Why Independent Study Weeks Aren’t Just ‘Weeks Off’

Last week was an Independent Study Week. During and Independent Study Week no lectures or seminars are held and students are encouraged to spend their time catching up with work and spending time on essays and assignments.

At the beginning of the week I wrote a list of all the work that I needed to complete. The list included: A 1500 word critical appraisal, a first draft of a ten minute radio play, a first draft of a 750 word short story, and typing up all my notes from the past few weeks.

True to form I wasted the first couple of days, regularly reassuring myself I had plenty of time to get everything done. By the time I finally stopped being lazy and tried to do some work I was no longer confident that I could get all my work finished in time. Fortunately, I managed to put in some serious hours and eventually most of my work was finished, but I couldn’t help wishing that I’d started earlier and had time to step away from my writing and come back with a fresh pair of eyes.

Study Weeks can deceptively feel like breaks from the everyday hard work that attending lectures and seminars involves. When not used wisely they can seem like a holiday, but can just lead to an unbearable work load at the end of the week when everything needs to be done at once.

Time management is key; when assignments are worked on at set times it is much easier to find time for leisure.  As a reward for having finished all my work I went to visit my friend in Leicester for her birthday, as she lives in student accommodation and was having a house party. It was a great way to relax before starting back at university and a great way to finish off the Independent Study Week.

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