Reading For Fun In College

Reading For Fun In College

12 reasons to pick up the books you want to read, not just the ones you have to.

"Reading for fun" in college seems like such an oxymoron. With hundreds of articles and thousands of pages of papers in the course of four years, it seems impossible. But whether you enjoyed reading as a kid and want to get back to that, or you never tried reading for fun and barely read for school, here are a few arguments as to why you should try and carve out some time to pick up a book or two of your own choosing.

1. You picked it

Something about freedom of choice always makes the result of the choice so much sweeter. The topping on your pizza, the movie you're watching for date night Friday night, or what time you're going out with your friends. The same holds true for books -- when your professor didn't pick it, it's that much more enjoyable.

2. It's a healthy way to escape the very real pressures of life for a while

No matter how great life is for you, there are days we all want to just get away for a while. And there is no plane ticket or tank of gas that can rival the places a book can take you. Plus, you get lost in someone else's problems, instead of just running away from your own.

3. You can revisit childhood favorites

"Harry Potter" and "The Chronicles of Narnia." I don't know what it is for you, but there's a reason they're still sitting on your bookshelf. They really are still that good.

4. Reading makes you smarter

It expands your vocabulary, makes your brain sharper, and is even linked to higher GPAs and more general knowledge. Chances are, that smart kid that got on your nerves in high school or who sits in the front of your hardest class reads a lot on the side, too.

5. You can do it with friends

While it might not be as hip as going out on a Friday or Saturday night, making a book club is cheaper and an interesting change of pace. Everyone takes something different from a book, plus it's a good excuse to make good food and catch up on life, without loud music blaring in the background.

6. It gives you something to talk about

I truly believe that you haven't seen a more beautiful expression of joy and excitement until you see a friend tell you about the book they've fallen completely in love with. And then you've got a new one to fall in love with, too.

7. It's free

Does anyone else remember the song from Arthur about library cards? You've got one if you have a student ID, and if you can't find anything worth reading in your school's library, you can sign up for the local one. Reading is a much less expensive habit than the coffee one you probably already have (thanks, college).

8. The book really is better than the movie

Cliche, I know, but it is so, so, so true. If anyone else remembers the disgrace that was the movie adaptation of "The Oder of the Phoenix," you know exactly what I mean. Even when movies get broken into two movies, there is still stuff that gets left out, and no amount of killer cinematography can make up for the lack of internal monologue characters get on paper.

9. It can help you sleep

I'm as guilty as the next girl of scrolling through social media for 30-plus minutes before bed, but studies have shown the light from our phone screen doesn't do us any favors when we're trying to get a good night's sleep. Reading relaxes the body and mind, and doesn't have the blue backlight that makes your brain think it needs to stay awake.

10. It can help with school

Remember the higher-GPAs thing? It also helps with retention and reading speed. Just like everything else, you get better at it with practice -- even if you're reading the stuff you don't really want to, like an economics paper.

11. It develops your imagination

You remember being read a story before bed as a kid and having epic dreams afterwards? Thank the book for that.

12. It isn't for school

And that in itself is reason enough.

Cover Image Credit: Surbiton High

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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