Reading To Avoid Burnout From College

By Agnes R. ’26, B.S. in Biomedical Sciences student

Whether you are an undergraduate student on a pre-veterinary track or are already a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) student, you probably have a huge amount of coursework that must also be balanced with other involvements. This may make you feel very overwhelmed and stressed. However, I find that reading is an excellent way to clear your mind, avoid burnout, and allow yourself to breath for more than five minutes. Below are the three latest books I read, which I highly recommend reading!

The Jungle cover

The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

This novel was originally published in 1905 and tells the story of Yurgis, a Lithuanian immigrant, and his family as they arrive in the meatpacking industry of Chicago around the 1920s. At the beginning, you can feel the excitement of the characters. The family later faces hardships, but Yurgis keeps working as hard as he can to give his family the “American Dream.”

I really enjoyed this book because of how full of emotion it is. The readers were actually so appalled in the early 1900s by the descriptions of the meat packing industry in this book that it led to the creation of the FDA and many of the food safety laws we now have in the United States. I could hardly put this book down, and I hope neither will you, as it immerses you in the difficult world that was the 1920s.

A Little Life cover

A Little Life By Hanya Yanagihara

This 2015 novel follows the story of a group of four friends through college and their professional lives, but especially Jude’s, the quieter and shyer friend. We slowly get insight into his absolutely devastating past as he tries to adjust to both his life in college and his life at work. There is no romanticizing this book; whenever you think Jude and his friends have gotten a break, the other shoe drops.

This book really makes you think about your own life, and slowly breaks your heart. Out of the three recommendations, I believe this one to be the hardest book to read, but that does not make it any less worth it. This book captivated me and to this day, I still love all the characters I got to know through this novel.

Everything I Know About Love cover

Everything I Know About Love By Dolly Alderton

This memoir published in 2018 follows the author’s life as she went through different relationships in her 20s. We get insights into all her love interests as well as her love for her best friend, Farly. As the book goes on, Dolly’s knowledge about love and about herself changes. Between chapters of personal change, you can also find mac and cheese recipes and sayings that Dolly hates!

This book truly is a rollercoaster but is also such an easy and quick read. It makes you think while still giving your mind a much-needed break. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone going through new experiences.

I couldn’t recommend these books more. While they sound very different, each one immerses you into the life of a group of remarkable people. Between my class work, volunteering, job shadowing, and other activities, reading has felt like an oasis in the middle of such a stressful life. I hope these recommendations make you want to start reading and create a break in your very full schedule. Avoid burnout by finding peace in reading!