Yes, I'm an English major. I've loved reading ever since I was little, and I've devoured thousands of pages of words in my lifetime from various genres that have all impacted the kind of person I've become today. Yes, I study English because I love reading and writing. I don't mind essays. I don't mind having to finish an entire book in one sitting.
But I don't read for pleasure much outside of class.
Because I simply no longer have the time.
When I was in high school, I could finish three books in a week while splitting my time between assignments and exams. But now, while I'm at college, I'm stuck in a very different situation.
I'm no longer reading just for my English courses. I'm reading for my biology course, for my sociology course, and all of the other courses I'm taking.
I'm no longer reading the things I necessarily want to read. I'm reading what I have to read.
Instead of picking up a fun New Adult novel at the bookstore, I'm spending hours upon hours taking notes on classics like "Wuthering Heights" or trying to make sense of Milton's "Paradise Lost." I'm now reading to learn—more so than I ever was before.
Yes, you learn from everything you read. But there are very specific techniques and rules that I'm learning from the works I've been assigned that are unlike anything I'd pick up outside of class, and it's necessary for me to devote my time in the right place.
I can't focus on books that have no direct impact on my academic career. I need to focus on the pieces that will get me the degree I want.
I still love reading. I always will. Otherwise, I wouldn't be an English major. I wouldn't spend my days analyzing texts and writing essays if I didn't love everything about it.
The sad reality is that my life is too chaotic at the moment to juggle reading for pleasure and reading for my degree. I have to make a choice.
And I'm making the choice that will allow me to one day get a job that will allow me to spend my evenings reading the books I want to read.