I was leaving a lecture the other night and I was talking to a friend. They asked me what my plans were for the night and I was like “We’ll I think I’m going to go to Chapters and but a book!”. She was so surprised by that – well not really, but she asked me how I found the time to read. And I think thats a super fair question. I’m in a science program in university – most of my time is spent reading, but more scientific papers and notes and not fun YA’s (sad). And so I started thinking about how I did make time to read.
Sometime, when I know that I’m going to have free time on campus, but not enough time to realistically do something productive (like 30-45 minutes), I’ll bring a book that day. Spending some time reading really helps me to decompress and stay focused during the day. I often have a small break before I go to work or have a lab and so sometimes I’ll spend that time eating my lunch and spending a few minutes reading. I find ebooks are especially good for this – light to carry so that your back doesn’t break walking to school, but has a multitude of books.
Also sometimes it just comes down to needing a break. University can be really overwhelming and it can be nice to take a break into a fictional world every now and then. I know that I love to escape to Ketterdam or Hogwarts when I’m really stressed. Even taking an hour (which honestly will not make you fail your degree) helps me keep myself mentally healthy.
And sometimes, unfortunately, I just don’t have time to read. As sad as it is, sometimes your mind won’t let you take a break from studying. I just can’t spend time doing anything else. Even though this might suck, it’s really important to do what you think will be most beneficial to you in the short term. That book isn’t going anywhere, but deadlines can’t really be moved. So in that case do what you gotta – somethings are more important than finding out whether or not Clary and Jace make up.
I’ve been really bad at reading recently. This summer all I did was read MCAT textbooks, which really drained me and I felt like I couldn’t read anything else. This fall, I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more and I honestly feel so much better. And I’m not saying that reading is an overall cure for stress – for me, in combination with better habits and more support around me, I’m able to work more efficiently and have a better time. I just bought 3 books, and I know that they’ll keep me busy for a while but that’s okay. I’m not going to pressure myself to read in a hurry, so that I can enjoy the book to its fullest and still feel good about my reading!
I hope you all have a fun weekend!