Why UMD Should Implement A Reading Week
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Student Life

Why UMD Should Implement A Reading Week

To help with that pile of stress we all deal with.

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Why UMD Should Implement A Reading Week
careerminds.com

Having just survived my first finals week, I had the unfortunate experience of the combination of high stress levels, limited time, and assignments due up until the Sunday before exams began. Even as a freshman, my classes were difficult, and by the end of the semester I felt as if I was drowning in end-of-semester projects and papers, not even taking into account the exams I had to start studying for. The weekend before exam week, everyone spent the entire weekend studying. Not an exaggeration.

Extreme stress caused by these kinds of end-of-the-semester assignments can be detrimental to academic success and student mental wellbeing. The University of Maryland should implement a reading week for the week before finals. A reading week would be a week immediately prior to finals, specifically to give students time to complete their coursework and prepare for their exams. Currently, UMD has implemented a reading day, a day shortly before finals week, set aside particularly for studying and preparing for exams. This year our reading day fell on a Saturday. Which in case you didn’t know, is a day that we already don’t have class. So this reading day sentiment feels a bit pointless. That was a day we were already going to be studying, and labeling it a reading day didn’t make it any more productive.

Instead of having a single day (even if it wasn’t on a Saturday), UMD should implement a whole week devoted to giving students the time to properly prepare for their exams. Given the average amount of stress students are under at the end of the semester and how large of a percentage of the grade final exams are, a whole week would allow students to have time to study material from all classes and finish up their assignments. The idea of a reading week isn’t a new idea; it’s been implemented in several universities across the country. It wouldn’t compromise any class time, but it would allow students to be better prepared for their exams and ease the immense stress that comes with the pile up of assignments and exams at the end of the semester.

I have experienced first hand the stress of exams, papers, and end-of-semester projects. Instead of letting these assignments pile up as students’ stress piles up proportionally, UMD has the power to do something to help the mental well-being of their students and relieve some stress. Implementing a reading week at UMD would be a good way to accomplish this. And, taking a step back from the numbers, a reading week would allow students time at the end of the semester to really be sure they learned the material, have the chance to go in to office hours if they need further clarification on any concepts, and overall be better rounded students. It’s not the answer to everything, but a reading week at UMD would be one great way to ease the stress on students and put the focus on the actual knowledge of the courses -- and isn’t that what we’re all in college for in the first place?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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