6 reasons why reading period is a (non-denominational) religious holiday in disguise

Brown students aren’t known for being particularly religious (although students definitely adhere to the Church of Whisko or the Gospel of CFF). But as finals come upon us, and we rummage up those crumpled notes beneath the Natty cans, Brunonians become downright spiritual.

How does reading period bring out the convert in all of us? Let me count the ways:

1. Everyone says that they “observe reading period.”

There are many things we can observe in life. Stars. A drunken brawl. That cute boy in class through binoculars from behind the bushes at midnight. But there are only two ways to observe an extended period of time: Do it religiously, or transcend time and space (in which case, you might stand a chance in PHYS0160. Maybe).

2. Guilt and shame.

No matter how much fun you had with Gambino, you can be sure that long hours in the AQR and the basement of the SciLi will fill you with a self-loathing usually reserved for flagellants and closeted gay politicians.

3. It’s used as an excuse for partying.

Let’s face it: The holidays that stick around are the ones that can somehow be a plug for drinking. Do you know why we actually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and Mardi Gras anyway?

(To the snarky humanities concentrator out there with the answer: This is a rhetorical question. Don’t be that guy.)

4. Sunday is the day of observance.

Some people put on their Sunday best to go to mass. Others don sweats and coffee-stained t-shirts to go to Faunce to finish the work they had put off from the week before. Same difference.

5. People all pay lip service to studying …

  • “I have nine days — all I have to do is read a chapter each day.”
  • “I can totally write two essays this weekend. One today and one tomorrow!”
  • “How much time can reviewing take? I’ll go to Whisko this Wednesday.”

6. … but everyone ends up skimming.

Who really has read the Bible anyway?

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