A Tragedy of Epic Proportions: The Story of Summer Procrastination

??????????We all enjoyed basking in the sun with our phones in one hand, and the other occupied with an ice cold slurpee. However, the cool summer vibes come with a twist. Only some of us know the torture of summer assignments, but we all know the horrendous struggle of summer reading. These pages of knowledge are assigned to us about one week before we leave the school. Do we do it then? Of course not! Weeks pass by. Some of us are occupied by summer jobs, others by Netflix.

I interviewed four students and one of our beloved teachers. All of my peers that I spoke to hadn’t done their summer assignments or their summer reading. Is it simply laziness or is there some reason behind their actions? Well according to them, their everyday lives were busy enough that they couldn’t possibly read these books or fulfill the assignments given to them. How could this be? Teenagers do a lot on a daily basis. The ones I spoke to traveled inside and outside of the country, worked, or were training for fall sports.

Maybe it wasn’t the fact that they were too busy, but the initial attitudes they brought to the summer reading assignment. Let’s think back to before summer vacation. We each had to fill out a pink piece of paper saying which book we were going to read over the break. I remember saying, “Oh my gosh, not this again!” When I asked my peers what their initial thoughts were, they responded with various observations.

“It really stinks. I don’t want to do it!” said a sophomore girl. Her friends then added on by saying, “I was panicked. I had so much AP work to do, I didn’t have time to read that book.” A junior boy said, “I don’t even know the name of the book I chose.”

Most of us believe that losing five points is not that big of a deal, but is that necessarily the truth? At the end of the marking period, five points make a big difference. But if that doesn’t convince you to do your summer assignments next year , maybe this will.

I interviewed Ms.Lav, our school’s biology teacher. Ms.Lav has been in the school for many years now. This year, she is in charge of the summer reading book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. According to Mrs. Lav, “Summer reading keeps them focused on one specific thing, it has a due date, and you can learn new things while enjoying their focus. Most importantly you can form a love for reading.”

“Why do you think it’s important to do the summer reading assignment?” I asked her.

“It’s easier to get the five points than to not get them. It’s a goal you set for yourself,” she replied, “Reading is a gift.”

“What do you want to say to the students who do their summer assignments at the last minute?”

“They won’t enjoy what they’re reading. If you’re not conscious of what you’re reading,  you won’t get all the important stuff out of it. Make sure you read every part; if not, you could miss important knowledge.”

So next summer, instead of approaching a comatose state in front of the TV, take an hour out of your day to read or finish summer assignments. Your grades will thank you and so will your brain. Remember:the average book only takes about 10 hours to read thoroughly. Reading helps to exercise your brain and keeps your skills sharp. So pick up a book sometime during the day, whether it’s a work of fiction, a biography, or even just a magazine.