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The Mass Media

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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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So Much To Read, So Little Time

Incoming freshmen may find it difficult to get accustomed to the many hours of reading that college requires. While the transition from high school to post-secondary is smooth for some students, others are unable to adapt to the heaps of required readings.

Thomas Nguyen, a freshman at UMass Boston, said he feels his newfound college freedoms-such as the ability to set his own schedule-have both favorable and unfavorable consequences.

“Now, with all this free time, I am able to pace myself with my workload, but then I tend to procrastinate until the last minute.”

The increased reading load may become overwhelming for many students who discover there is significantly more to read in college than there was in high school. Students with poor study skills are quick to remark about the reading assignment overload that their professors engulf them in.

Reading, more so critically, is an essential skill in not just your academics, but everyday life itself. A current example is the mortgage crisis, where some people’s homes are being foreclosed due to a mortgage contract they may have failed to fully understand.

Although many students coming from high school managed to graduate-and sometimes with good grades-without cracking a textbook, this habit will most likely backfire as students transition onto college.

Susan Bartzak-Graham, project director of Student Support Services, has experienced plenty of students who get overwhelmed with reading for class.

She said students should break down information into smaller chunks and have discussions with other students. Although a job or family commitments are important, time can be managed, Bartzak-Graham said.

“You just have to find a way to carve time to read. You should read ahead and come prepared to class rather than just keep up with the bare minimum,” said Bartzak-Graham.

If students find themselves requiring assistance, they are encouraged to drop by the Academic Support Office, located on the first floor Campus Center. There, students can seek assistance from tutors who specialized in not just reading, writing, and study strategies, (RWSSC) but a wide range of other subjects as well. Students are encouraged to have their difficulties diagnosed and addressed in sessions, free for individuals or groups enrolled in 100-200 level courses.

The Ross Center is also available for students with conditions that limit reading potential.