Are reading days for reading?

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BYU sets reading days as a time for students to go to review sessions and prepare for their finals. Rather than studying during reading days, Stephanie Lee has decided to jump out of a plane.

Reading days offer students a great deal of time for exam preparation, but many students choose to disregard the invitation to study for other pursuits. Some students use it as a day to rest and recharge, while others use it as a chance to play.

Previous to this semester, Lee, an economics major from Calgary, Alberta, used reading days in the conventional manner. She slept in, attended review sessions and set up study groups to get ready for exam time. This semester, she and her roommate found a Groupon deal for 50 percent off on skydiving.

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The Daily Universe takes an inside look at what students do during reading days.
“This is probably the first time I’ve made plans to do something other than study on reading days,” Lee said.

Lee isn’t the first BYU student to go skydiving during reading days. Last year a group of her friends went skydiving and this year they are going paragliding. Lee believes the lack of holidays in the second half of the winter semester contribute to students’ desires to go out and have adventures.

“Especially in winter semester, your reading days are really the first break from school you’ve had in a couple of months,” Lee said. “When the weather starts getting nicer you really want to take advantage of being outside, and the last thing you want to do is study.”

Whitney Hanks, a senior studying linguistics, said she believes students use reading days for fun because BYU doesn’t offer a spring break. While other people go out and do crazy things, she prefers to use reading day for reading non-academic material.

“I kind of like the chance to read a book for fun that’s not a school book,” Hanks said.

While other students are out playing, Brad Nichols, a student from Lindon studying accounting, tries to spend as much time as he can studying during reading days. While his roommates try to put in about four hours of studying, Nichols nearly doubles that number, doing seven to eight hours of studying each day during reading days. Rather than staying at home and watching people around him go out and play, Nichols finds a study room on campus and gets to work.

“Most of the time I just get a study group and we’ll study pretty much the whole time together,” Nichols said. “I guess it makes it easier.”

Trevor Bateman, an economics major from Colville, Wash., has spent every winter semester reading day on the golf course since coming to BYU. While Bateman enjoys his time on the golf course, he would rather either substitute reading days for a spring break or cancel reading days altogether.

“I personally would be OK with cutting down reading days and having finals right after classes,” Bateman said.

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