I am in complete agreement, that colleges and universities should require reading of incoming freshman. As someone sho holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, I can state that from experience. There is, a major transition from high school to college. The incominfg freshman, finds himeself or herself on his or her own in scheduling study time, research and social activities. In the first year of post high school education this can be, for some overwhelming and I believe summer reading can be advantageous to help in the transition.
Prior to freshman year, summer reading can aid the new college student in maintaining reading skills, which are essential and introduce the new student to material they may not have been familiar with before. This will be reading at a higher level which will challenge his or her reading and cognitive ability as well. The old cliche holds true, in my view parctice makes perfect. Also, during the summer reading skills can be developed in a more “relaxed” manner, with hopefully a good mix of selections the student may prefer and some texts they may have to absorb, but not necessarily find enjoyable. Obviously it is far more easy to read something we enjoy rather than not, but that is not always the case in college or in life as we all know. My thought is that reading in the summer, also, provides an alternative to summer activities which are essential for relaxation, however the thought ought to be, in my view that, again a cliche, “all good things must come to an end” and the ” schedule of classes, term papers and research will begin soon enough for the new college student.
Writing from experience, and I’m an avid reader, a constant use of this skill will help to keep the student on track and ready for the new school year. I recall, my summer prior to my freshman year. I had chosen to attend and was accepted at a local Catholic college and had a public school education from grade one through high school., The reading list, that the university provided, had books of Theology and Philosophy, which I had never actually read and helped me prepare for courses that were part of the requited circulum. When I began my studies I felt as if I had been thee done that. My major and my Bachelor’s Degree is in History, mostly American, and even in that category, I encountered material I had not encountered in high school. History requires a great deal of research and summer reading was a definite asset in introducing me to a higher level of writing and made the transition to college, a more smooth and satisfying one.
I sincerely hope that any high school senior accepted into college, and given a reading list will take advantage of it. And today with all the electronic options available it is far more convenient then in my day.