We did it! It’s here! My favorite week of the semester: RRR week!
Ever since I started taking final exams, I have relished the period of limbo between the end of classes and the beginning of exams. In high school, this period of time was always limited to a regular or three-day weekend, just enough time to quickly review everything you need to know for the final. But here at Berkeley, that time has been extended to an entire week. And I absolutely love every second of it.
Here’s the thing about RRR week. The three Rs stand for reading, recitation, and review, three activities that prove very helpful when preparing for final exams. But I’ve always believed, at least informally, that one of those Rs should stand for rest, because that’s a really important part of the week for me.
Getting a whole week off between the end of classes and the start of finals gives you so much freedom. For me, an ideal RRR week is split into three sections: resting, wrapping-up, and studying. From Saturday to Monday, I prefer to rest up and recharge after a (usually) hectic last week of classes. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I like to go to work or attend wrap-up events for clubs and organizations. Finally, on Thursday, I begin studying for my exams and continue to do so through the weekend. The beauty of this week, however, is that everyone can design it any way they like. One person might prefer to start studying earlier, while another person might prefer to build more review sessions and office hours into their week. The designing possibilities of RRR week are endless!
Especially in the fall semester, I like to find ways to incorporate the holiday cheer of Berkeley and the Bay Area more generally into my week (because this is ACTUALLY my favorite time of year). Take a walk in downtown Berkeley and soak up the pretty lights and banners. Head to downtown San Francisco and go ice skating around a Christmas tree in Union Square. Visit the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland for one of the best holiday light displays in the Bay. Host a white elephant gift party for you and your close friends before you part ways for Winter Break.
During what can often be a stressful time in the semester, I use these tools to bring balance both into my life and into my friends’ lives. Having a weeklong break before finals means that there’s more than enough time to study, catch up on work, relax, and hang out with your friends. I love having the freedom to design my schedule without the constraints of meetings and classes. I love being able to prioritize my well-being and the celebration of my favorite time of year while also being able to study. Most importantly, I am grateful for the time of reflection that RRR weeks provides. Here’s to smooth and happy endings!