Toward the end of any semester, it is difficult to pick up a book that isn’t a textbook or reading material for a class. With finals looming and stress rising, it’s unlikely to have a few minutes to do any “pleasure reading,” as some may call it.
It wasn’t until my British literature professor challenged my class to read something the book club was featuring and write a report on it for extra credit, that I even thought about reading any text outside of the classroom curriculum. I remember sitting in class thinking “There’s no way I am going to have time to read any more literature for this class!” It didn’t help that the book was titled, The Last Lecture, which quite honestly sounded like the most boring topic ever. After sitting in classes all day, the last thing I wanted to glue my eyes to was yet another lecture.
I began reading the first chapter. And then the second. The next thing I knew, I was 81 pages in and couldn’t stop from turning the pages. By 3 a.m., I realized I had to finish the book before I could go to bed–and for once–I was excited to write the report. There were so many topics I wanted to discuss with someone.
Randy Pausch, the author of the book, wrote “Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”
His words really inspired me because during a busy time of year, when school seems endlessly demanding, any sort of a social life is dwindling and work is overwhelming, they are all just factors, simple bricks in the wall. Pausch couldn’t have said it any better. That wall just makes us prove to ourselves how badly we really want something.
I challenge everyone during these last few weeks of school to realize the brick walls that stand in your paths, but rather than seeing them as an obstacle, view them as a reminder of what you’re working so hard for. Best of luck! And lastly, pick up a good book to read. You’d be surprised by what it will do for you. Sometimes breaks are the caffeine for success.