College is a time for experience and growth for many young people. Even though college can be fun and exciting, it can also at times be overwhelming. It is at these times that I would find comfort not only in family and friends, but also in books- surprisingly insightful teachers. Here is the best book for college freshmen before starting college.
1. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
At first glance, this book might seem like just another sweet children’s story. In reality, it is a story filled with lessons and wisdom that any college student would find helpful as they navigate the world of academia. The tale of a pilot who meets a small boy after his plane crashes in the desert teaches us a slew of lessons in morality, life, and love. One of the lessons that any college student could be reminded of is to ” Make your life a dream, and a dream, a reality.” College is the time when you work towards finding a passion or calling in life and The Little Prince is there to remind us that it is all possible. This is the best book for college freshmen before starting college.
2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells
This memoir about a woman’s unconventional upbringing will teach college students that there is more than one path to success. Throughout the book, there are instances where you question whether or not Jeanette will be able to achieve her dreams, but even though she was met with some unusual obstacles along the way, she was able to succeed. It is a good reminder that we all walk different paths in life and that measuring our success by other’s standards is just not worth it. Be you!
3. 1984 by George Orwell
The thought that a totalitarian state could become a reality these days, makes this book required reading. If I had read this book before college, I probably would have taken more classes in political science or social justice. Just thinking of a time when human values could be eliminated completely is enough to be inspired to work toward changing the world we live in. What is a more perfect time to start your social activism career than in college? This is the best book for college freshmen before starting college.
4. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I wish I would have read this massive tome of classic literature before college, not only so that I could apply the lessons about the values of family and relationship to my own isolationist (at times) college experience, but so that someone could help me decipher those lessons a lot quicker. However, once you read this family epic you will feel accomplished and a whole lot smarter which is what you want when starting college. Do yourself a favor and read it!
5. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This short, short, book is written as a response to one of Adichie’s friends who asked her how she could raise a feminist daughter. Each suggestion outlines a part of the female experience in relation to the society we have created. The book discusses everything from challenging traditional gender roles, to being self reliant, to rejecting the idea of being liked. All of these lessons are important for a young person to know before entering an institution that has been built around the same ideas the book tries to reject and correct. This is one of my personal favorites, so it is a must-read! This is the best book for college freshmen before starting college.