With January finally over and February just beginning, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind: Reading Week. Well, if I’m going to be honest, Reading Week has been on my mind since the first day of this semester. With all the stress of upcoming midterms and papers due in every class, we could all use a break. If you’re anything like me and tend to not make plans for your breaks (aside from re-watching all the episodes of Game of Thrones) then it’s time to start! While 5 days off doesn’t seem like much, there is still so much you can do… starting with:
1. A Trip to Montreal
The trip is hosted by the Scarborough Student Union but students from any campus can attend. The Student Union’s website says: “the trip includes daytime activities like bowling, skating, and a trip to the Montreal Biodome, as well as all-day shuttles for casinos and shopping. It also includes shuttle buses, line bypasses and entry into a Montreal nightclub every night”. Registration ends on February 15th for the 4 day/3 night trip. If you’re interested, payment and the required form need to be brought to the SCSU Office on UTSC’s campus ASAP! For more information visit http://utsu.ca/content/3348.
2. Skiing/Snowboarding at Blue Mountain
For all of you daredevils (i.e. not me), skiing or snowboarding is always a fun option. When people told me that the University of Toronto has every club imaginable (the Quidditch team here was a big part in my decision to choose this campus) they weren’t lying! So, naturally there is a University of Toronto Ski and Snowboard Club. The club offers 7 day-trips to Blue Mountain a year, one of which is February 16th. Guests are welcome. Also, if you plan to go more than once a general membership for just $15 would be a good choice. For more information, visit http://ssc.sa.utoronto.ca/blue-mountain-day-pass.
3. Hart House Farm
No, it’s not located in Hart House itself… or was I the only one who naively thought that when I first heard about it? The 150-acre farm is only 1 hour from Toronto, located on the ridge of the Niagara Escarpment. The farm is open during Reading Week but is only available for booking to University of Toronto students or Hart House members. While it is undeniably cold, the beautiful environment (or the available sauna) will surely make up for it. You can also warm up by staying overnight in the Ignatieff House with central heating, indoor washrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room with a fireplace. For pictures — as my words do the Farm no justice — and more information visit http://harthouse.ca/learn-discover/hart-house-farm/.
4. The Royal Ontario Museum
I pass the elaborate building that houses the Museum every day on my way to class, yet I’ve never been inside. I’ve always been hesitant about going to a museum when I was younger as a resounding “BORING!” is always heard when the word museum is mentioned. But what better opportunity to try something new than when you have nothing to lose? The ROM offers free admission to University of Toronto students every Tuesday (Reading Week included). Current exhibits range from the Giants from Gondwana dinosaur exhibit to a display of vintage textiles and costumes and unusual Chinese works of art (perfect for the upcoming Chinese New Year). My mother always told me that nothing in life is free, but this certainly is! If you’ve never been or have been and want to go again, Reading Week is the perfect opportunity.
Although our 5-day break from the madness at U of T is called “Reading Week”, it doesn’t mean that is all you have to do. I’m not suggesting you throw away the readings and scream “YOLO” like the girl from the American Idol auditions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei7LilofkiA), but take a much-needed break from all the work!