School has a tendency to get in the way of life.

Many college students spend the majority of their time attending class, working on homework or studying for the next test. And we cannot forget the forget the additional burden of maintaining a job, putting time into an organization or sport and remembering to keep up with some form of a social life.

The accumulation of college activities rarely leaves one with the energy to do anything else but fall exhausted into bed at the end of the day. In the college student’s schedule, time is precious. Thus, beloved hobbies are forgotten, especially those that require lengthy amounts of time, such as reading books, baking and ceramics.

For those who have a passion for reading in a major that leaves them very little free time, the deficiency of reading can take a toll.

“To Be Read” lists become longer than the lines at the JPL Chick-fil-a, library cards gather dust in empty wallets and bedside tables suffer from the lack of the warmth brought by the books currently being read. There is no clear cut solution to those problems.

However — dear readers of the student body — there is a temporary relief from the reading drought brought upon by the dreary school months.

Short stories help create a bridge between school breaks, when there is time to read without distractions. A short story can be defined as a brief work of literature with a focus on the creation of a mood through a theme and its literary devices.

The best stories pack the emotion and intrigue similar to that of full-length novels, without risk of losing entertainment value in their limited word count; therefore, rather than feeling intimidated picking up another time-consuming novel, just save the big books for winter break, and take thirty minutes to search for a short story online.

You can have your daily or weekly dose of literacy fulfilled, without cutting too much into your precious time and interrupting your academics.

We are familiar with Poe’s “Tales of Horror” and the social commentary behind Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”; now it is time to try these not so well known short stories.

“Happy Endings” by Margaret Atwood takes the romance genre and twists it around in an innovative narrative. If you are in the mood for a mysterious and philosophical read that will have you thinking beyond its last plot-twisting sentence, Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Garden of Forking Paths” awaits. Lastly, for the lost college student, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates hits the reader with a tale of unease and introspection that resonates with all the emotions surrounding the space between the teens and adulthood.

Next time you find yourself with extra minutes to spare or in those quiet moments in bed before going to sleep, rather than automatically opening Facebook or Instagram, search for a short story and read!

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