In every university student’s stress-filled midterm season there lies a light midway through the tunnel. That light is the long-awaited reading week. During reading week, some people get lucky enough to have a lot of time to recover and destress. On the other hand, many others only have fleeting moments to take a breather. For those lucky people who have some time during reading week, there are a multitude of fun activities that you can partake in. Deciding which one to involve yourself in can be as time-consuming as the activity itself. On the other hand, if you do not have a lot of time to engage in any hobbies and such, it can be painful to find something to do. Thankfully for both kinds of people, I have done a deep dive into some fun and relaxing hobbies to indulge in during reading week.
For the more time-consuming of our two games, we have the beloved Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing is known as a relaxing, single or multiplayer, cottage-core game on most Nintendo and some iOS devices. I find it extremely fun and relaxing to play, however, since it is a game that mimics a day in real-time, it can be fairly time-consuming. If you have quests that can only be done either at day or at night, waiting around can take a pretty long time. If that is not a concern, however, you can run around and make friends with the other animals on your island and explore and grow your own home as you pay off the landlord raccoon Tom Nook!
The less time-consuming game—and my personal favourite— is Stardew Valley. Stardew Valley is a computer, Nintendo, and Play Store game that can be played as a single-player, multiplayer, or cross-platform. The cottage-core, choose-your-own-adventure, game that surrounds living on the farm that your grandfather owned, is a great game for people who have less time to sit down. The day-to-night cycle in this game is about fourteen and a half real-life minutes, making time speed by. Since the day cycle is so fast in this game, it is easy to get achievements done and get to know the villagers of the wholesome village.
Taking time in nature is also important during time off in reading week. After spending hours in your homes and the library studying, getting out in the fresh air is reawakening. If you have time to stretch your legs, going out to a local nature trail and hiking can really refocus your brain. Getting out and getting some much-needed vitamin D is a great way to spend your time. Being out in nature helps you reconnect with the world and decrease stress.
If you are more of an artistic person, try painting! There are many different kinds of painting, with the fastest and most accessible being acrylic and watercolour. Taking out your paints can help activate your more creative side. Regardless of your skill level or time to commit to painting, it can be enjoyable.
Meditating and listening to music—either separately or at the same time—can have a relaxing effect on your brain and body. Taking a quick minute to meditate, breathe deeply, and put your day aside can make it much easier to come back to your tasks. Adding music can further help your brain refocus, and I find this practice to be very beneficial in putting myself at ease.
Reading week, our much-awaited break from most of the stress of being a student is coming up fast! Hopefully, my insight on these fun-filled and relaxing hobbies and activities will relieve some of the stress of deciding what to do during your time off. If you find yourself in a bind and not knowing what to do, consider playing Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, spending time out in nature, letting your creative side loose and painting, or taking the time to recenter yourself by listening to music and meditating.