English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 1:
Take Care of Yourself

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "Take Care of Yourself" just below it.

3. Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.

Here is the Take Care of Yourself video. You can watch it in your own language at The Way to Happiness Foundation. (Simply click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.) 

The Way to Happiness is a common sense guide to better living which has been distributed to more than 100 million people in over 100 languages. It describes 21 principles to a better quality of life.

Principle number 1 is "Take Care of Yourself."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Take Care of Yourself

Valerie studies at a big university. At the same time, she maintains a full-time job so that she can pay for her tuition and her living expenses. So Valerie spends most of the day at the office, then goes to class three days a week. She also stays up late at night to study for her classes.

Valerie does not do any physical exercise. Between work and university, she is so busy that she thinks she does not have time for any physical activity.

Sadly, she rarely eats home-made meals. She usually just grabs a bag of chips or a hamburger as she leaves her office to take the bus to university. Since she is convinced that she does not have time to make a healthy dinner when she gets home, she eats lots of pizzas that she orders over the phone.

After dinner, she starts studying and preparing her assignments. Valerie does not sleep very much because of it. She feels grumpy when she wakes up early in the morning, and she is irritable at work. After her long day, she feels tired in class, and it is hard for her to concentrate.

To make matters even worse, Valerie keeps getting sick. This makes her miss work and class. She is miserable! She just wants to feel good. Her grades start to go down because of her illnesses. As she thinks about her whole life situation, she gets so frustrated that she does not even want to study anymore.

During her mid-year break, Valerie decides to make some big changes. First, she learns how to make some easy, healthy recipes. She actually finds that she saves a lot of money by preparing her food herself, and the food tastes much better too! After an early dinner and some quiet reading, Valerie goes to bed early every night. Now she really feels refreshed in the morning.

Then she decides to give something else a try. Her office is not really so far from her university, so one day after work she tries walking there. As she walks down the street, looking at all the people, the shops, and the movement in the city, she remembers how much she hates being stuck on the bus in traffic. In fact, she finds that she can get to class almost as fast by walking. And she is so much happier when she arrives!

When the semester begins, Valerie maintains her healthy habits. She sets time aside on the weekends to study and do her assignments. Because she is sleeping and eating better now, she can finally concentrate and needs to spend much less time studying.

It is a huge improvement. Valerie saves money on food and transportation, she has much more energy, she feels less stressed, and her grades are better. She is glad she finally started to take care of herself. Now she finally enjoys all of her different activities and feels happy about her life.

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "tuition" mean?

a) the money you pay to live in an apartment

b) the money someone pays you to work for them

c) the money you pay to a university to study there

d) the money a university gives you to help you study

2. What does "grumpy" mean?

a) upset and irritable

b) confused

c) energetic

d) tired

3. What does "healthy" mean?

a) good for your body

b) good for your emotional state

c) good for your mental state

d) all of the above

Grammar Questions

1. She decides ________ to class.

a) to walk

b) walking

c) walk

d) walked

2. Valerie keeps ________ sick.

a) having

b) getting

c) being

d) doing

3. She is so much ________ when she arrives.

a) happy

b) happiest

c) more happy

d) happier

Comprehension Questions

1. Why does Valerie always feel frustrated and irritable?
2. What healthy changes does Valerie make in her life?
3. In your opinion, why is it important to take care of yourself?

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