This week (November 12-16) is the Fall Reading Break. A week off in the fall is a relatively new practice for Brandon University and other universities in Canada as well. The fall reading break at the University of Winnipeg was October 8-12, while the one at the University of Manitoba is the same week as ours.
We are accustomed to the winter term Reading Week, which is very common and often a chance for students to get away somewhere warm in the cold winters but fall reading weeks are a newer creation for Manitoban, and Canadian universities. The University of Winnipeg was the first in Manitoba to offer a Fall Reading Break. It began in the 2016/2017 academic year and was meant to give students some time to de-compress and have uninterrupted study time. They ensured no teaching days would be lost by adjusting the start and end dates of their term. (http://news-centre.uwinnipeg.ca/all-posts/uwinnipeg-to-introduce-fall-reading-week/). Universities in Ontario have been holding a Fall Break for a few years now and see it as beneficial to student’s mental health. (https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2013/10/14/ontario_universities_embrace_midterm_fall_break_to_ease_students_minds.html). The addition of fall reading weeks allows for students to have a bit of a break, or time to catch up on assignments before exams begin. The creation of a fall reading week makes sense as there is one second term, so why not first term? It is a good way to keep mental health in check and keep student’s from getting burnt out during the term. Being a student is stressful on its own, and many students have part time (or even full time) jobs, extracurricular activities, families and other things that take energy.
What does this mean? An entire week for you to do whatever you choose! Stay in the library all week and get those papers done, work a ton of extra shifts for extra money, or take some much-needed time for self-care. Whatever you chose to do with your free time, make the best of it. Personally, I will be writing my five history essays due in the weeks after the break.