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Reading Week: A Week in the life of an English student

I am currently a second year English undergrad student and halfway through my second term. One thing people always warned me about was the level of reading that would be thrown at me and my fellow students - they were correct.

In 2011 I made a commitment to read 100 books in one year and being a slow reader I didn't achieve that, making it to 65 instead. This past week alone I have read 9 books... nine. That's crazy for me because sixteen year old me felt like nine books in one month was an impossible feet! This is yet another thing that makes me chuckle at my past self and pat her on the back, willing her to believe that it'll all work out in the end.

Reading weeks are a common thing in lots of universities and students often get slated for simply dossing about and doing nothing for a whole week. I am here to argue otherwise; I was glued to my reading for the whole week, as were a lot of my friends. I love my degree and without reading the texts, I can't learn and contribute and gain something from the mere eight hours I do spend in uni. Sometimes the reading is hard, sometimes you simply don't want to do it, but ultimately if you're putting in the time to go into uni, and are slowly falling into debt then surely it's worth that little bit of effort.

The majority of my motivation comes from the fact that a) my modules are actually really interesting and b) I can read my own stuff when I have got all my uni work done (and considering the amount of books I buy, I really do need to have time to read them!)

This year so far I've read 40 books, which is the total amount of books that I read in 2013. This blows my mind because I remember starting the year 2011 and making that commitment to start tracking what I read, writing a review for every book I read and really, really investing myself in reading. The more I read and discover, the more I truly love it. I'm now looking into doing an MA in either English studies or Culture and Thought after 1945.

I'm currently drowning under my work, and pretty much for the first time in my life I do feel stressed but I'm loving it. If you feel a little down or stressed or under-motivated, do something you love. Read, run, watch a film, marathon that TV show you've been meaning to marathon since forever, then turn back to your work and realise why it is you wanted/want to do it.

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