5 Reasons Why BCA Students Should Read More

Lauren Vergos, Writer

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If you’re like me, you were always found with a book in hand all throughout elementary and middle school. What changed since then? Reading never seemed like a chore or something to do just for a grade. It wasn’t a homework assignment in an English class. Rather, it was a way to have fun and learn new things without the pressure of getting a passing grade.

Now, the average BCA student rarely reads a book on his or her own time. Stacey Na, a sophomore in AMST, said “I sometimes read to alleviate stress. I don’t do it often, but I wish I did.” Other forms of entertainment are much more accessible: take Netflix, for example. Five hours binging a TV show on Netflix pass by much faster than five hours reading a book. Despite its endless benefits, students often find reading unappealing because it requires effort.

Everything about reading, from choosing a book to finishing its last line, demands effort. And many of us know that as BCA students, effort is something we typically put in selectively. In the rank of priorities in our lives, reading, more often than not, is down low on the list. With all of our homework and studying taken into account, we barely have time for sleep or a social life, let alone reading. However, it really is a worthwhile pastime. So, here are 5 reasons why BCA students should read more.

  1. Reading can reduce stress

Reading something for an extended period forces you to focus on the task at hand, which in turn makes external stress factors unimportant. It relaxes your muscles and slows your breathing, which result in a calmer state of mind. The University of Liverpool conducted a study in which they found reading to be a “stimulating, meaningful, challenging activity which at once helped them [test subjects] to relax, putting personal thoughts aside.” While reading, you are fully immersed in the book and your mind is occupied with imagining each scenario as it occurs. A Netflix show, on the other hand, does all of the imagining for you, and therefore doesn’t stimulate your brain in a way that relaxes you like reading does. 

  1. Reading can improve writing skills

            One of the first steps to becoming a good writer is to be a good reader. Reading a wide variety of materials exposes you to a range of vocabulary and writing styles that you wouldn’t encounter elsewhere, which is immensely beneficial in all your writing. Whether it’s for English class or just for fun, good writing is an extremely important tool to communicate your ideas with others in an efficient manner.

  1. Reading helps you sleep better

            Experts say that avoiding bright light before sleep is beneficial. A study published by Oxford Academic states that “bright light stimulation in the evening can delay the phase of circadian rhythms,” which disrupts your sleep. Reading a physical book before bed, as opposed to scrolling through social media on your phone, is a very good decision to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Although most types of literature work for improving your sleep, it’s recommended to avoid thrillers or horror stories that raise your adrenaline before bed. Instead, go with a story that you know won’t keep you up at night.

  1. Reading raises intellect

            Reading can teach you just about anything there is to learn. In addition, reading about different characters in different scenarios increases your ability to make good decisions in real life, as well as increases your emotional intelligence. There are countless non-fiction books that can teach you things you could never learn in school!

  1. Reading is fun

            Reading is a great form of entertainment! Not only does it boost your imagination and creativity, but it also allows you to experience endless things you would never be able to otherwise. 

 

Leon Lack, Helen Wright, The Effect of Evening Bright Light in Delaying the Circadian Rhythms and Lengthening the Sleep of Early Morning Awakening Insomniacs, Sleep, Volume 16, Issue 5, August 1993, Pages 436–443

Billington, Josie, et al. “An investigation into the therapeutic benefits of reading in relation to depression and well-being.” Liverpool: The Reader Organization, Liverpool Health Inequalities Research Centre(2010).

Photo Credit: Khan, Rasheed. “Gearing Up Your Reading Experience.” The Daily Star, 10 July 2019, www.thedailystar.net/shout/news/gearing-your-reading-experience-1769788.