One of the things I knew I wanted to do over spring break was to just read a book for fun. To be honest I was having a hard time even remembering the last time I read a book without any sort of influence from school work. As a writer and someone who loves reading, I find it extremely frustrating when I am reading and studying all the time for my classes reading a book in my spare time seems less appealing than sleeping or watching a movie.
So if you ask me the way to avoid academic burnout is by reading. Yes, I know it might seem counterintuitive. I think that reading for enjoyment really lacks appreciation these days. For me, reading is something between a brain workout and a relaxing break from the normal day. No matter what you are reading you are working your brain, increasing your vocabulary and literary skills, and makes you think about important themes that are included in the books that are often applicable to our world today.
Honestly, I wish I was taking an English or writing class this semester because of how much I miss just diving into books and having extensive conversations and discussions on the themes and topics of different books.
I am currently reading "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I am about halfway through the book and it is fabulous. I have read several other books written by Chimamanda Adichie that were just as good. Adichie tackles difficult but prevalent topics like racism, gender inequality, and prejudice. She not only specifically calls out these issues but she also calls on her readers to bring change to our society. She writes to share her ideas with the world, so why shouldn't we do the same?
We read to learn about different ideas, but we also read to learn to express our own ideas.
Academia would not be the same if we were simply learning and memorizing the ideas of others. Our education revolves around the idea of creating our own ideas, ideas that have endless possibilities. The next newest invention, lifesaving treatment, or the next New York Best Seller.
School is demanding and exhausting. Sometimes the burnout feels like it has just got to be just around the corner. Just when you begin to feel on top of things, something else is thrown your way.
Take a break and read some of a book, something completely unrelated to your studies. Read a chapter or two, or read the whole thing in one day. Use those books as brain food and propel your thoughts forward and to the future. Use it to push through the rest of the semester and right into the summer. Share your ideas, change the world.