fun reading as an english major

Prioritizing Reading Over The Summer Made Me Love Reading More During The Semester

"Maybe I just learned to truly love reading again over the summer, maybe I recovered this piece of myself that I didn't even know I had lost"

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During most of my college breaks, I've been so sick of looking at books that I only manage to get through one or two easy reads. However, this summer I decided that I was going to prioritize reading and read like I used to do when I was in middle and high school (which basically means read two or three books a week at least). At first, I didn't really want to. I had picked out a pretty hefty and deep fantasy novel ("Name of the Wind," anyone?) and I was struggling to get through it. However, one nice rainy day was all it took to kickstart me getting through about 75% of the book in a day and after that, I just kind of slipped back into a habit of reading.

I ended up finishing 20 books this summer, which isn't nearly as many as I used to be able to do, but also a lot more than I've gotten to read in a long while. Not only was it a lovely way to feel like I had recovered this piece of childhood me, but also it was a lot of fun. As a compulsive book buyer with not a lot of time for extracurricular reading, it was really fun to be able to knock out so many of the books that had just been chilling on my shelf. I was genuinely sad about not being able to read for pleasure anymore when the summer ended, but what I didn't realize then is that prioritizing reading over the summer actually really changed the way my semester has gone so far.

Yes, I'm in one less class than I usually am, so I have more free time than I usually do during the semester, but I've found myself reading more. Not only am I managing to get through all of my school reading almost every week (hey, you can't win them all), but I'm also finding time to read for pleasure. As an English and History double major who reads roughly two novels each week and several chapters of history books, this is kind of a big deal. I'm shocked that I'm not burnt out yet, but I'm also not complaining.

Now, don't go getting crazy ideas. We're about a month and a half into the semester and I've only finished one and a half fun books, but considering that I sometimes don't even get through one fun book in a semester, I'm definitely happy with this change. And not only am I able to get more pleasure reading done, but I'm genuinely enjoying the books I'm reading for class, something that doesn't always happen when I have to be thinking interpretively and trying to string together a paper as I go through each one of them. I don't know exactly how my summer reading habits have influenced this, but I can tell a big difference in the way that I read the novels my English classes assign and even my history readings. Maybe I just learned to truly love reading again over the summer, maybe I recovered this piece of myself that I didn't even know I had lost. Whatever the case, doing all of that reading over the summer has completely changed my reading experience during the semester and I'm thrilled about it.

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High School Summer Vs. College Summer

Summer isn't all fun and games anymore.
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Summer: the most wonderful time of the year. School’s out, obligations are at an all-time low, and life is simple. The only problem - I’m not in high school anymore. This naïve cupcake phase of life is now over, thanks to you, college. Now, free time is a foreign concept to myself along with my peers; summer's not all fun and games as it was in previous years.

School’s out? Ha, you THOUGHT.

What time is it? Summer (school) time! When the final bell rang on the last day of high school, we all jumped for joy and anticipated summer’s freedom filled with the luxurious free time that displaces class time. When you finished your last final in college, you might as well buy class materials for your nearly approaching summer semester. Unlike the good old high school days, summer marks the start for even more time to incorporate school: particularly, summer school. Here lie students who are retaking failed courses and/or those who are behind on classes and need to get ahead. School’s out, scream and shout? You got it all wrong, High School Musical.

Time to intern!

Not only is summer “break” a good time to take some extra classes, but it’s also a perfect time to intern. That’s right, no sleeping in ‘til noon! Don’t forget to set those alarms because college students have to be up and running to gain work experience for their future careers. College students sometimes even endure these long days without any pay, but you gotta do what you gotta do to lock in a post-college job at that ideal company. High school students: props to you if you intern over the summer, I just see it more often among college kids.

Work, work, work.

I had a summer job in high school, but I didn’t work nearly as much as I do now as a college student. Summer is the optimal time to stack up on dollar bills in your savings account. You need money for those ridiculously pricey textbooks (opened quite less often than you’d think), groceries, housing, spending money, and other miscellaneous college expenses. Yeah, you can always work doing the school year, but juggling that along with classes, extracurricular activities, and an eventful social life can be pretty exhausting. Also, it can deter you from getting decent grades (which is why you're in college in the first place).

Vacation? More like no-cation.

Ah, do I miss those summers where I’d be at the beach for weeks on end. With summer classes, a job, and an internship, vacation is just time I no longer have. You can’t just request time off from class, internships, and work! Other (and more important) matters demand your time and effort. If you're lucky, a quick, cheap weekend getaway is you're best bet.

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You're Not Crazy, Your Seasonal Allergies ARE Worse Than They Normally Are

Between all of these symptoms, I've felt miserable the last week.

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We've all been waiting for summer to come, and it's finally on its way. I started putting away my jackets and heavy clothes, and I'm so excited to take out my dresses and bathing suits. Classes are ending for students and we can start the beach trips on these warm, sunny days. What could possibly be wrong with summer coming?

If you have seasonal allergies, specifically to pollen and tree-related allergens, you may be in for a real problem.

In certain states, especially in the northern and eastern US areas, the pollen count is at drastically high levels. So much so that people with only minimal seasonal allergies are having intense reactions, and people who didn't even know they had allergies are having their first reactions.

I've only ever had an itchy nose when seasons change, and only when standing in the middle of lots of plants that would aggravate it. I never suspected my allergies would be making me so sick right now until my physician told me what's going on with this season's allergens.

Since the pollen levels are so dramatic in New York right now, I've had sinus congestion so bad it turned into sinusitis, and a sore throat so swollen and painful I swore it had to be strep. The sinusitis was giving me fevers, aches, and chills, making me feel like I had the flu — all of this traced back to allergies. Between all of these symptoms, I've felt miserable the last week.

Once I started asking around about what my doctor said, several people have told me they're having the same problem with their allergies now. If you're suspicious you may have allergies, get tested and ask your doctor's opinion. It's best to be well-informed on your medical issues so that you'll be prepared if a bad allergy season comes along (like this summer).

If you want to know what the pollen count looks like in your area, go to Pollen.com and allow access to your location — it'll show you a map of the states and their current pollen levels, as well as a specific analysis of the town you live.

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