Reading and college admissions success go hand in hand. As we approach the summer time, one of the things you should be doing during your time off from school is reading! That’s right. Reading for pleasure. That doesn’t mean reading the classics (unless you find great pleasure in reading “The Great Gatsby,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “Dracula”). That means reading books for pure enjoyment. Maybe it means reading a John Grisham book. Maybe it’s reading a Malcolm Gladwell book. Maybe it’s reading the Steve Jobs biography. Or “SuperFreakonomics.” Or a Robin Cook medical thriller. Regardless of the books that you choose to read, it’s important to read.
Why is it important to read? Well, for one it can boost your vocabulary. Second, it’s just plain good to read as it expands your world and actually makes you more intelligent. But, since we write about college admissions as that’s the business we’re in, it’ll also help you get into college. On so many alumni interviews, students are asked what they’ve read lately or what their favorite books are. And so many students either don’t have an answer because they don’t read or because they don’t have good answers. For instance, while it’s always good to read any book for pleasure, citing “50 Shades of Grey” on a college interview would be a very bad idea! And so is citing “The Hunger Games.” It’s a blockbuster movie franchise. It’s no surprise that you’ve read the books.
What would be a good idea is to read books for pleasure that you can actually discuss on college interviews or in college essays. Reading books that intellectually stimulate you that not every single one of your fellow classmates has read will help you stand out from the pack of applicants who don’t demonstrate intellectual curiosity. A love of learning — and of reading — is important in the game of highly selective college admissions.
While you’re here, check out this post on books in college essays.