Summer is here! And nothing could ruin your summer joy faster than that 350 page summer reading assignment staring you in the face. Buzzkill. Well, we’ve been there and done that. And we wanted to pass on a few tips to make your summer reading assignment as painless as possible.
In fact, when it’s all said and done, you may even … da da daaaaa … enjoy the book and maybe even appreciate education a bit more!
So, without further ado, here are 7 tips to get you through your high school summer reading.
1. Choose a Book that Interests You – Your reading selection is key! You probably have a list of books to choose from from your English/Literature teacher. Don’t just pick the one all of your friends are reading or try to pick the smallest book. Do a little research upfront. Find out an overview of what each book is about. If you are reading something you would enjoy, it won’t feel like such a burden. If you have a list that includes The Hunger Games, Blink, The Joy Luck Club or The Kite Runner, you most certainly will probably find something that excites you.
2. Start Early – I know the thought process. You just got out of those cold, cinder block walls and the last thing you want to do is homework! I get that. So, take a week or two to decompress. But then, jump into your book as soon as you can. I promise you. Putting off the assignment until late summer is no fun at all. Your summer reading will constantly be hanging over your head, threatening to limit the maximum fun you can have over all of your other summer activities. Suck it up. Bite the bullet. And dig in early.
3. Enjoy the Sun – Shoot, man. It’s summer! So get out by a pool and soak up the rays. The one good thing about summer reading is you can at least get outside and enjoy the weather while doing it.
4. Be Consistent – One of the hardest things about getting through your high school reading is finishing. It’s so easy to start a book, think you have a good start, and then never finish it. Now, you’re scrambling in the last few days before school starts and you forgot everything you read already. Once you start your reading, make sure you can push through to the end. This goes back to tip #1. If you choose a book you’ll love, then this won’t be an issue.
5. Avoid the CliffsNotes Temptation – I know. I know. That thin, little yellow book is so tempting. Why read all 350 pages when you can read 25 and write the book report you need and just skirt by? Well, buy an actual album when you can just purchase the top hit on iTunes. I’ll tell you why! Literature is art!!! Music is art!!! There is a story being told, and Mr. Cliff can’t help you appreciate the entire story in his 25 pages. Think of any art you like in this world – music, culinary, visual, literature and on and on. The beauty is there because of the thought and craftsmanship put into it. Learn to love art, and you’ll never read a CliffsNotes again.
6. Procrastination Sucks – This goes back to tip #2, but it can’t be overstated. Having your high school summer reading hanging over you all summer long sucks. Believe it or not, an assignment like your summer reading, as stupid as it sounds, is helping you grow and mature as an adult and a solid human being in this world. As you grow in age and experience different seasons in life, your responsibility grows with you. Learn to become a full time procrastinator now, and it will haunt you the rest of your life. Learn to be responsible, and you can do great things in this world.
7. Learn to Love Education – When I was in high school, and even in college, I really couldn’t stand the education process. I hated teachers telling me what I had to read. I hated the seemingly pointless exercises. I hated it because my vision was so small. Now, I may not agree completely with how the education process is set up today, but I do see incredible value in education. It goes beyond the good grades, so I can get the good job, so I can make the most money, so I can blah blah blah. It’s really about the joy of learning. Do anything you can to expand your world view and see how education can help you, and it will make this summer reading fly by.
I heard a friend recently say that the entire point of education is to “know God and make him known.” Now, you may or may not believe in God, but we over at WearMyStory do. And, we think he is the creator of all things, including education. The God who set the galaxies and universes in motion is the creator of mathematics. The God who placed all natural resources on the earth allowed men to discover science, physics and technology. The God of all beauty and his creation allows man to reflect art in all ways.
That’s a God I can get behind. That’s why I have set my life on a constant thirst for education. To know this God, who is infinite, allows me to enjoy all aspects of education. Again, this may or may not be your point of view, but when you have this perspective, a simple task like a high school summer reading assignment becomes a beautiful thing.