Here's How Far Along You Are with Your Summer Reading Assignments, Based on Your Zodiac Sign
Summer's coming to a swift and grievous end, which isn't a surprise but still makes me feel like I’m confronting some harsh truths. Where did summer go? Is this just how time works? Has it always worked like this? Was anyone going to tell me?
It's in the midst of this crisis of faith that you will undoubtedly remember your summer reading and how much of it you haven't done. Or maybe you've already finished your assignments, because you're a god and not of this realm. It all depends on your Zodiac sign:
Aries (March 21 - April 20): You poured all of your energy into your summer work... until you got distracted by Pokémon Go, that is. But this isn't your fault. If anything, it's Niantic's. I feel like we could also reasonably blame the sun, because it is a flaming siren call of good times and fair weather, coaxing you outside and away from your responsibilities. Pro tip for Aries: look for an audiobook version of your assigned reading. That way you can get your work done without holing yourself up in the bunker that is your sun-starved bedroom.
Taurus (April 21 - May 21): You refuse to do schoolwork during the summer on principle. This is not about you or your propensity to procrastinate. This is bigger than you. It's bigger than all of us. This is about justice. Instead of writing essays, you’re spending your time drafting a lengthy letter to the president that lists all the reasons homework is beneath all our dignities and a blight upon this nation and should be abolished posthaste.
Gemini (May 22 - June 21): You stay positive by choosing to view summer assignments as an opportunity to have fun. Not going-to-the-beach fun or finding-money-in-pants-you-haven't-worn-in-a-while fun, but fun nonetheless. Just think how lucky you are to be reading some of the greatest written works in history! It's a good thought, and definitely one you should cling to as you toil away your days reading hundreds of pages by some dead guy whose paragraphs go on forever.
Cancer (June 22 - July 22): We know your secret, okay? When school isn’t in session, sometimes you miss curling up at home with a textbook and taking notes. It makes sense to you. There's something to be said for that study aesthetic—I'm talking highlighters at the ready, books lying open next to a cup of coffee, the soft background melody of your favorite Spotify playlist. We get it. You can still pretend to hate homework in polite company. Your secret's safe with us.
Leo (July 23 - August 21): You’ve already vowed to turn in the most impressive assignment of anyone in your class. It will be the paper to end all papers, the pinnacle of academia, a bastion of scholarly excellence the likes of which your classmates could only dream of. So far, however, all you’ve done is tweet about how much work you still have to do. 21 people favorited it, though! Score.
Virgo (August 22 - September 23): 400 pages of reading and a response paper? No problem! You blocked out your time accordingly—50 pages a week for the first 8 weeks of summer, then a month to write your various drafts. As of now, you're cruising along right on schedule, and it's looking like you'll even finish with time to spare. You attribute your success to all those Google Calendar reminders. They saved your life and they're the hero that Gotham deserves.
Libra (September 24 - October 23): You have great ideas about what you’ll write about for your paper. You're bursting with ideas. You're lousy with ideas. However, you just can’t seem to force yourself to start! Pro tip for Libra: organize study sessions with various other people and choose to do group projects when possible. This will give you an incentive to get your work done, because by virtue of being a Libra you'd rather set yourself on fire than let anyone down.
Scorpio (October 24 - November 22): You'll do all the work in one hectic 24-hour cram session. This isn't even a question. You're not a procrastinator (well, not much, anyway), but you thrive under pressure and tend to get your best work done while you're racing the clock. This is just what has to happen. You know what you're about. You'll make yourself a pot of coffee, blast "Eye of the Tiger," and enter The Zone™.
Sagittarius (November 23 - December 22): You drop-kicked your backpack into a distant corner of your bedroom three months ago and you never looked back. Now it's the eleventh hour, and you've lost the handout. Check the bottom of your bag. Then check the bottom of your other bag. Nothing? Well, do you have a third bag? How many bags do you have? How many bags do you need?
Capricorn (December 23 - January 20): You’ve been done since May! Some might call it witchcraft; you call it time management and practicality. You knew you’d be over-booked this summer with jobs, volunteer commitments, and various enrichment activities, so you asked your teachers to give you the assignments ahead of time. That way, you could get a jump on them.
Aquarius (January 21 - February 19): You're all done! For your summer project, you fashioned a unique and elaborate diorama out of recycled materials that will most assuredly wow teachers and classmates alike. The assignment was an essay, but you’re holding out for the creativity bonus. You just weren't feeling that whole "sit down and write" thing, and you shouldn't be penalized for thinking outside the box. Right? Right.
Pisces (February 20 - March 20): You’ve read a dozen books this summer—it's just that none of them were the ones that were assigned to you. You'll get to the boring syllabus-mandated stuff later, like after you've made a dent in that pile of Barnes & Noble purchases on your bookshelf, but until then you're going to kick back and hope the problem resolves itself.
Illustrations by the incomparable Steffi Lynn
This post was originally published in August 2016