Reading Is A Skill

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Reading Is A Skill

Lindsay Piotter

Lindsay Piotter

Lindsay Piotter

Kimberly Wilson, Opinion Editor

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Reading Time: 3 minutes


For many college students, “doing the reading” is often seen as a complete drag and avoided whenever possible. In this current age of technological advances and social media, taking the time to sit still and read for a significant period of time isn’t stimulating enough for many of us.

It’s easy to get frustrated and give up on reading difficult texts, but the benefits of reading, including improved writing ability and better memory retention, are worth the effort. We must realize reading is an important skill we have to develop if we want to be efficient at it.

Many of us don’t think of reading as something we should work at. We think once we learn how to do it, reading should come naturally. Any book that doesn’t immediately grab our attention isn’t worth our effort.

Resulting from this mindset, many of us abstain from completing the assigned reading for our classes. Readings in college should be challenging, but if we don’t make the effort, it will always seem like a hurdle we can’t jump.

Today’s society values instant gratification and our attention spans have suffered because of it. From Instagram to rewatching ‘Friends’ on Netflix, there are so many things that are capable of drawing our attention away from class readings.

Much of the media breaks the information we receive into palatable and exciting pieces. This has made us too lazy to read anything that challenges us to think deeply and really pay attention. We can now download an ebook or look up summaries for our class materials, and it is causing us to lose sight of how important reading really is.   

To improve our reading skills, we must get into the habit of blocking out distractions. Doing things like switching off your phone while studying and turning the wifi off on your laptop while completing an assignment can aid in staying focused.

It will be difficult at first, but the more we do it, the easier and more enjoyable reading challenging pieces will become. When we refrain from doing the reading, we cheat ourselves out of much of the college experience. Doing the minimum amount of work required to pass a class is the wrong way to approach college.  

Yes, we’re here to obtain a degree in order to land our desired job. But expanding our knowledge is a crucial part of gaining a college education. We will only be able to do that to a limited extent if we don’t read the assigned texts.

We don’t want to look back on our college experience years from now and think we didn’t learn as much as we should have. We are paying a lot of money to attend college; get your money’s worth out of the experience.

Many of us have other responsibilities, and it may seem impossible to find the time to read multiple books for multiple classes. Much of college is about developing competent time management skills. Balancing our school work with the rest of our lives is something we have to learn to do. It isn’t going to get any less hectic once we graduate college. We might as well learn to multitask now.

From making us more well-rounded individuals to improving critical thinking skills, the benefits of reading must not be taken for granted. We need to make it a point to read more inside and outside the classroom. Not only should we be reading books we like, but we should read pieces that are going to challenge us as well. Like honing any skill, the process of honing our reading skills may be arduous, but it will be well worth it in the end.

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