Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Read a Book

Well, it's summer break here right now, and most of us are are fortunate enough to have some time off from school to pursue our other interests (or simply to relax). Unfortunately, for many students, these summers can become not only the most exciting part of the year, but also a step backwards in terms of our ability to cope with the upcoming school season. I understand that you're worn out, tired from months of mental load and test taking, and ready to do everything you couldn't do while school was in session (like sleep). However, I want to stress to you the importance of making an effort to keep your brain in collegiate shape throughout the summer. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to do this is to simply read a book. Read a substantial book. If you need guidance as to what to read, research some classic books and start there (you'll find many). If you're going to read, you might as well do it right and read something other than some frothy and vapid airplane distraction. If you're really opposed to reading a book, then read the news. If you don't want to read the news, read some websites and articles. Read this blog. Read anything as long as it interests you and challenges you intellectually. As with weight-lifting, only when you exert yourself above your comfort level for a period of time will you start to see some gains. Not straining yourself intellectually all summer is akin to an athlete taking the entire summer off and expecting to come back and perform just as well in his sport of choice. Sure he'll get back to optimum capacity eventually, and so will you, but how many tests will you have to take before you get there? Reading during the summer will keep your mind sharp and will make it that much easier to get back into study and testing mode once school starts. I'm not saying spend all your free time with your nose in a book. Cut some time out of your T.V. watching and spend it reading instead. Read on the bus or train. Read to help you go to sleep. If you find reading boring, you're either reading the wrong book, or are simply unadjusted to the type of thinking that reading requires (or both). Give it time and you'll begin to tolerate, and hopefully even enjoy reading. If all other inspiration fails, think of it as an investment towards your intelligence and education.

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