Unknown to many Fordham students is the fact that there is a life outside of Rose Hill. College and your 20s is a time to take in all that you can and explore the vast universe of social complexities around you. Not only does reading books improve your vocabulary, but reading reduces stress and engages the mind in subjects that are not usually thought about.
In an effort to grasp some of these complexities, I have taken up a mission to begin reading books that can benefit me and my vocabulary in multiple ways. As it gets sunnier on Eddie’s and the iced tea starts flowing, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up a book and some sunscreen and take some time for yourself.
This Side of Paradise is a popular novel by the esteemed F. Scott Fitzgerald that provides a relatable message to every college student. As Fordham Rams, we are told to be bothered by the fact that we do not know everything and we are supposed to go through our four years of schooling while growing into the person we were meant to be.
The main character of this American fiction novel is a man who graduates from Princeton with what seems to be a top-notch education. He ends up realizing that he has learned enough to get a degree but he has not learned anything about himself. As college students, it’s easy to think that we don’t have control of our lives sometimes, but this book is necessary to realize that not having control is the best way to learn about yourself. It’s a great read for any student who wants to know what their degree can do for them. The main takeaway is that a degree does not define a person, and that’s a common fear during graduation season and the job or graduate school application process.
Another thought provoking read for the curious scholar is Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. With a battle between God and an evil entity for a man’s soul, the story turns from witty dispute to an unprecedented journey. Faust learns to trust himself as he engages on his path to finding the will to live and the freedom to be himself. He could have easily let his fate be decided but freedom grants him a choice. The hardest part of pursuing higher education is hoping that whatever choice you make and whatever comes out of that choice will not be pointless in the end. Faust, although dealing with issues of the soul, has to find it in himself to trust whatever decision he makes.
We as college students need to do the same and to confront this fear through another character can put any mind at ease. Other than reading the tons of books we all have to read for class, reading fiction novels with relatable themes and comforting characters can draw us out of our daily stresses. They can give us time to unwind and enjoy the spring that has finally come out of these brutal winter months. Any book that broadens horizons and expands our views makes us more of ourselves than we were before, so taking the time to build yourself as a person will give you the confidence you need to make decisions you can be proud of.