Ah, college: the transition to real adulthood. It's a time when you can finally pick your classes, get away from people who you have known your whole life, and have the chance to discover who you are on your own terms. Between all the excitement and freedom, we shouldn't forget that this phase of our young adult life is also a time for us to learn key life lessons. While they're not required, this is your recommended reading to help you understand the essential aspects of life. After all, we wouldn’t want to make too many mistakes.
- On Lifestyle...
When I first started college, "I'm sorry" was a phrase that often escaped my lips because I had a learning curve and some insecurities to overcome. For this reason, I recommend Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, even if you're not a girl with the tendency to apologize. No one should have to feel bad for being who they are. We shouldn't apologize for staying in when we're using that time to chase our dreams. Everyone should embrace who they are and not a single person should feel like they aren't enough, because we're all doing the best we can. Rachel Hollis gets that as a mom and CEO, and in her latest book, she's giving us the okay to pursue all we ever wanted without feeling bad about it.
- For Money and Career...
My biggest fear when I came into college was that I would graduate with thousands of dollars in student debt and a degree that wouldn't be able to get me a job. Then I read Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin, and while that fear has not totally dissipated, I feel like I finally understand the basics of how money works. This gives me the ability to budget and treat myself to a nice meal every now and then knowing that I won’t be breaking the bank.
- On Culture...
Culture is such a complex subject matter, and with everyone trying to avoid offending anyone, it was very hard to select a book that I believe could cover it all. At the end of the day, the best thing to remember is that the world would be a better place if we could all just be kind to each other.
For this category I would recommend The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers. It's not a book specifically about culture, but Fred Rogers provides a unique perspective on the world and how to approach it. Reading this book will give you a viewpoint to examine different aspects of the world and the complex issues it faces.
- For Style...
Walking around campus every day, different people catch my eye. The reason that they catch my eye is that they have unique clothing choices. Fashion always makes such a statement, and I knew that upon coming to college, I would need to develop my own fashion sense. After reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees, I realized that fashion isn't as simple as looking great in what you wear. It's about feeling great in what you wear too, and that’s how I’ve been able to pick out some signature pieces of my own.
- On Wellness...
The thing about health, wellness and fitness is that they're always expanding because new research comes out so often. As we're moving out of our parents' homes to be on our own, we're all trying not to succumb to stress or gain fifteen pounds during our first year. The latest research has won a Nobel Peace Prize and is called The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth Blackburn. This research shows the changes that can be made on both a cellular and a community level so that we can be healthy, on our own or with the help of others.
- For Beauty...
Nothing sells like confidence does, but the question is usually this: how can we develop a firm sense of it? For a lot of people, their confidence comes from how they look, and this is especially true when it comes to women. That's why for beauty, I recommend The Make-Up of a Confident Woman by Trish McEvoy. It goes beyond the illusion that makeup is all there is to a confident woman. With a few minutes of self-care every day, you have the ability to be the best you, starting from the outside and working your way in.
- On Decor...
If you've been inside of a Target recently, you've probably seen some products in the home section by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Joanna and her husband have made a living off of their show Fixer Upper on HGTV. That's why I'm sure that Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines is the book you need to read before you go shopping for that new dorm or apartment you're about to move into for the year. Her advice definitely makes it an easy choice when it comes to deciding whether to study in the comfort of my own home or at Starbucks.
- For After College...
As a person who is stressing about what comes after college, reading The Defining Decade by Meg Jay this past summer has led me to believe that I have more control over what happens than I thought I did. While this book is in the after college category, I recommend that college students get their hands on this book as soon as they possibly can. As a clinical psychologist, Meg Jay is giving out facts when it comes to career life, family life and the reality of life for anyone in their twenties.
- On Sex and Relationships...
This topic is so widely discussed in American society that there are so many sources of information for it. From books to podcasts, this information can be consumed in numerous ways, but the truth is that there is no single source with the best advice. The best advice would come from you experiencing all aspects of it because only you know what you need and what you're like in a relationship. So remember that communication is the key to any successful relationship, and get out there to experience everything. Then maybe you can write us the perfect book on this facet of life.
While books can be expensive, the information found within them can be priceless. Open one of them up and see where life takes you once you finish reading it.