7 great reads for college students

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As college students approach the half-way mark of the semester, self-care and feeding your mind outside of class is essential! After diving deep in the personal libraries of college students in Tallahassee, Fla., here’s a diverse, impelling and rather short list of must-reads! Whether you consider yourself a bookworm or you struggled in elementary school to reach the book requirement, there is something for you.

1. Don’t Settle For Safe – Sarah Jakes Roberts

In this piece, Roberts discusses her past mistakes and how she discovered her purpose, passion and completely turned her life around. She focuses on key themes that allowed her to push past the life she chose to leave behind. As seen on the back cover, Roberts wants to help readers, “view your history with positivity, demolish destructive patterns, connect with true intimacy, and realize your true calling.”

From a Christian point of view, this book promotes self-discovery and encourages readers to exceed expectations, overestimate their potential, and realize that trauma doesn’t shape your future. 

“If you’re thinking that this book just took a turn in a direction you’re not sure you can handle, it’s because you must overcome the feelings that you have buried,” she wrote.

“As a Black female Christian in college, this book changed me for the better. It allowed me to give myself a fresh start and it encouraged me to truly go after everything I set my mind to,” Florida State University student, Dynasty Davis said.

2. Oh the Places You’ll Go- Dr. Seuss

While it may sound a little silly, this book has encouraged many from a very young age. As current college student, Jasmine Moody, came across this book this past summer, she found greater meaning in it than she did years ago. 

“As a child, I read it because of the nice pictures and because Doctor Seuss was a classic, of course,” Moody said. “But as I get older, the words bring inspiration. Now a graduating senior, it gave me a bit of motivation. It helped me, in the silliest way, to see that there are so many challenges and milestones out there waiting for me.”

Seuss talks about his journey through life and the stepping stones that came with it. He makes it relatable by using the word, “you” throughout the entire book. To give you a glimpse of what the picture book entails, he writes, “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”

3. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov

In a thought provoking and controversial novel, Nabokov takes his readers on a journey of forbidden love. He introduces and executes key ideas such as sacrifice, inappropriate love, and many more. It tells about a professor and his love for a 12-year-old girl.

Beyond the weird circumstances, it gives readers a glimpse of the real world and what it means to be forgiving, understanding, and compassionate. It may sound a bit contradicting, but college student, Alexandria Perry, says it was a great read.

“I read this a while ago, but I loved it. I’d definitely recommend this to people because of the rollercoaster it took me on. Even if you’re not that much of a reader, it was an interesting way to get me back into reading,” Perry said.

4. The subtle art of not giving a F*ckMark Manson 

First year food science student, Torren Manning, stands by this book! As read in many reviews, it simply encourages readers to embrace being indifferent to the unimportant things in life.

“I’d recommend this to college students, because it shows that everything won’t always go your way. It motivates readers to take alternate routes in hard situations,” Manning said.

In a summary written by James Clear, he writes, “Finding something important and meaningful in your life is the most productive use of your time and energy. This is true because every life has problems associated with it and finding meaning in your life will help you sustain the effort needed to overcome the particular problems you face. Thus, we can say that the key to living a good life is not giving a fuck about more things, but rather, giving a fuck only about the things that align with your personal values.” Clear declares this as his summary of this book in 3 sentences.

5. JumpSteve Harvey

Anything by Steve Harvey, has to be a hit! Through his interviews, talk show, and motivational speeches, he is always dropping gems to help others get to the top. Through this book, he inspires future business leaders and readers to take their very best shot. No matter how hard it may look, he encourages them to step out on a limb and go for whatever it is that they want.

Destiny Glanton, an acting student at Hillsborough Community College, was truly inspired by this book. 

“I love this book because it talks about taking a leap of faith and going after your dreams. No matter how small or big. So many people don’t go after their dreams because they seem unattainable or far-fetched, but this book is just a reminder that all you need is to just try,” Glanton said.

For college students, this is a time of self-discovery, to find out who you are and what you like, and to be creative and inspired. This book, for Glanton, allows her to do just that.

6. Love Life AgainTracie Miles

“This read, while relatable, may not be for everyone,” Breanna Lewis, childhood education student at Florida State College at Jacksonville, said.

“I love this book a lot. It helps me to cope with stress or any downfalls I encounter. I think many college students can agree that we feel alone sometimes in such a weird place in our lives. After reading the first few pages or so, I found that some of the battles we faced were relatable. It helped me to find joy when everything seems to be chaotic, especially young women,” Lewis said.

This faith-based book helps readers to learn how to appreciate all that life has to offer. It helps them to realize that life is truly worth living. All while reminding them of their identity and self-worth. In other words, a perfect read for college students.

7. BecomingMichelle Obama

Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States, had people across the country raving over this book and it’s message. Many college students, in a poll on Instagram, have read and loved this book. She talks about her journey as a leader, the wife of Barack Obama, a mother, a woman, but more specifically, a Black woman.

She shares how she overcame stereotypes and worked hard to do so. Obama shares her frustrations and fears of being the First Lady of America and creating her own definition of who she was meant to be.

Mia Uzzell, Amiya Abner and Lawrencia Palmer, all students at Florida A&M University, say that the book is one of their favorites. 

College students are different in their own ways, yet face many of the same challenges and interests throughout their time here. As many of these students shared their top picks of book choices, it revealed just how similar they are. Through genres like romance, fiction, non-fiction, memoir and self-help, these books are definitely worth the read.