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U of R Counsellor Ian MacAusland-Berg

     A Regina professor and counsellor is giving out some good advice on how students can avoid stress when heading into the reading week.

     The purpose of reading week (spring break) was to allow students to have some time off partway through the spring semester as well as to catch up on their coursework. In some parts of the US and Canada, the holiday is often used as a time to cut loose and party.

     Some professors try their best to make sure students do not have to worry about deadlines during the week. One professor, Ian MacAusland-Berg, plans his midterms before reading week. “The reason I do it is that I don’t want to leave my students with an increased workload for reading week. I’d like them to be able to say ok [in] my class you don’t have to really worry about [new subject matter] other than the regular course material that we will be covering the following week,” says MacAusland-Berg.

     MacAusland-Berg, who is also a psychologist and counsellor at the U of R, says there are things students can do to help combat stress around reading week. “One thing I would suggest to students is you want to keep routine relatively the same.” This would include simple things like regular sleep times and healthy meals and exercising regularly. “Use reading week in part for relaxation and fun but the other part is don’t lose sight of your studies.” MacAusland-Berg also says that often times students who have procrastinated with their school work are the ones who suffer.

     For some, like third-year environmental studies student  Ann King, reading week can be very stressful. “I think it’s supposed to be a time to sort of relax, and I think that it’s honestly just a week of deadlines and things hanging over your head, and just a lot more homework,” says King.

    King says that she feels that U of R professors don't really care about student workloads. “I think the profs pretend that they’re the only people assigning homework over reading week. I think there’s always a lot of deadlines for the last day of reading week or the day after.”

    King suggests that students who find themselves overtaxed should reach out to their friends. “I would reach out to another classmate and say that I am overwhelmed and then figure out how to tackle it.” She also says that going for counselling can be extremely helpful. “I really like it,” she says, “I’ve got a good number of friends who’ve gone through it and say that, yeah it is really great.” King has four friends who have also been benefited from the counseling. Reading week at the U of R begins on Feb. 19, 2018.