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4 Reasons Why High School Summer Reading Matters

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4 Reasons Why High School Summer Reading Matters
Many high school students dread summer reading. And even if your school requires it, you procrastinate getting it done until the very last moment. This summer, for the sake of your college applications, don’t. Here are four reasons why summer reading matters – and how you can make it work for you on your college applications and college essays.

1. Summer reading can limit summer slide.

Summer slide refers to summer learning loss, which can happen when you don’t stay academically active during the summer. Your ease with reading – and even your overall school readiness – can drop during the summer months, and these losses accumulate over time. Summer reading can position you to start the school year with your best foot forward. If you’re about to begin your junior year in high school, this is especially important. Your grades from junior year are a critical component of your college applications.

2. Summer reading can help you write stronger college application essays.

Whether you are applying for college or a scholarship, your application will likely involve an essay. As you describe books you’ve read, you can demonstrate your ability to synthesize information. This does not mean that you read “Wuthering Heights” to simply state, “I read “Wuthering Heights” this summer – isn’t that great?” Instead, read articles and books that reflect a dearly held passion or prompt you to consider the world in a different way or that excite your imagination. Then, use these texts to construct a thoughtful and memorable application essay.

3. Summer reading can make you smarter.

Reading is a great way to expand your overall knowledge base. While required reading during the school year often focuses on predetermined course content, optional summer reading gives you a chance to follow your own interests. This is an excellent opportunity to augment your understanding of the academic areas that interest you most. If you intend to declare a major on your college applications, you can also quickly demonstrate your commitment to your prospective field by referencing your summer reading and demonstrating what you learned.

4. Summer reading can further develop your language skills.

People who read tend to have larger vocabularies than non-readers, and the more you read, the better your comprehension becomes. Exposure to various writing styles can also help you develop your own writing voice and the other writing skills you’ll need in college. Practice makes perfect, after all. Both of these skills are critical on the ACT and SAT, and strong test scores can expand your college options.

If you don’t save it for the last minute, summer reading can be wonderful because it allows you to read unhurriedly – by the pool, on the beach, or in your backyard – and it encourages you to read things that will help you grow as both a student and an individual. While it may seem unappealing or unnecessary at first, summer reading can work to your advantage, both in life and on college applications.

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Written by Dana Elmore

Dana Elmore is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world's largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.

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