The Benefits of Staying at Carleton for Reading Week
Manahil Bandukwala is a second-year English student.
It was Friday, and people were starting to leave. For most first year students living on campus, it was the first long stretch of time that we would be going back home for. The residence cafeteria was slowly emptying, and there were fewer and fewer people seen in the hallways on 4th Stormont. Reading week had started, and most people were going home, or going somewhere other than staying at Carleton.
I, along with a few other people on my floor, decided to stay. Either it was that home was too far away, or that we just didn’t want to go home. I figured that the week would be a good opportunity to spread my paints out and create art without annoying my roommate. Whatever the case, a week that I expected to be slow and easygoing was jam-packed, with less free time than what I had when classes were running.
A point to be duly noted is that if you have even one friend staying back as well, you will have plenty to do. As an English major, my workload is significantly less, but because people around me have more work to do, I have more time to myself. When everyone is on a break, suddenly there’s a rush to make the most of that free time, and to go out and do things.
Whether it was gathering in the lounge with the remaining people and playing cards, or going to the Athletics Centre and swimming, being at Carleton with such few people meant that those of us who stayed all got a lot closer to each other. There is also a lot more ease in staying up till 3 a.m. when you don’t have to worry about classes the next day.
As for going off campus, a board game café is a wonderful way to spend a night – one that will leave you with your sides hurting from laughter. And, not being pressed for time allows for spontaneous plans, such as going to Kettleman’s for bagels at midnight, or exploring Riverside hospital on a whim one night. Getting lost on buses is also more fun when there isn’t the concern of being late for something (taking the wrong bus four times in one evening is something to laugh at).
It wasn’t about staying exclusive to the floor, either. People invited their friends along, and there was the opportunity to meet more people in a more relaxed environment.
When Sunday rolled around and reading week came to an end, it was wonderful seeing everyone who had gone home, but the week spent at Carleton was one of the most memorable ones of the school year so far, and there are no regrets at staying back.