For many of us, reading was our first love and the tangible item we encountered that allowed us to escape reality. We’d travel to different worlds and across timelines, and have historical figures in history all in the palm of our hands. Reading used to be something many looked forward to, and someone could read 300-400 word books with ease and then go back and read them again.
However, reading hasn’t felt the same since childhood and early teenage years for some students. What used to be a fun, relaxing hobby became a chore and once that happens students become disengaged altogether.
A political science student, Kylin Byles, talks about what happened to his love of reading.
“I do feel like enjoying a book has become harder than I anticipated. School itself has so many distractions and requirements that need to be fulfilled,” Byles said. “Especially when you have a large number of classes and even more homework, in a lot of cases it can be redundant. Not to mention having work immediately after to keep myself afloat.”
The struggle to find a good balance between school, work, and social life is a canon event that almost every student goes through each semester. With assignments, group projects, lectures, and exams the relationship between recreational reading and students has grown distant. The appeal is no longer there and what fills the body is dread, the dread of another obligation.
Skylar Rowley, a broadcast journalism student, believes that COVID-19 put a buffer in the way that she and other students are currently learning.
“I do believe that COVID has put a stop to the advancement of many students’ educations. For myself, before COVID, I was a stellar student, and I still am, but I believe that I was more motivated to get my work done and more focused to complete different educational tasks,” Rowley said.
Many students can attest to this and were more willing to get started on an assignment as soon as it was handed to them vs. waiting till the day it was due. After being confined to just the four walls of your own home and then having to complete your first year in college completely online, this can change your motivation for tasks.
Allen Washington, a music industry major, feels as if not many people talk enough about students’ disengagement with reading outside the classroom.
“Freshman and sophomore year I used to read outside of the classroom daily but when it got to the end of my junior year, I can say I did get busy and time wasn’t on my side,” Washington said.
“Reading was one of those habits that I kind of lost but I can regain it for sure.”
During her free time, Rowley has started reading “Before I Let Go” by Kennedy Ryan, and Byles has started reading The Bible and growing his daily relationship with God.