by John Leung

In an ideal world, during reading week, all students would either travel back home or fly to a new, warm destination like Hawaii or Mexico. Unfortunately, the chance of this happening is very slim due to the high costs of air fares and the large amount of coursework that students receive. Therefore, most of us have to endure a “staycation” during reading week.

Although it feels that we are trapped in our own worlds, there are ways to make this reading week as meaningful and relaxing as possible. Hopefully, I can give some useful/inspiring ideas for students on their staycation.

1. Search and apply for summer jobs

Looking for a job in the summer? This is the perfect time to start searching and applying. Don’t know where to start? Go to U of T’s very own Career Learning Network.

2. Reunite with a friend

Remember that friend you met during lectures last semester and you never got the chance to hang out with them? This is your opportunity to text and grab a coffee with someone that you haven’t seen in a long time.

3. Take a course

Want to enrich your résumé and gain skills or knowledge? Take a certification course, such as Canadian Red Cross First Aid or Smart Serve. Not only are they useful, these certifications will look great on a résumé!

4. Check out Groupon

Groupon is a site where you can find discounts of 50-90% on restaurants, shopping, activities and much more! You can get an all-inclusive archery package for or ten yoga class for . Take a look on their site and you may find something exciting and affordable!


There’s no excuse now. With flexibility in your time and a lot of people away, go hit one of U of T’s athletic facilities and do a sport or physical activity that you enjoy!


6. Catch up on reading for pleasure (remember that?) or a see a show

We all have that one book or movie or TV series that we are dying to watch. Now’s the time to sit back, relax and treat yourself. Who said we needed a fast-paced reading week?

7. Psych experiments

As part of PSY100, students have to participate in 4 hours of lab experiments. During reading break, psychology experiments are still being conducted by the grad students. In some experiments, you can even get paid. This is a great activity as you will be helping to make possible the understanding and knowledge that psychology contributes to the world.

8. Do some home cooking

As a typical college student, I lack the time and energy to cook, even though I enjoy making food. Now that you have some free time to do some leisure baking, make a pie or a cake or some cookies.

9. Plan your next trip

Maybe you’re stuck here during this staycation because you are saving for a future trip – if so, why not start planning for the getaway? This will also give you additional motivation and something to look forward to.

10. Create something

If you enjoy artwork or writing, let your creativity run loose! Paint a portrait, draw some cartoons, write poetry, take some photos, knit a scarf – the possibilities are endless.


Hopefully, this list will help you to make your staycation less dull than you expected. If you really like an idea or if you have some more suggestions, comment below!