Many college students do more than just go to class. They go to work, they go to clubs, they study, they have friends and families and some even have children they need to take care of. Some parents rely on the income the student has in order to make ends meet. But in the time that we spend fussing over our day to day problems (and yes, they really are actual problems) every college student should remember that reading is important.
I am not talking about textbooks or magazines or articles that need to be read for classes. I am not talking about labels on boxes, but rather, books. Not the kind that you buy and store on your kindle, but the kind that you go to a bookstore and get after spending time leafing through many different ones. Every student should read novels and biographies of presidents and congresspersons and novels from great writers.
Because reading makes you a better person.
There are few things in life that are both enjoyable as well as educational and reading happens to be one of those things. You can take 15 minutes and get away from living in your world of going to classes, preparing for exams and catching the last little bit of sleep you possibly could. You can take that book you promised yourself you would read when you were in high school or promised yourself you would read before you turned 21 and find yourself completely lost in it.
Novels are one of the absolute best ways to learn about perspectives of other cultures, improve one’s vocabulary and become a more understanding individual. You allow yourself to understand the perspective of a person who can be in every way humanly possible different from yourself. You understand the different motives that people have or even the different reasons why a person thinks the way that they think. So, when you come into contact with other human beings who are widely different from who you are, you find that while you may not agree, you can understand their perspectives.
Reading makes you an interesting person. You can finally understand that “Kafkaesque” means “having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre or illogical quality,” (Merriam-Webster) and say it without being holistically and fundamentally wrong. You are able to look, easily, through the eyes of another human being without being judgmental. You can find that you know more words than the average ninth grader and you can have an intelligent conversation about what life and being a human being really does mean to you. You can travel for the small price of whatever the used book you have costs you. Reading makes you a better person.
We don’t just go to college to be able to boost our resumes and get jobs—we go to college so that we can become more educated. So make a list of five books you want to read before you graduate from college. Make it right now and accomplish that goal. I know Little Women is on my list.