Ever since I learned how, reading has been a pastime to which I have been avidly devoted. Now, as a college student living a hectic life, my free time has diminished, as has my time to read. Even when I am consumed with homework and extracurriculars, I still remember the feeling that washes over me when a memorable book ends: sad, a little satisfied, but mostly like I’m awakening from a dream. In that dream I have traveled to California along Route 66 with the Joad’s, defeated Voldemort with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, felt the harsh racism of the south with Scout, and flown a kite with Hassan and Amir. I have battled the Capital with Katniss, written stories with Skeeter, solved a forty-year old murder with Mikael and Lisbeth, and married a Native American chief with Mary Dodd. I have visited the Inkworld with Meggie, performed in a circus with Jacob and Marlena, flown through worlds with Peter Pan, and helped Liesel hide Max from the Nazis. The beautiful stories I have read continue to teach me valuable lessons that I adhere to each day.
College presents us with countless opportunities that seem overwhelming and difficult. It is hard to choose a major, make new friends, and live alone in the third largest city in the country. Dr. Seuss addresses this in his book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.” For an author of children’s books, Dr. Seuss is pretty wise. As adults, we have the choice to make our life what we want and live in a way that makes us happy. The unnamed narrator in the book asks his readers a vital question: "Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed (98¾% guaranteed)." College is challenging, but with courage, confidence, and faith, it can easily become an exciting journey, and the best time of our lives.
J.K. Rowling also shows awareness of how valuable our choices are with her creation of Albus Dumbledore. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
, Dumbledore says, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Rowling created a profound man with wise insight into good and evil, morality, and human spirit. This quote is one of my favorites that Dumbledore says, as it is applicable to not only the Wizarding World but to our world as college students.
As a child, I always walked around with a book in my nose, so much so that I would run into walls and doors. My mom would get frustrated at me for how much I asked to go to the library. I eagerly awaited the Scholastic Book Fair at school. The librarians in my hometown know me by name. I give a lot of credit to the books I have read for forming the person I am today and for the decisions I have made. An author named William Feather
once said, “Books open your mind, broaden your mind, and strengthen you as nothing else can.” Books unleash new worlds and dreams and blissful memories. It would be impossible for me to list every book I’ve ever read, but each book, even if I don’t remember it, has given me immeasurable and irreplaceable wisdom. My life would be meaningless and would have turned out quite differently if I did not have books.