It's Cool to Read
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
I recently read an article from the NYTimes (The iGen Shift: Colleges Are Changing to Reach the Next Generation) about how colleges are changing to meet the needs of the next generation. The article suggested that nowadays, students rarely read books and rely much more on social media and technology. To be quite honest, I definitely fell into that bunch. I rarely ever read for “pleasure” while I was in college. I was lucky to have read some of what was assigned to me. I didn’t see a point in reading books, and I didn’t understand what it would do for me especially on top of all the other work I needed to accomplish Who had time for that with all classes, an internship, a college sport, and being president of a student-run activities club? … Definitely not me - reading for pleasure was definitely on the bottom of the totem pole.
In preparation for my first job after graduating, I read articles and blogs on how to prepare myself for the first few months of work, and much of what I skimmed through included the benefits of reading books on leadership, management, teamwork, empowerment, etc. The articles and blogs suggested that reading these books can provide you with advice and insights on how to navigate the workforce and your responsibilities.
Since I wanted to be the best I could be in my first big-girl job, I decided to buy a couple of books and read a chapter or two a night to get myself into the groove. Through reading, I was able to pick-up a few tips and tricks on how to adapt my leadership and management styles to my various team members, and it also taught me to prepare for the failures that might come my way. I felt like I had an edge over some of my other colleagues in training with me, and ultimately my effort to read helped me with the team I was managing out in the field.
Here’s the deal - I should’ve definitely read more while I was in college. I didn’t read because I didn’t understand the why behind it. I felt like I didn’t have the time. In reality, I didn’t make the time, and I didn’t understand the benefits or what positive outcomes could come out of it. As someone who was primarily motivated to do well in college, I was completely unaware of how much ultra-successful people read, what they read, and really to what extent. I recently saw a post on the Huffington Post (The Reading Habits of Ultra-Successful People) which noted Mark Zuckerberg reads a book every two weeks, and Elon Musk taught himself to build rockets through reading. In addition to Zuckerberg and Musk, there are many other leaders in today’s society who attribute much of their success to reading. However, these folks don’t just read anything. They don’t spend their time reading magazines or tabloids rather they’re reading educational books like “biographies and autobiographies of other successful people for guidance and inspiration.” They’re looking to learn more and more to aid in their professional development.
One book I highly recommend students should read before entering their freshman year of school is a book called The Third Door by Alex Banayan. I recently finished the book. One of my professors recommended the book to me earlier this year and said he’s having all of his students read it before the semester begins. I thought why not. If he (my professor) is recommending it to me, it ought to be pretty good, so I bought the book, and I kid you not, finished it in three days while working a full-time job. To briefly summarize, the book is about a young nineteen year old, Alex Banayan (the author), who embarks on what will be a seven-year journey to interview some of the most successful people in the world. Some of the interviews include Bill Gates, Tim Ferris, and Lady Gaga. The book illustrates the trials and tribulations Alex went through in order to secure these interviews. He successfully exemplifies the importance of failure yet remaining persistent in your mission. One last thing before I give too much information away is the reason why I really enjoyed reading this book is because it inspires people from all walks of life to stay persistent and continue doing what their passionate about doing. I think this book sends a good message to students when it comes to not only approaching education but also life in general. The journey might be longer than anticipated but dedication, patience, and creativity are key elements to being successful in what you want to achieve.
So, the question is why should all college students and young professionals read ? The answer is pretty simple: to make themselves better than they are by continuing to learn beyond the classroom. Reading stimulates creativity and innovation and enables its readers to form inventive ideas based on the inspiration they’re receiving. Reading will offer you new ways to approach different aspects of life like your schoolwork, your internships, your time outside of the classroom, and your career.