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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Growing up, English was my subject. I was pretty much the only one in my class throughout elementary and middle school who enjoyed all my school’s separate, English-related courses: literature, grammar, vocabulary, and composition. I thrived in that environment, knowing even from a young age that when I hopefully got to Boston University, I would be an English major. (My mother being a professor, I was stocked up with hand-me-down BU folders that once contained students’ passed-in papers; in my eyes, I was the master of swag!) 

Here I am, just eight weeks away from BU graduation as, you guessed it, an English major. Though I dreamt of this when I was little, all I can think about now is how I would like to return to the relationship I had with English in my childhood, especially to the place reading had in my life in the past.  

I used to read and write creatively all the time, and in middle school, I had a habit of reading under my desk during class. One of my most distinct memories from the time has to do with The Hunger Games series. When my cousins and I saw the trailer for the first film before the newest Twilight movie, we immediately knew we had to read The Hunger Games trilogy. Though I was in the middle of the Harry Potter series, I dropped The Order of the Phoenix and immediately began to devour Suzanne Collins’ books. One of my best friends and I, separated from each other in history class, were simultaneously finishing Mockingjay under our desks, stealing shocked looks at each other and trying not to get caught before the book was over. What a thrilling time— when books were like contraband! It was the most rebellious possible thing that we, the least rebellious, could enjoy. 

I feel like I started to fall off reading when I got a phone in eighth grade. (I have yet to finish the last three Harry Potter books, which I find embarrassing). Still, throughout high school, I continued to thrive in and love English. I even grew to enjoy analytical writing. I entered college and continued on my English journey, forming an affinity for Shakespeare and exploring my analytical side even more. However, I think that this stronger focus on analysis is part of the problem. 

I remember that in the film theory class I took last semester, one of the scholars we read explained that analyzing a film takes away from a person’s enjoyment of that film. Though at the time I expressed disagreement with that statement in one of my discussion posts, positing that analysis could create greater enjoyment, I am starting to think that this isn’t the case for me and literature.

Sometimes, I have a blast with analysis— throwing out ideas, discussing them, seeing what sticks and what I can connect in my word web of a brain. But lately, it’s been too much. Where I once lost the time for reading, I’ve now lost the enjoyment for analytical writing because thinking about literature solely for grades has finally gotten to the point that it has effectively eliminated the excitement, creativity, and fun of reading and writing.

It’s not that I haven’t read anything in years— English major— because there’s always the assigned classwork. Some of the things I’ve read in class have fascinated and stuck with me. I’ve also read some new books I’ve chosen and re-read one of my favorite books a couple of times. It’s just that now, when I have free time, it typically goes to something mindless, like scrolling through useless Buzzfeed articles or re-watching Glee for the tenth time. Often, when I’m done with school reading, the last thing I want to do is read more.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I thought I’d give it a shot this year. Among a few other improvements I wanted to make, I decided that I would use 2022 to get back into leisure reading the way I was when I was 12. I set the goal to read every day. 

While I haven’t been too good at sticking to that since this semester started, the beginning of my year was amazing. I had finished re-reading The Hunger Games in December, and by the midway point in January, I had already re-read Catching Fire and Mockingjay, as well as finally reading the prequel to the series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. 

Things got crazy busy come February, so I have only finished two other books since then, while I’ve started a couple more. However, having finished five books I’ve chosen for myself by the third month of the year, as compared to the last several years of probably only a couple of books a year, feels really good. 

This year, two of the reading goals I want to accomplish are to restart and finish all of Harry Potter and to finally read all of Jane Austen’s novels. This is the year of reclaiming my once boundless joy for reading. I can’t wait until the school year ends, and I get to fall into as many new worlds as I want. 

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Angelina is a senior at BU, studying English in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a focus on Shakespeare. She is from Somerville, MA. In addition to writing for HCBU, Angelina is the Director of BU On Broadway Off Broadway and has been involved with theater through BU Shakespeare Society, Wandering Minds, and Stage Troupe. Outside of school, she enjoys dancing, music, baking, and movie marathons. Her pop culture heart lives in the 1980's.