Keep an active mind during the summer

AJ Edwards

With the summer fast approaching and finals week within reaching distance, students are ready to put all textbooks away and take a long, well-deserved break from anything that requires thinking.

I should warn you, my fellow Huskies, that completely flushing your brain of any sort of a mental challenge can be harmful to your academic career and your life. Reading, doing a puzzle or stimulating your mind in any way–especially when you have a long break from classes–can help you maintain a sharp and ready mind for the challenges of your academic career.

I know what you are thinking: The last thing you want to do after a long, arduous semester is pick up another book or pen. But, reading, writing and doing puzzles between semesters can improve your life in general, nd not just your academic one. According to, the Alzheimer’s Association website, keeping your brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. Translation: By doing puzzles or reading books, you can maintain your mental capacity and strengthen your brain’s ability to develop it further.

Reading over the summer is not just something good for you to do when you’re lying out by the pool; reading is something good that can help keep you from losing focus. According to, reading can help build your concentration and attention skills. Think about how nice it would be come the fall semester to be able to pay close attention to your professor’s lecture and take great notes that help you maintain that A. If you are like me and want to get a good job after graduating, getting A’s is incredibly important. If you take some time out of your day during the summer and read a good novel, you are all the better preparing yourself for the upcoming semester.

If you are looking for something good to read over the summer, let me give you some recommendations. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is a great novel for those who enjoy historical fiction. Any James Patterson book is great for you thriller buffs out there, especially any of his novels that have Alex Cross in them. If you enjoy military history, try “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War” by Karl Marlantes.

Some people absolutely hate reading, and that’s OK. I have found whenever I cannot pick up a book even for a second–believe it or not, English majors feel that way sometimes–I do a puzzle. Sudoku is a fantastic puzzle to do that keeps me occupied for hours on end.

I understand the summer is supposed to be your time to relax and let yourself unwind from the struggles of academia. Before you allow yourself to turn your brain off, remember the benefits of a good book or puzzle. I promise you will be all the more prepared for the upcoming semesters.