If you are an English major or thinking about becoming one, then you probably know there is a lot of reading involved–a lot! To give you a perspective, during one semester of college I had to read roughly 20 books–for only two English classes. That’s more than a book a week for a 15 week semester! Keep in mind, that was only for a couple classes, not to mention the other classes that I had as well. The point is, there is a lot of reading, so you need to know how to fit it all in.
1) Plan ahead
Always look ahead on the syllabus. Try to tackle assignments earlier so that you are never in a bind later on in the semester. If you know a novel has to be read in a week or two, try to finish it a week in advance. If you don’t you might find yourself reading numerous books at once, which can make reading less enjoyable for you and possibly diminish your reading comprehension.
2) Pick classes that are enjoyable
As much as you can, try to pick classes you are actually interested in. For example, if you love Herman Melville you’re probably not too upset that you have to read Moby Dick within a week or two; on the other hand, if you hate him than you are probably going to be stressed out and dreading every second of it. The fact is, if you enjoy doing it than you will do it sooner without dread.
3) Schedule your time
You might not like your life to be dictated by a schedule, but it could be helpful. Get a daily planner and start mapping out exactly when you’re going to do the things you need to do, and not just homework! Your schedule doesn’t have to be a tyrant; it can actually help you manage your time and make you more efficient. For myself, most of my reading times for classes are done an hour before I sleep on a few nights a week.
4) Set reminders on your phone
If you’re one to forget about assignments and even forget to look at the syllabus or planner, than start setting alarms on your phone or other electronic device. This way, there is no risk of forgetting about reading a novel!
5) Realize you are blessed
If you’re an English major, I hope that you like to read! And, if you like to read than you should be happy that that is your homework. I have found that, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve had to read for classes (with a few exceptions) which made homework somewhat enjoyable.