Oh, required reading. You are the bane of most student’s existence. There is something that sucks the joy out of any potential story once it has been assigned. Yet here we are. In the interest of getting through the final stretch before total Spring Fever hits all of us, and motivation is out the window, here are four awesome ways to help get through any book or textbook section your teacher assigns without dozing off. Good luck and godspeed.
Read while you are awake!
I personally have a tendency to put off my required reading until the end of the day. The idea of sitting down to read a textbook filled with dates, names, and bland language isn’t the most appealing. By the time I have finished my other homework and activities for the day, I am usually too tired to keep myself interested in the material that I should be learning from my required reading. But one thing that I have learned that helps is to just switch around my schedule so that I have my more engaging tasks earlier on in the day when my mind is still fresh. Pretty soon I found that it wasn’t quite as hard to stay focused on my textbook work.
Split up the work…
As Edward Young once said “procrastination is the thief of time.” Procrastination is a real struggle for almost every student. But splitting up your reading is one of the key components of being able to finish it. Counting the total number of chapters, sections, or even pages, and then dividing it up by however many days you have until it is due saves you from having to read an insane amount the night before a quiz or test.
Have a cute bookmark (seriously).
I don’t know about you personally, but the books that are assigned to me for required reading aren’t often very appealing. Don’t get me wrong- I love reading, when I can choose the book. I tend to stick in the fantasy realm when it comes to my choice of genre. Going from a captivating story about a strong and inspirational heroin to learning about osmosis through 20 pages in my Biology textbook is a tough transition. Most of the time the books that are assigned have often been in my school’s library for a while. They have gone through many classes over the years and have some wear and tear. I’ve found that making a cute bookmark, or bookmarks, to use for my textbooks and assigned reading brightens up the book and the idea of having to read. Making a bookmark that you really love can make the task of even just opening up your book more enjoyable and help you conquer your next chapter.
Sticky note it up.
Have I ever said that I love sticky notes? Because I really love sticky notes. Utilizing sticky notes or some sort of note taking system to keep track of sporadic thoughts or revelations you have during reading can help keep track of the plot of the story along with your analysis. Being actively engaged with the material is one of the most important strategies to reaching understanding of the text. The same rule for bookmarks can apply to sticky notes, dazzle them up! Drawing a quick picture to represent what’s going on in your book at a certain time, or even just using cute sticky notes that you love will make the process even more enjoyable. Using tools that are eye catching and make you happy associated your required reading with a more positive feeling.
Above all, it’s important to remember that whatever assignment you are faced with today is nothing you can’t get through. Although it might seem pointless in the scheme of things, teachers do have a purpose to everything they do. In the end, you can read anything put in front of you, maybe with the help of some cute sticky notes and bookmarks, but mainly because you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Also published on Medium.