Coming down off the reading week high can be a harrowing experience for some, especially when it comes time to go back to school. For those who’ve been on vacation in [insert warm, sunny location here], sun withdrawal can be rough. The following, then, are a few tips for coming back down to earth and reality after spending a week in a parallel dimension with loads of free time, alcohol and sleep. If you’re so bold you can even take stock of these in effort to make your next reading week an easier affair.
1. Get reacquainted with snow
This first tip is for all of you who may have gone on warm vacations in places like Mexico or the Caribbean. I’m not jealous at all, (ahem) not even a little bit. But I do know that a week in the sun can be a journey into a different dimension, into a realm where time seems to stand still in sunny indifference. It isn’t like that here, and you’re going to have to face that reality; it’s probably best if you do it before getting on the plane too. Your last day in your vacation spot, break out some photos of snow or ice in order to mentally prepare yourself for what you’re facing in Winnipeg. You may even want to wear your winter jacket around the hotel room for a while, just for practice.
2. Get your sleep schedule back on track
I’ve spent this entire week going to bed at three in the morning and waking up no sooner than eleven and I’ve now realized this is probably not going to fly once classes start again. So, if you’re in the same boat, my suggestion would be to gradually go to sleep earlier and make yourself get up at a decent time. Or, if you’re one of those people who just stays out all night with wild abandon, these last few days would be a good time to catch up on the sleep you may have missed out on. I would suggest afternoon naps and then a solid eight hours on Sunday night. No one likes that one person in class who’s passed out and snoring loudly in the back (although he/she might provide some decent comic relief).
3. Spend the last 36 hours of reading week alcohol free (or close to free)
I know that some of you may not want to see this point up here, but believe me, no one wants to go back to school feeling like their blood consists more of vodka than red and white blood cells. My point is, if you’re going out on Saturday night (which, let’s face it, you probably are), it may be a good idea not to get spring-break sloshed. I know lots of people whose hangovers can last days. Also, limiting your alcohol consumption on the last day before classes start may get your body used being non-booze infused again.
4. Open those dreaded reading materials
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the majority of your free daytime hours reading everything non-school related that you’ve wanted so badly to read all semester but couldn’t because you had a paper due, or a midterm, etcetera. The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, A Game of Thrones, even a few of those girly, romantic, boy-meets-girl ones, these are all fine and dandy but I’ll bet good money they won’t help you out with any of those upcoming physics assignments. It might be a good idea to take thirty minutes out of your Sunday to go over your class syllabi again. Maybe even scan a few pages of the textbook, if you feel up to it.
5. Spend time doing something mildly intellectual, but still fun
This point is up here mainly to attempt to avoid mental breakdown when, on your first day back in class, you realize that this semester may not be the cakewalk you had imagined it to be. Rapid breathing, minor (or major) sweating and a slightly faster pulse often accompany the ensuing panic. By mildly intellectual, I don’t mean write a six-page essay (unless you really want to), I mean do a crossword or something like that. And not the New York Times crossword either, because, let’s face it, you have to know almost everything to be able to actually do that one by yourself.
Sudokus are also a good idea. I know quite a few people who are absolutely addicted, so if that describes you, I’d suggest doing a few on Sunday, just to flex that intellectual muscle.