How to Find Time to Read/Write in College || I Graduated?!

Image of books, a graduation cap, and the words "reading in college."I graduated this past August. It occurs to me that in the time I was obtaining my degree, I’ve never written a post related to my college experience. Since this may be my last chance to write a post about it, I’ve decided to share my reflections on finding time to read while obtaining a four-year degree.

Reading with a Related Degree

My first year, when I was perusing a degree related to the social sciences as opposed to one related to reading and writing directly, I found it much easier to find time and energy to read and write.

This can be seen in comparing my 2015 and 2017 Goodreads reading challenge results:

2015 Goodreads reading challenge, in which I read 73 books of my goal of 50.

My 2017 Goodreads reading challenge, in which I read 51 books of my goal of 30.

Not only did I read more in that time period, I also wrote more. Freshmen year was the only time during my college career I managed to  participate in the primary annual NaNoWriMo writing event. While I didn’t win, in a large part because I am an underwriter and the first draft of my middle grade project was less than the 50,000 word target. You can see about when I finished my draft by looking at my progress on this chart:

A 30 day writing progress bar chart. Progress keeps up with the goal until the 16th, with progress coming to a near complete stop on the 23rd.

This is further reflected in the number of posts on this blog:

Shows the total number of blog posts written per year. 11 more posts were written in 2015 than 2017.

Note: 2018 isn’t over yet and some early posts were deleted. 

My progress in these areas after I switched to an English/technical writing major slowed dramatically. This is because I was spending my whole day reading and writing and needed a break afterword. However, unlike the majority of my classmates pursuing the same or similar majors, my interest in reading and writing beyond the classroom did not stop. That’s because I found ways to keep myself reading and writing despite doing it for most of the day already.

Solutions

The ways I found to keep reading and writing while doing so much of it for school involved reading in different ways from how I was reading them for school and finding ways to make time:

  • Reading audiobooks— perhaps the most effective of the solutions. This allowed me to do other things while reading, effectively making time.
  • Setting a specific time— whether this be a specific time every day or even once a week, having a specific time to read and write did much to increase my output.
  • Goal setting— setting a measurable, reasonable goal for finishing writing projects and reading a certain number of books kept me productive. I find it helps to have something to work toward, even if I don’t end up meeting it.
  • Make it social–Finding ways to involve other people in what are otherwise solitary processes is a great way to make the writing less intimidating. This blog is one example of making reading and writing social. Some writing related methods for writing include using tools like MyWriteClub’s word sprints and events like NaNoWriMo.

Bluejay feather quill pen.

Would you like to see more posts about my time in college? How do you balance reading and/or writing with your responsibilities? How have your reading and/or writing habits changed overtime?

Please share your thoughts in the comments and follow me on social media!

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