alone, coping with emotions, feelings and thoughts alone, and it can be scary! Especially if you have not done it before. But don’t worry, there is a solution for that: use this reading week to go back home for a couple of days to get your battery recharged and to get spoiled! If you do not have the opportunity to do so because you are an international student, I would recommend you try to find time to talk, Skype or call your family and friends. Reading week you will have more time to do so! Seeing and talking to your family and old friends after a long time is very satisfying and it does boost your mood and enthusiasm. Believe me!

  3. 3. A cheeky trip with your friends is always a good idea

    There are many places where you can fly for very cheap from London. The cheapest flights for this reading week include countries as Ireland, France or Norway, according to Skyscanner. However, if you can’t be bothered to going through the security at the airport, you can always make a day trip and visit other cities around London. There are lots of nice places just a train journey away, such as Brighton, Bath, The white cliffs of Dover etc. UCL offers good services and so many clubs organise daily trip or activities around London – hiking society and museums society are always ready to happy to have new members!

  4. 4. Explore London

    As mentioned before, if you decide to stay in London, make sure you go and explore what this city has to offer. Whether you’re from London or you’re an international student it is always nice to stroll around the city, explore new places and try new things. We are lucky to live in a city where there is so much to explore, from breath-taking architecture, inspiring exhibitions to pop up markets. I’m sure each of you can find what they like.

  5. 5. Stay on top of your things

    Last but not least, actually do some work! It’s a good idea to plan ahead your reading week and find some balance between having fun and doing your work because you might have to catch up on those readings you still haven’t done or submit essays straight after you’re back from the reading week. So, find time for yourself, but do not forget you have work to do – planning is the best way to avoiding finding yourself stressed after reading week!

I really hope these tips will give you some inspiration on how to spend your reading week. But don’t forget- it’s all about the balance and making it count!