One thing I’d change about Oxford… Reading weeks

What would you change? This week, Tilly Nevin argues that a reading week would give us time to actually appreciate Oxford

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Should Oxford terms be longer? Should the mythical reading week or revolutionised fifth week be introduced? The possibility of such a momentous change remains a bone of contention.

There’s no denying that Oxford terms pass before you know it. Let’s face it: in holidays you’re probably sleeping a lot since you’re a) exhausted and/or b) most of your friends are still at university, or working. You might be trying half-heartedly to prepare for yet another collection while your siblings look on in disgust.

It’s too simple to ask why we shouldn’t just lengthen the infamous eight week term and eradicate fifth week blues. There are financial considerations, worries that having an extra week would only mean more work. Another week of term isn’t what students here signed up for.

But imagine a fifth week that was a genuine reading week. A week without tutes, without classes. A week which would actually be implemented – because nothing seems to come of the many debates. A lot could come of a reading week: the chance to de-stress, to prepare for exams looming large on the horizon, the opportunity to not feel guilty about going out with friends.

Oxford’s hard. That’s weirdly one of its selling points, held up at open days and throughout term itself. And we should work hard. We’re lucky to have this chance, to be in such an amazing place, to have such dedicated tutors. But a reading week would allow for us to appreciate this that little bit more.