Fall 2020. A brand-new semester- the very first one for my fellow freshmen Comets- filled with fresh adventures, and innovative approaches to navigating the maze of ‘college’. Fair warning: this blog, my fellow Comets, is more of a sneak peak inside the musings of my mind, than your traditional blogs. Here we go!

As a freshman, I had many plans for my first semester at university, but of course, they were all affected by the current circumstances (I am personally sick of that ‘C’ word, so let’s not mention it today), and I ended up staying home for the fall, with all of my classes online. In a way, I don’t mind completely because as a first-time college student, I was scared I’d be too distracted by wandering the unfamiliar campus, meeting new people, and attending potential events, and not be able to focus enough on academics to get a strong start in my college career. So, staying home this semester gives me that time and space to really understand the dynamics of college courses, and hopefully, in the spring, I could be relaxed enough about academics to allow myself to focus on other things at the same time. 

When I think about college courses, my mind conjures up images of academic textbooks. Having taken OnRamps (dual-credit) classes in high school, I am not 100% unfamiliar with academic textbooks’ jargon. In fact, just the other day, I found myself reading the required chapters and whatnot for some of my classes, and actually ended up enjoying it. To give you a little insight, I love learning about things; doesn’t matter what it’s about, if it is witty, or written well-enough, I’ll be quickly immersed in it. With that said, I was reading the chapters for my BCOM 1300 (Business Communication), MKT 3300 (Principles of Marketing) and RHET 1302 (Rhetoric) classes, and I found myself…having fun, and marveling over all the new information I was seeing in front of me, going as far as forgetting to stop and take notes rather than keep reading on.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to read. Usually people would respond to that statement by assuming I’m talking about fantasy novels like Harry Potter, or Lord of The Rings, or maybe autobiographies of accomplished individuals in society. Seldom do they guess that I am actually talking about romance novels. I know…romance novels? That’s what this blog is about? Well, don’t leave just yet; I did warn you this was more of a rambling than an educational blog post. 

I am the kind of reader who once read 8 novels in 7 days, have over 300+ books in my ‘to-be-read’ pile, and am constantly switching between the 6 or so books I am reading simultaneously. And until the last few months, I used to be proud of my self-proclaimed ‘avid reader’ title. What changed? 

I realized that whenever someone around me was asked if they liked reading, or everytime someone shared their book-of-the-week on social media, those books looked nothing like the ones I read. Instead, they were educational books, biographies and memoirs, journals of automobile or the tech industry innovations, or scientific research books, with a few popular science-fiction books thrown in. No one that I knew of proudly displayed romance novels as their favorite or even something they read to past time. 

While I found them interesting, I could never devour books or articles like that the way I did for my favorite romance novels. I could, technically, read about new inventions or breakthroughs in various STEM industries, but I could never cry or laugh with the characters in there. I could gain fresh knowledge about a new recipe in a cookbook, but I could never be as giddy as I am when one of the characters in my romance novels cooks something for their partner for the first-time and it’s a success. I could marvel over strong women leaders in Forbes magazines, but I could never experience the same heartfelt, tough, yet rewarding journey with a similar character in a fiction novel. 

Can I truly call myself an avid-reader, if my idea of reading doesn’t match the general assumption when it comes to genre? I should probably end this blog by stating something like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks, romance books are as good as any novel from an academic library. I am a true reader.”

Well…that’d be a lie, because I do care what people think and after struggling my whole life to fit in somewhere, I can’t just…stop. So, instead, I’ll keep my romance novels close to my heart, and continue to gain whatever knowledge I can from academic textbooks in college. Besides, if anyone chuckles at my choice of books, I’ll be sure to challenge them to narrate the main idea and supporting evidence of their last-read academic journal. From memory. *insert evil, smug laugh* 

Until next time, fellow Comets. Whoosh!