I wasn’t super intelligent or a genius.
But, I was able to be around those guys by being an achiever at school. How did that come about? Did I study really hard or have some great study habits? I don’t, to be honest. I liked watching Dragonball Z or Pokemon better than studying.
But what I do have is the reading habit. And I will tell you how my reading habit made me an achiever in school.
I started having an interest in reading when I was six. There was this older cousin that I admired and she taught me how to read. I remember we were at my grandparent’s house that time, out on the terrace, one bright afternoon, that she first taught me how to read. I was maybe four or five years old, that time.
But I have really become an avid reader only after I read a very interesting book about a family of chickens and their animal neighbors. It was written in the Filipino language with the title “Ang Magkapitbahay”, which means ‘The Neighbors’. It has black and white images and a large font size that I managed to read it in one afternoon despite it being over an inch thick. Maybe because I love animals and the story is really very catchy for me that I really didn’t put it down until I finished the whole book. Maybe, there is more to that book, but catching the interest of an impatient six-year-old is impressive already.
My mother was totally shocked!
I used to be out a lot, throwing tantrums everywhere, spoiled and very bratty I admit, but I then became a subdued kid who prefers books than playing outside. She had been trying for me to read my ABC’s. I may get interested in a minute and then cry my way out of the house to play. But then, I suddenly became very interested in reading and what more she found out that I’ve been reading the whole afternoon in our neighbor’s house and had finished a book, nonetheless.(It was in our neighbor’s house that I “found” the book and I asked permission, of course, to read it. I was bratty but I have still had some manners. :D) It was like she was witnessing a kind of miracle. HAHA.
Since then, I have always tried to read everything I came across, pamphlets, magazine or anything with words. Yes, EVERYTHING. And you may say that should have made studying interesting for me. But I’m some weird kid. It didn’t. But I do read my textbooks though, but not in the context of studying them. I read because I want to read. And what I found out later on was I particularly liked the English language and literature that on the beginning of school year, I had my English books read from cover to cover.
And because I read my textbooks, I knew in advance what my teachers will discuss. This doesn’t apply to all subjects though, and I have Math as an exception. I love Math but I don’t read numbers well enough until the teacher has discussed the lesson. That’s understandable, right? I mean who can read numbers as a kid except those with genius brains out there? I’m no genius so I guess no one could blame me. Though it would be pretty cool to be one. 😀
Reading not just the textbooks but other books and reading materials helped as well to make me an achiever.
I remember there was this one time where I was called on to discuss the blood circulation during our science class. I was one lazy kid at most times and so after discussing the flow of the blood from the heart to the capillaries, I quipped in, ” And VICE VERSA.” just to end the discussion quickly. My teacher who was looking into the illustration of the circulatory system whipped his head and looked at me. I was suddenly nervous because I thought I’d be reprimanded by my apparent laziness but he just asked me with wonder, “How did you know about that word?”
I explained that I just read that in the bus and jeepney signs and I figured that meant like the other way around. And he said, “Well, you’re right.” And then addressing the class, he went on, ” Look, see Alona here, she reads a lot.( My teachers knew I read a lot because they often see me reading during breaks while all the other kids are playing outside.) And she now knows a lot of words that we’re not discussed yet in your level. But because she reads, she knows what vice versa means and she gets to use it in her discussion.”
“..And she now knows a lot of words that we’re not discussed yet in your level. But because she reads, she knows what vice versa means and she gets to use it in her discussion.”
I was pretty shocked. I was expecting an admonition of some kind for my laziness and then I got praised. I really never have ever forgotten that day. Let me just mention here that English is just a second language in our country( the Philippines) and it’s taught in schools so basically I get to improve my English vocabulary through reading. And my teacher was quite impressed!
My reading habit clearly serves me well with an increased vocabulary. And because I read different kinds of materials, I sometimes get to help people by answering their questions based on what I’ve read. And I get to score better in my exams because I definitely have read somewhere something related to what is asked in the question, except, of course, Math because I really need to listen to my teacher to know how to do it. I still love Math so, there.
My reading habit has helped me made it to the top of my class, not to brag, but just to state an example, well on to my high school years. I wasn’t very intelligent. I was just a kid who loves to read. And because I was an achiever in school, I was able to get into a state university where only the brightest people go to and are accepted. It’s not Harvard, but I can really say that my schoolmates are amazingly smart and highly intelligent. It’s quite a wonder to be around them and my reading habit made me experienced that.
Possibly, the greatest habit that one could acquire and one should best acquire early on is reading. Basing on my experiences, I can really say that reading has helped me achieve so much in life.
How about you? What is something in your life that you achieve through reading?Please share with us in the comments below!