Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to Read for Fun during College

In high school, I used to be able to read only one or two books per semester. I really didn't get a lot of reading done except during Christmas and summer breaks. I was pretty disappointed with myself and always wished I could read more. Luckily, I have finally learned how to get a lot of reading done while also being in school. Here are the steps you need to know.

1. Commit to reading. The most important step to reading more is to have time committed only to reading. Tell yourself every morning that you will read at least thirty minutes that day. You tend to spend your time during the day doing activities that are important to you. If you keep waiting until you have time to pick up a book, you'll never get around to reading. If you don't have time to read, make time. 

2. Procrastinate wisely. When I get home from school, I like to take a break before I start my homework. I normally tell myself I'll take just a twenty-minute break and then start my work, but these twenty minutes usually turn into two hours. By that time I'm just procrastinating doing homework and end up doing pointless activities instead, such as online surfing or Netflix watching. It is important to commit to procrastinating if you're going to procrastinate. Tell yourself that you're going to take a two-hour break and just sit down and read that whole time. This step was especially hard for me at first because I don't like to let myself do anything fun until all my homework and other priorities are finished, but then I end up just wasting time and doing nothing productive. Once I started letting myself read before doing homework, I ended up both reading more and finishing my homework earlier. 

3. Use Friday as homework day. This one is hard, especially after a long week of school. But if you are able to finish all your homework on Friday, you then have the rest of the weekend to relax and read instead of stressing about homework. This is especially nice on Sunday night when you don't have to stay up late trying to finish all your assignments that are due on Monday. 

4. Always keep a book with you. Whenever you leave the house, whether it be for school or work or a day in the town, put a book in your bag to take with you. Pull it out and read for ten minutes in between classes, while you're eating lunch, or during your bus ride. You'll be surprised at the amount of free time you have during the day that you could be reading. 

5. Listen to audiobooks. We all have mandatory tasks that take our time every day, but this doesn't mean we can't be reading during that time also. Audiobooks are a great way to read while getting these other projects done as well. I always have an audiobook downloaded on my phone and ready to go whenever I'm doing dishes, cooking, cleaning the house, driving, or walking to school. I'm usually able to finish one to two audiobooks per week. You can find many audiobooks online for free from your library. 

6. Buddy-read a book with your friend. If you and your friend are reading a book together, you can hold each other accountable for reading that week. You will want to read because you won't want to disappoint your friend when you tell them that you didn't have time to read that week. You can set goals to read X amount of pages by a certain date, and then get together and discuss what you've read so far. This is a fun, low-key way to get some reading done during the week. 

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