As I continue on in my last semester at CNU, I have become increasingly aware of comments made before class that ultimately paint the picture of the student in the classroom. All of us are multifaceted people with multiple “masks” that we wear each day in order to fit the situation at hand. In my English 423: Major Authors class, we are focusing on reading a multitude Virginia Woolf’s works. Thus, we have to read A LOT in order to get through all of these texts. Now, I understand that as college students we are all extremely busy balancing our academic with our social lives, I mean, I know I can get overwhelmed with how much there is to do, and perhaps it’s just me being a senior and clinging on to these last few months, but I think we should all endeavor to truly enjoy our readings in order to succeed in college.
Incoming freshmen, no, you will not have any idea just HOW MUCH you have to read until you actually get to college, but I promise you it is doable – it’s all about time management. The best trick to get through the reading is to, now hear me out, enjoy them. For example, my professor came into the Woolf class on the first day and remarked how glad she was that the prospect of reading Virginia Woolf for an entire semester didn’t scare all of us away. Now, I don’t know if many signed up because they love Virginia Woolf (guilty as charged) or because they needed it for the major, but we all came to class the first day with the same goal in mind – to get through it. For some, this means putting in minimal effort and getting a “passing grade.” For others, this means to complete all the readings on time and to think critically and analytically as the professor asks us to do.
In college, you are in charge of your own schedule. In college, you are completely responsible for your grades (see previous post about “difficult” professors). And I believe the best way to get through any class is to put on the mask of the willing participant, the engaged learner, but also the questioning individual: Challenge your professor, ask them why? Ask them how? Be ultimately involved in your education and those readings will pay off. I promise. If a student in class is talking about how much they hated the book or how much reading they DIDN’T do (there’s always one …) do not let those comments taint your opinions or make you feel entitled to also stop doing the work. Sometimes you can get lucky and get away with not reading, but in the end you are honestly only hurting yourself when it comes to the next paper or next quiz. Remember, you are responsible for your own success at CNU – so go on and engage yourself!