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

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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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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To The Stressed Out College Student, Be Optimistic For Spring Quarter

I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter.

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As a strenuous ten weeks of winter quarter is finally coming to a close, there is no better feeling than to be rewarded with a week of spring break. For most colleges and universities, this period of time is one of excitement and relief, as students approach a summer vacation that begins in May. Yet, for students with schedules revolving around the lovable (and often hatable) quarter system, it feels as though summer is far from our reach.

On a personal note, my previous ten weeks of classes have been bearable at best. I can proudly say that I have been counting down the days until spring break since our winter quarter began in January, though now that the week is finally approaching, I am reminded by the fact that I have yet another ten weeks of school in the near future. Interestingly enough, I have not started the countdown to June 18th quite yet. Instead, I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter that will leave me feeling energized and accomplished as I enter into a fresh summer.

I believe that the spring quarter withholds a sense of refreshment and newfound energy in comparison to that of fall and winter. Though students on the quarter system will end classes later than others, there is something to be said for spending days on campus when the warm weather finally breaks. Time seems to pass faster than it did in the dark and ominous weeks of winter quarter, and everyone seems to have a more positive attitude - as we can all see that vacation is approaching.

To the stressed out college student, be optimistic for spring quarter. Though tests and finals will still be ever-present, the completion of another ten weeks of classes is excellent motivation to achieve success and reward yourself within the coming months.

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